Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Big Gold Push

Leaked shooting script from top ad agency Dunce, Dunce & Revolution:


Mr T is sitting at his breakfast bar, eating cereal. His brow furrows as he glances over the bills laid out in front of him, many of which have been stamped with "FINAL DEMAND" in a menacingly bold, red san-serif.

Mr T.: "Ah, dammit. Too many suckers wantin' my money. What am I to do? A-Team repeat fees just aren't enough."

Disembodied Voiceover Man: "Hey, you! Did you know that your spare gold, could actually be worth money?"

Mr T.: "Shaddup, fool. Everyone knows that gold ain't worth nothin'."

Disembodied Voiceover Man: "No, it's true! Simply send all your unwanted gold to us, we'll have a bit of a think about it, and then we'll offer you some money! It's as simple as that!"

Mr T glances again at his collection of final demands for gym fees, van repairs and the like.

Mr T.: "Gah, what the hell. You better not be playin' me for a fool, sucka."


Mr T is again sitting at his breakfast bar, crunching his way through a manly-sized bowl of Crunchy Nut. His regulation bling is now missing, revealing a comically unsuitable T-shirt slogan underneath where it used to be ("S Club 7" or something? Get a runner to ask him if he minds when we shoot. Get that annoying Jamie to ask him, he laughed at my haircut the other day). He is going through his mail.

Mr T.: "Hey, what's this?"

Mr T opens up a bulging envelope emblazoned with the company logo. Banknotes spill out everywhere.

Mr T: "Goddammit, my monetary woes are over! And all it cost me was that useless, useless gold!"

Disembodied Voiceover Man: "Yes! And all thanks to GoldIsRubbishCashIsGreat dot com!”

Mr T: "Ha ha, yes! So don’t be a sucker, visit today!”

FADE TO CAPTION: GOLDISRUBBISHCASHISGREAT.COM: Turning pointless metal into actual real money!

Sadly, Mr T was busy shooting those Snickers adverts, and this was never actually shot. Anyway, if you've glanced at a television set for longer than a minute over the last few months, you'll have noted a proliferation of commercials for companies wanting to buy your gold. In fact, due to a combination of global recession and all-time high gold prices, there’s no end of cheaply shot daytime commercials for the bloody things. Given the marketing strategy used, we can only presume the companies have been funded by recently unemployed personal injury lawyers. Here are a few of the adverts that may well have cluttered up your afternoon viewing of Sky Sports News, with the names slightly changed in case we accidentally improve their Google rank or something.


Cash (“Number Four” – Ed)


As far as we can tell, this company is the leading money-for-gold firm in the USA. At least, they’re the only one we noticed with a high-definition advert on YouTube. The UK advert has just the kind of cut-price-slickness you’d expect from a US company trying to break the UK unwanted gold market. Plus, they’ve plonked a union flag onto the bottom corner of the screen, presumably with the aim of proving it’s not just a redubbed American advert. In practice, it just makes the thing look a bit like a BNP leaflet.


Man In Pub says: “I sent in an old gold chain, and got money for tickets to a European away game!”

Clearly the US paymasters have learned that mentioning “the football” is a sure-fire way to get their hands on our treasure. Maybe it’ll all part of some elaborate revenge for the whole London Bridge thing.


“If you’re selling, [the name of this company] is buying!” At this point, we’d normally load up Photoshop and pixellate out the phone number, but we really can’t be bothered. We’re quite sure our readers are bright enough not to call that number.


Money (“The Fourth Numeral” – Ed) GoldUK

In this time of relentless belt-tightening, a little jocularity can go a long way. Money IV Gold UK have noticed this, and they want to win our hearts (and our gold. Mainly the gold).


“Money doesn’t grow on trees…”


“…and you won’t find money here [down the back of a sofa]…”


“…but there’s one place that might be holding a treasure waiting to be found!”

Syntax so clumsy we’re beginning to wonder if it was written by a member of the BrokenTV Team. But never mind, here comes a cheery lady to tell us more.


The union colours on display again. What is this, the 1970s? At least if Tim Brooke-Taylor wandered into shot wearing a union flag waistcoat, we’d certainly agree that the advert was quintessentially British, and we’d pay unblinking attention to the remainder of the sales pitch.


Just in case you’re a bit thick, the makers of the advert have helpfully given a literal representation of someone with some gold in one hand, and a load of money in another.


They sure make a lot of the fact you can track your package (containing granny’s wedding ring and great uncle Eddie’s army medals) online, almost as if it was a special service they specifically offered. As opposed to just a thing that the Royal Mail offer for all packages sent by Special Delivery.


They’re publicly listed, so you know they can be trusted! Because every single company on the stock exchange can be trusted, eh readers?. (Er, imagine us saying something clever and Jon Stewarty to round off this caption.)


That MFGD stock market performance in full, for the entirety of it’s eighteen months on the market. In short: unspectacular unless you’ve got a time machine set for July 2008.


So, find a higher price, and they’ll double it. Oddly, a few of the companies we’ve seen advertising their gold-buying services seem to offer similar guarantees. Oh, and it’s nice to see our habit of screen capping people in mid-blink continues unabated.



(“LA Based Electronic Indie Band And Side Project Of Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Possibly Best Known For Their Song ‘Such Great Heights’, The _____ Service” – Ed) Gold


My, here’s a disarmingly well spoken, yet disturbingly keen chap. What could he be after?


He is standing in front of green screen footage of an office set staffed by extras. You know, if the BBC hadn’t stupidly cancelled The Peter Serafinowicz Show, there could be a brilliant Brian Butterfield spoof of these commercials.


“I had a pile of unwanted jewellery. I sent it off to [COMPANY NAME], and I got £424.” Who actually amasses a whole pile of unwanted gold? Once you’ve got three or four pieces of unwanted gold, surely you stop buying the damn things? We’ve got the right number of toasters in our kitchen. Therefore, we’re not going to buy any more toasters. Now, that isn’t the best analogy in the world, but we’re a bit spooked by the way we’ve capped yet another screenshot of someone blinking. When we pause the videos, Visit4Info plonk an ugly icon in the middle of the screen, so we’re capping these shots in-motion. Apart from the following couple.


See what we said about the icon? Anyway, we’re using paused screens here to capture a brilliant example of exploiting viewers’ suggestibility by the ad makers. On these shots, the frontman is saying “so remember, you could turn your GOLD into CASH”. In the above frame, he’s scowling a bit, because he is saying the word ‘gold’. Nasty, dirty, smelly, carcinogenic gold, Ugh.


And here, he’s saying the word ‘cash’, possibly whilst being lightly fellated. Lovely, lovely cash. Cash can make anything better. Cash can, no, WILL make you happy.

So, “Au4£££” adverts. Sadly, the tremendously annoying one where a couple of stereotypical upper class hoorays lark about their mansion collecting nasty gold, before cavorting in the lovely banknotes they’ve swapped the gold for, isn’t on Visit4info. It’s truly horrible, so that’s a shame. Right now, we’ll wager Kevin Sodding Bishop is planning a sketch where The Queen fronts one of these adverts, saying how she swapped her pointless trinkets for a wad of used twenties. Actually, no, he’d probably just do his shit Simon Cowell impersonation instead.


5 .:

Simon said...

Is there any good reason why they've all appeared at the same time, though?

Mark X said...

My guess is that as gold prices have shot up lately, the US firms dealing in this sort of thing have made a concerted push into the UK market. Daytime commercial airtime is dirt cheap, I guess.

Paul said...

I'm going to be rich.

The Pampers advert states as fact that "sleep is worth gold".

These adverts show that gold is worth cash, and worth enough cash that they can make a profit even after blanket advertising and paying for magic Royal Mail tracking.

Therefore, sleep is worth cash. I'm literally earning while I sleep. I just need to figure out how to put dreams about strangers into the Dosh4Gold envelope. Can anyone help?

G. Alwaysbelieving said...

Local ads disappointingly not featuring the original lineup of "MC Hammer and the late Ed McMahon" --

Mark X said...

I'd meant to mention the American C4G advert in the blog post (it's actually the advert in high definition on YouTube that I referred to), but managed to forget. I think my ADD-addled mind was distracted by all the shiny objects on my monitor. It's surprisingly good, but still a bit of a shame it's possibly Ed McMahon's final work.

Paul - I think putting an essay about your dream into the Wonga4Trinkets envelope would be legally permissable, as long as it's countersigned by a doctor.

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