TV adverts portrayal of 'idiot farmers' are laughable

I know I mentioned it here before but, in all fairness, as the TV advertising continues apace, it is now time for the IFA to strongly intervene with the relevant authorities over the portrayal of that idiot farmer with a pig in the parlour, and nothing better to do than watch films on the box in the corner, while the bonham slumbers in a chair which is more opulently cushioned than the one on which I am sitting now.

The decent hardworking farmers of Ireland are being slandered, libelled, and reduced totally by this campaign. It is time strong action is taken.

Every time I switch on the TV to watch any element of the mighty sporting season now upon us, your man pops up on screen.

His biggest worry, apparently, has nothing to do with the possible presence of angel dust in the national herd, or the impact of Brexit on the nation.

No, the cretin whose hands show that he never handled a farming implement in his life, is worried about introducing his clearly city-bred sweetheart to a bloody bonham which he calls Sue, and which dwells in comfort in the parlour.

You could not invent such a scenario without being totally divorced from any kind of rural reality about farmers and farming.

There was a furore last week, when a compassionate judge suggested to a farmer who faced a driving difficulty and a disqualification that he should take steps to find himself a wife with a driving licence.

The learned judge even mentioned that there should be possibilities available in a few months’ time in the matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, which is just a few kilometres down the road from where I live.

The same sections of modern society who were chortling at that suggestion are those watching the dreadful TV advert I am complaining about here.

The farmer and his lady friend are settling down for what used to be called a bit of a coort on the couch, when the bonham called Sue strongly intervenes between them, and prevents contact. The mind boggles.

For sure, that would not happen in the earthy surrounds of Lisdoonvarna. The pure truth yet again.

Surely it’s time for the IFA to take action on behalf of real, genuine farmers. (I accept fully that some actor is playing the role in the pig-in-the-parlour scenario.)

We can widen the scope of this situation on TV advertising. We have to endure about 20 minutes of it in each hour when we are attempting to keep up with the news and sporting events of the season that is in it.

There was a time, up to a few years ago, when the best TV advertising was nearly an art form in itself, and well worth watching. The commercial messages were usually delivered in an imaginative and effective way.

The best of the adverts for the products of Uncle Arthur’s products were enough to immediately wet your whistle.

Today, sadly, apart from the frequently splendid Specsavers series, the rest of the commercials have been downgraded and tabloidised, in a trend which suggests that the creators of the campaigns consider us all to be zombified morons. Sue the bonham is only one indicative eddy in the tide.

Some cretin of an art director, for example, has got it into his (or her) head that the best way to market a whole range of products is to attach falsetto voices to the speakers on screen.

Not only that, but it is somehow deemed effective to weirdly contort the mouths of those delivering the falsetto messages to us.

The infection has spread across the spectrum. It is being used to sell pizzas and sweets and just about everything in sight.

Last evening I observed a rugby front row speaking with the voices of toddlers as they extolled the merits of some variety of chocolate or crisps or popcorn. Does that marketing approach really work?

I rather doubt it. And it certainly makes the commercial interludes on our screens seem infinitely longer.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I will relax for a while.

However I won’t switch on the TV, in case I am faced again by the bonham named Sue.


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