BLOG Just Say No To Smell-O-Vision

Steven Ellis gets all sniffy about sponsorship ads

Well, that’s how it used to be... Now we can’t go an evening without seeing them. Multiple times. Now we’re being subjected to them eight times an hour. Well, we are if we like prime time US drama on the FX channel.

I’m talking, of course, about the Joop! Homme adverts. Be it for Pink, Wild, Splash or any of other catchy one-word names, I’m sick of them. Never has advertising failed so completely to engage me. Never have I been so switched off to ever buying a product by a series of irritating, in-your-face, repetitive adverts. I think I’d rather buy Brut or Hai Karate.

It’s that time of year when we get new episodes from our favourite US shows and not just the sci-fi shows. I’m really glad that all my favourite shows are back with the exception of one small thing; the sponsorship ads. True Blood is currently showing on Monday nights; the third season of The Walking Dead is starting this weekend, American Horror Story is back on 30 October and the new seasons of Dexter and NCIS are all due back soon. But the idea of suffering eight JOOP! adverts per hour for each show is such a turn-off. Fans of Leverage, Burn Notice, Falling Skies, Sons Of Anarchy and American Dad will also have experienced this JOOP! attack.

We don’t watch many adverts in this house. Having a toddler running around means we rarely watch TV live. Our Sky+ box is half full most of the time. And we tend to get around two hours of quality adult TV a night. So usually we’re a couple of nights behind on shows and we’re fast forwarding through the adverts. Even when we do watch live we tend to wait until 15 minutes after a show starts so we can zoom through the adverts. But the thing about the JOOP! ads is that they’re very hard to avoid, because they top-and-tail every ad break. Every time we press play and we’re repeatedly subjected to scantily clad men and women who are far too pretty to be allowed out on their own.

We try and try to time our fast-forwarding to miss the adverts; it’s really become like a competition in our house. But mostly we fail. We zoom straight past and miss the first half minute of the next part of the show we’re watching and invariably have to rewind and end up catching the loud “JOOP! HOMME” at the end of the ad.

Companies sponsoring individual shows isn’t new; TV channels are businesses and advertising brings in money to buy the shows. It’s a necessary evil, I know that. And I understand that without the money from advertising the channel might not be able to buy and show the TV shows we love. I think I’ve managed to avoid paying that much attention to these show-wrapping adverts so far. I remember some computer game sponsoring TNG on Sky in the past. An X-Box game is sponsoring Continuum on SyFy at the moment and some hair care product currently sponsors Supernatural . They are everywhere. But these other ads have never irritated me the way the JOOP! ones do. Most of the ads I mentioned aren’t too intrusive and are usually just the sign to stop fast forwarding; they have never really registered on my radar. But the JOOP! Adverts are my new biggest pet peev.

So, no big campaign to get rid of them... As I said; I know they’re a necessary evil. I just don’t like them on my telly and I wish they’d go away. Maybe I just need to practice with my TV remote thumb targeting some more.

I know it’s a small thing to be irritated by in the grand scheme of things, but I just had to get this off my chest and I find myself wondered if anyone out there hates these bloody adverts as much as I do? Do you play the fast forward game? Do you have a favourite advert? Do irritating ads actually encourage people to run scurrying for “the third way”? Or do you love the smell of JOOP! in your telly?