I was going to post about this ages ago but resisted because it was playing into ‘their’ hands. ‘Them’ being the advertisers. By mentioning it on my blog I would be doing exactly what they wanted, creating a buzz.
Capitalist, advertising scum*.
But, Comrades, I cannot be quiet any longer.
Allow me to back track.
There is a proud history in the UK of character-based advertising.
Take the Bisto family – for years we watched them have roast diner after roast diner slathered in thick unappealing gravy. We grew up with them.
Then there was the Gold Blend couple; one moment he is knocking on his neighbour’s door asking to borrow some sugar, next they are shagging on coffee beans and before you know it he is stuck in some high school library training the new generation of vampire killers.
Yes it is him:
The latest incarnation to hit our small screen is the BT (British Telecom, for you non-Brits) couple. It is very modern. She is (whisper) divorced, with two children. He is her toyboy whose stag do appeared to revolve around watching an online video in the middle of the day, as a testament to the protagonist's WiFi connection – rock and roll.
Here is a summary (although only half the screen appears in my browser, but you'll get the idea):
The latest cliff hanger had her on the phone. About to reveal something. BT wanted us to decide what. Can you guess? Can you?
Is she pregnant or not?
Ladies, I, sticking up for the infertiles, proudly voted for NOT PREGNANT. I mean come on, the woman already has two children, and the bloke hasn't done anything to convince me he should procreate.
But there was another reason for the no vote.
Surely it is time for mainstream advertising tackle an easy story line like secondary infertility – lets see how they manage to make the infertiles want to switch to a different type of broadband. Maybe they’ll show ‘Jane’ on the phone to another friend who announces their pregnancy – this will be a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the mute button on the phone works giving her a moment to scream and wail before taking the phone off mute and heartily congratulating her pal.
Or possibly BT could illustrate how important fast broadband is when googling the shit out of any conceivable (or should that be inconceivable?) twinge to see if it could be an early pregnancy symptom.
And as for their TV package, well, they could demonstrate the enormous channel options by showing the ubiquity of pregnant women on telly. Maybe have 'Jane' flicking through channels increasingly frustrated as she lurches from Super Nanny, to Smarter than an 10 year old, Kate plus 8 and “I have 13 children by 15 different fathers” (or whatever they call the Jeremy Kyle show nowadays).
However it turns out that not just me, but the nation voted. 1.6million of them. Bear in mind I voted that she wasn’t pregnant. 72% or 1,184,032 of the British public disagreed.
So she is now pregnant.
Now I can’t even rely on the ad breaks to give me a break from my fertility failings.
*Have I mentioned that the husband works in advertising?