I very rarely watch actual TV. As a result, I don’t often see adverts, which, actually, I mind a whole lot less than the likes of The Kardashians Take Manhattan or whatever clogs up the airwaves these days. But I’ve been catching a few here and there, and have noticed there are quite a few fairytale adverts popping up, flogging the likes of tissues, broadband and styling products.
I’ve always loved fairytales, even though I was once distraught that princesses were usually blonde and blue-eyed, and very wary of stepmothers. Which I guess is why my mother, who ran a school, was asked not to read fairytales to kids, as they allegedly encouraged negative, sexist stereotypes. But I feel the sense of wonder fairytales inspired far outweighed the brief misapprehension.
As an adult, I have continued to explore folklore, and am endlessly fascinated by the way myths exist across cultures, and how they evolve through retelling. Fairytales will always be in fashion, due to their flexible nature. In times of economic depression and worry, the fantastic becomes particularly powerful, offering escapism, whimsy and familiarity. Thus the rise in fairytale advertising… it’s certainly a trend to which the little girl in me immediately responds. But have these advertisers done anything interesting with it? Let’s take a look:
Kleenex Balsam Witch and Fairy
So a Nose Witch flies around sneezing and sputtering, until it bumps into/gets to a massive Kleenex tissue. Then it is transformed into a happy, sparkling Nose Fairy! Hmm. This has very little substance… then again I guess so do tissues. And I like it more because they had a promotion at Waterloo station with people dressed as Nose Fairies giving out oodles of free tissues, which both me and Miss Thropist gladly exploited.
This is the latest in GHD’s series of twisted fairytale adverts, a riff on Cinderella. I love the music and the set pieces, and what’s going on in the video… especially when “Cinderella” thinks the Prince is looking at her, and he’s actually admiring his own reflection. The feminist ending is hardly unexpected or original, but it works very well with the tagline “You can do anything with your hair”. And her hair IS stunning… though I’m sure that’s down to serious salon legwork and not her own fumblings with GHD’s featured Midnight Collection gift set.
Sky Broadband – The Princess and the Pea
I always did find The Princess and the Pea one of the most nonsensical fairytales. Why on earth would the Prince WANT someone so sensitive? I can’t imagine they’d have much fun in bed. Perhaps it was a comment on how royal inbreeding resulted in various abnormalities. Anyway, I quite like this advert. I like how the Princess says “And stop putting vegetables in my bedding… it’s perverse”, and the aphrodisiac effect her diva behaviour has on the effete Prince. It’s an easy joke to make, but done well.
Sky Broadband – Aladdin
Meh I could take or leave this one. I like the Aladdin tale and appreciate the diverse casting, but I barely cracked a grin.
Sky Broadband – Little Red Riding Hood
This feels very disjointed… perhaps it was interspersed during the breaks to a film. Not funny or original… The Princess and the Pea is definitely the most effective out of the broadband fairytales!
Have you seen any other fairytale adverts?