Friday, July 02, 2010

Death to Lenny the Lion

You can't create a craze, it just happens.

So with that in mind if I see one more advert or poster campaign featuring some silly little animal puppet or alien character whom you're encouraged to then follow on Facebook or go directly to their internet page in the hope that a nationwide love-in of Meerkat proportions gets off the ground, I will carry out my threat to run through a country town in a see-through latex bodystocking and footless tights.

I noticed one this morning as I was going up the Tube escalator. This was something called 'Hector'. There was no info, except a URL where we can, if we are so inclined, follow the adventures of this cartoon dachsund who no doubt is meant to be a character we're all meant to find hilarious and fall in love with. Enough already.

Those meerkats have a lot to answer for. That particular moment passed a long time ago. I don't want to see them building up their part in little stories about wars or family history. It's not funny. It was never funny. But now TV is full of these wannabes.

I noticed two in swift succession just the other day, but so tedious were they I don't recall anything about them. It just registered with me that here once again was some shameless bandwagon jumping by marketeers with an eye on the main chance. Well, that is their job I suppose.

There have been many hateful creatures over the years: flat Eric, those Vauxhall Corsa things, the Comfort family who look like they were created out by Clothkits, etc., and they all have their Twitter accounts and their Facebook pages. I mean really, what kind of nutcase actually checks these things out? Kids? Educationally stunted adults with an under-developed sense of humour? Probably.

Or is it you?


Bright Ambassador said...

Don't you mean 'meerkateers'? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
I'm here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress, I thangyew!

I was in Scarborough the other week and every tacky seaside shop stocked meerkats sporting smoking jackets, even though you never see it smoking. Why not?
I'll get you one next time. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm just off to GO COMPARE! GO COMPARE!

Simon said...

One of the gift shops in Felixstowe now has their meerkat models labeled with "Simples!" rather than meerkats, which is odd amongst clearly labelled elephants, dogs etc.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I went to Hastings a couple of weeks ago, and all the grabby arcade games were stuffed full of evil-looking toy meerkats, just as BA found. I didn't understand at all, but a kindly friend later explained the cultural significance.

That in turn helped me understand a bizarre snatch of conversation I heard in a London pub months ago, where a pair of very excited camp men were planning their holidays "but FIRST we've got to get some meerkats for the garden." At the time I assumed they meant real ones.

I suppose a similar phenomenon from days of yore was the profoundly annoying 'Humphrey', but at least you only needed to get your mitts on a stripey drinking straw if you were sad enough to want a Humphrey of your own.

Five-Centres said...

I had some Humphrey stickers on my pencil case, despite being a bit scared of it.

But not as scared of it as I was of the Mad Jaffa Cake eater. He broke into people's house with a very large jaffa cake on his head. Creepy!

Bright Ambassador said...

ISBW, apparently people with too much money really are buying real meerkats after watching these adverts. That's the Pink Pound, right there.

Bright Ambassador said...

His name was McV, FC.

Five-Centres said...

Are you sure, BA? And wasn't he played by someone who's really famous for something else, or someone famous's dad?

Mondo said...

What I find even more annoying is ready made comedy characters that we're all expected to slide out our seats guffawing about IE Steve Coogan's Tony Ferrino.

Different if a character builds its own popularity and becomes bigger than a show. But comedy constructs without context and background only 'this is my new character and you WILL laugh '- have me stone-faced and switching over.

Bright Ambassador said...

Perhaps they softened him up a bit later on then and made him a cuddlesome character. He was definitley called McV though, as he had a large Jaffa Cake for a titfer.

Five-Centres said...

Yes I agree with that Mondo.

Just cos someone's created a comedy character we've loved in the past, doesn't mean we're all waiting with baited breath for their latest 'genius' creation, which more often than not turn out to be dreadful.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I need independent verification of BA's assertion that people are decorating their gardens with real meerkats. And I don't just mean someone's holiday photo of the African Savannah.

I remember McV (his catchphrase: "Sez Mc V!!"), but I had him down as more of a Bertie Bassett type buffoon than a lunatic who broke into people's houses for kicks. Are you sure you didn't just have a bad dream about the Mad Jaffa Cake Eater, F-C? It sounds like a post-watershed concept.

office pest said...

I do prefer the Go Compare operetta singer to that pair of tossers they used to have, you know "smug go-on-ask-me-I-might-you-know woman" and "simple minded if-she-did-I-wouldn't-even-notice man".

After that of course came that annoying rash of faked up webcam adverts, with actors trying to impersonate the thicko general public who have just acquired a computer and treat it like The Sphinx.

Meerkats I can take or leave. My current favourite is "We Buy Any Car, Dot Com". It's a modern beatbox classic.

Five-Centres said...

I'm sure it's real, in fact I know it is. *questions own sanity - and not for the first time*

Thankfully I don't know that one, OP. My current hate ad is the one with a woman talking about her hard stools over lunch with her 'girlfriends'.

Matthew Rudd said...

It's remarkable the number of ex-detectives from The Bill who appear on these adverts. Well, one that I know of, anyway.

Mark "Stewpot" Burdis should never be allowed to recover from taking the role of Kev in the "Kev Bev Bev Kev Bev Kev Kev Bev" car ads.

office pest said...

Here you go:

Catchy eh. They've had a football themed one up lately for the world cup.

Anyway, they're liars. I put in a 1964 Aston Martin and they couldn't quote me at all.

I've got that bloody wedding to go to tomorrow.