July 31, 2004

After a while you're gonna think I'm making this stuff up..

Another in the series of whacked out television ads --- I didn't even tell you guys about the one with a group of teens in a car, where the announcer intones, "Today, Ben will beat his girlfriend so hard she'll have permanent brain damage," and you're all, "Gasp!" But the ad isn't about abusive relationships; Ben's sin is that he didn't wear his seatbelt. Shock! Horror! Vivid liquidy-looking slow-mo like in that one Portishead video, depicting a car crash in which devil-may-care Ben's devil-may-care noggin clocks his girlfriend in the temple like two bighorn sheep in a tussle! Fortunately, Girlfriend was wearing her seatbelt, and so she lives to reproach poor, stupid, inconsiderate Ben. Or she would reproach him, except for, you know, the permanent brain damage. Plus, Ben, he daid. As we learn when we cut back to a shot of the crash site by night, where the EMT's are zipping up Ben's body bag while a wise cop stands by, shaking his head grimly, muttering, "Another one who didn't wear his seat belt." Is that a wise cop tear trembling in the corner of his wise cop eye? Or just a trick of the red ambulance light caressing his grizzled cheek…

But the ad that inspired me to post today was a little different. It begins with a close-up of a lamb's head. The lamb baas and tries to look adorable. Then the announcer says, crossing-guardishly, "Look left. Then look right. Now left again," while the lamb stands there with about as much expression on its face as sheep ever have. Then the 3:14 from Clonakilty comes barreling through from the left hand side of the frame, a blur of iron wheels and spark. Now, having been exposed to a couple of these Irish P.S.A., you kind of expect them to cut back to the lamb's mangled remains spread out across the track, his entrails shaped into a frowny face. (Irony!) But no, we see that the lamb is alive and well.
We pull back to see that the lamb is standing with its head poking through an aluminium gate like they use to close off private roads, with a sign on it saying "Level crossing," which seems to mean a railroad crossing that's flat. Then the announcer comes back to plead with the general public to keep the gates closed at level crossings --- "Because some of us don't know how to cross safely," or something. Up floats the logo in the corner of the screen: Iarnród Éireann.

Iarnród Éireann. The Irish national rail. The national rail company has sprung for nationwide television ads to persuade passerby to close the gates behind them at railroad crossings, lest they be accessories before the fact to widespread sheep-i-cide. This is the country I have come to.

Posted by Diablevert at July 31, 2004 01:03 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: Anonymous at August 1, 2004 04:10 PM

the ads seem very odd to say the least

Posted by: mom at August 2, 2004 01:37 PM

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