27
Dec 06

The Advert Calendar (Not Of Advent Anymore): MAGNET

Blog 7 + FTPost a comment • 907 views

Okay the Advert Calendar of Advent, like many a FT feature, was only partially successful. BUT it did make one very clear point. Adverts are seasonal. And while Christmas may underline this with its faux snow, twinkly jingle bells and mad attempts at rewriting Christmas traditions*, it is by no means the only example. Indeed possibly the most pointed advertising juxtaposition comes on Christmas Day itself. We have bought our presents, we have followed the orders of Boots the Chemist to be glamorous. And what is our reward?

Hectoring adverts telling us to : BUY A NEW FUCKING KITCHEN.

There is something cockle warming about the Magnet adverts. Their absolute faith in the British public who have just blown all their money on presents, to pop into their own kitchens a bit dissatisfied. Perhaps they have just made Christmas lunch and the turkey had turned out a bit dry. Perhaps there is peeling pain t, Formica worktops and cupboard doors which don’t fit. But the way that Magnet frontload their entire years advertising in the three weeks after Christmas seems really rather hopeful. Even with the 50% off, and the interest free credit, it seems a bit misguided. Why not offer me 50% off in May, when its warmer and I might go cook on the barbecue instead of in my out of action kitchen.

But this is of course where the Magnet ads come in to their own. These are kitchens for people who don’t really use their kitchens. Last years campaign was based solely on this principle: show me one thing that defines your kitchen usage. A pizza cutter and a corkscrew were the two examples. In this years ad this is played down somewhat, in favour of a drop down TV from a work-top which still says this is not a room for cooking in. Indeed what is great about this years Magnet ad is that the kitchen which has been designed for this woman is not real. The whizzy computer graphics suggests that this is all blue screen. And indeed the artificial sheen on the units, the way they dance around and open and close by themselves suggest that such a kitchen not only did not exist in the ad, but could never exist in reality. That magnet are afraid to show you what their kitchens ACTUALLY look like surely hints to some possible reality / advertising disparity.

All of which would be fine if the computer generated kitchen was actually nice. But then that is one thing Magnet ads always had in common with MFI kitchen ads. Anyway, with Magnet and B&Q padding out our ad breaks for the next few weeks, try not to suffer too much from kitchen envy.

*Yes “DJ Santa on the wheels of steel” I am looking at you. The main reason why I did not do the Debenhams Christmas ad was because EVERYONE else did it, as I will discuss elsewhere.

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