A successful advertisement is invariably one that becomes a topic of conversation, that provokes reactions and goes viral. Whether an advert is good or bad, politically correct or not, vulgar or sexist is something quite different and is related to one’s aesthetic standards – in short it is a matter of opinion.
The slide of advertising into crudity is nothing new, and hardly something capable of shocking us. The well-known pizza delivery chain which chose to advertise its product ahead of next Sunday’s snap elections (by apparently using a spin on a popular hashtag on social media favored by critics of the government to gloat over its coming defeat) was hardly reinventing the wheel.
A very distant example from the early 80s, which some may remember, was a television commercial for a pipe, under the trade name Magic Life, which used a lewd reference to claim that it could “save lives.”
Now one could question the quality of the new advert but what is not open to dispute is that, despite being withdrawn, it achieved its goal. At virtually zero cost, it created a furor and trended on social media networks for a whole day. It also achieved something else, however, which was probably not among the goals of those who thought it up. It succeeded in underlining the extent of the hypocrisy of the supporters of ruling SYRIZA who were supposedly upset and shocked by its innuendo.
We are talking about the people who did not seem bothered and did not criticize the provocative remark made in Parliament by former coalition partner Panos Kammenos – “down on all fours.” The same people who resorted to intellectual acrobatics to justify thuggish attacks against their political rivals. Their sense of aesthetics was not violated by the nooses set up in Syntagma Square or the accusations against so-called Nazi collaborators. These same people shamelessly used social media for slanderous and crude attacks.
All these people are now feigning embarrassment and behaving like prudes over an advert which they took too personally. And of course they fail to realize that what they have been experiencing since the European elections is nothing more than the result of their own behavior. That, basically, they are being strangled by the noose that they themselves had created over the years for their ideological rivals.