Skincare adverts ‘based entirely on what genitals you have’

Advertising agencies have finally admitted that every deodorant, skincare or hair or fragrance advert they have ever created revolves completely on what their target audience have in their pants.

According to an industry spokesman, the whole game is run around the ‘willy/fanny method’ which determines exactly how your advert will run.

If your target audience has a penis, you will create an advert that visualises the following schema:

You’re a man.

You should be out drinking and watching sport with your exclusively male friendship group.

You shouldn’t have to worry about how your skin or hair looks, because you are not a woman.

Ha, women!

You should buy our product to make your skin feel great, even though we’ve already said you shouldn’t have to worry about your skin.

YOU SHOULD NOT FIND THIS CONTRADICTORY.

Look, attractive women want to have sex with you!’

Conversely, when advertising to women, the narrative is on the lines of:

‘You are a woman.

You are naturally strong and beautiful – we really can’t stress that enough.

Without constant attention and upkeep to literally every part of your body you will likely fall apart and die.

Buy our product to prevent the above.

Our artificial product with added technical jargon will help you maintain your natural beauty.

YOU SHOULD NOT FIND THIS CONTRADICTORY.

82% of women agree. (7 women asked, 5 under duress)

Look, the girls are here! Let’s watch a film.’

You need this to live

You need this to live

Batting off suggestions that these tired, laughable cliches are at best heroically outdated and at worst downright offensive, ad agencies have, if anything, stepped up their game recently.

Nivea for Men have developed an advert which spends the opening 20 seconds slagging off women and the remaining 5 seconds having a woman looking so impressed at a man’s newly-moisturised skin that she actually drove into the back of a van.

“This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

Boots and Sure, on the other hand, have been trying their hand at advertising to women.

Somebody at Sure appears to have been reading a book at some point and has seen the word ‘feminism’. They have then gone back into work and tried to make an ad with empowering, strong woman themes.

The result is a hilarious 30 seconds opening with the classic line ‘Strong women sweat.’ This is followed by various shots of incredibly angry looking women, mostly with short hair and tattoos, which is apparently the only thing that constitutes a ‘strong woman’.

[Aside: this is even better when watched with Youtube’s new auto-captions.]

“Strong women sweat. And glare. Other women don’t. This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

Boots, on the other hand, still hold the world record for most ridiculous commercial, working on the premise that it was a really sound idea to portray every woman in the world as a makeup-obsessed pack animal just dying to form part of a screaming herd and get on the Bacardi breezers.

This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

 

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George Michael ‘surprisingly un-dead’

Is George Michael actually a human being?

Like a real one, without any animatronic or Wolverine-like qualities?

News has broken today that the singer/’singer’/national treasure/disturbing presence which occasionally haunts your dreams wielding an axe and a copy of his latest album [delete as applicable] fell out of a car at 70mph last week and walked away with nothing more than cuts, bruises and doubtless some new lyrics for another atrocious, atrocious song.

Three questions.

1) Why is this not bigger news? If it was Elton John there’d probably have been a live blog on the Guardian; you know, the exciting ones like “He’s fallen out of car”, “He’s still fallen out of the car”, “He’s still fallen out of the car – here are some of your tweets”. Something like that.

Instead, we’ve had roughly the same level of national fanfare as if I had fallen out of a car at 70mph and basically walked away. A small piece in the London Evening Standard, next to an article about a lady being reunited with a long lost cat – a front page in the Sun or the Mirror four or five days after the event with some gory-sounding witness testimony.

Right wing Conclusion: The world has been playing too many video games and has been desensitised to human suffering to the point where George Michael can fall out of a moving car on a motorway and the world shrugs its shoulders. We should ban video games.

Left wing conclusion: George Michael’s fame has waned somewhat. Why aren’t you outside, saving the NHS?

2) How is this physically possible? I like to think that if I fell out of a speeding vehicle onto any surface other than jelly or candy floss I would immediately develop the consistency of jam and spread myself liberally over a three mile radius. The T-1000 would struggle to withstand that kind of impact, and he was all mercury and stuff.

The fact that Mr Michael, if that is his real name, suffered only ‘superficial cuts and bruises’ whilst protected by nothing more than an Adidas tracksuit leads us to clear conclusions.

Right-wing conclusion: Homosexuals are made of iron and should not be trusted.

Left-wing conclusion: Adidas have stepped up their game in tracksuit-based protection, doubtless by exploiting poor children’s fine needlework skills. The bastards.

3) How is this physically possible? How does one go about falling out of a car in such a fashion? The story goes that George saw that a door was open and tried to open and close it, but then fell out of the car. At no point did it appear to cross his mind to say “Chaps, could we pull over and shut the door, it’s drafty in here”. I still fail to comprehend how a 49 year old functioning human being can fall out of a car on a motorway. The conclusion is simple.

Right wing conclusion: George Michael should sue the car manufacturer for poor safety. He should also sue the M1. He’s had an accident that wasn’t his fault. He should call claims direct. This is about individual freedom.

Left wing conclusion: How many fucking drugs was the man on? The state should legalise drugs really.

So there you have it. George Michael has fallen out of a car. Let us legalise drugs. Or sue somebody.

Errr...what?

Errr…what?

Exercise update: Alive and mostly intact

I survived! Worship me, I am a Colossus!

Obviously I’m not, but since I got over the line I’m going to at least pretend that I’m a physical god for the next 24 hours or so. Don’t worry, it’ll wear off.

I’ll be honest, it didn’t start well. Tall flatmate and broad flatmate were in charge of buying food for a big carb-loading dinner, and bought beef burritos instead, which was a ridiculous choice really and I’m going to call them out on it. They also decided to make a pasta salad, a la Nigella, to act as pre and post race fuel. I refused to touch it given that it was based on tuna and sweetcorn, two of the most inherently evil foods on the planet, but by all accounts it was almost inedible. We also had no proper means of transporting the 1kg of it we made, so broad flatmate had to lug it round the event site in a large mixing bowl, prompting odd looks and arm cramps. Poor form.

We met up with some workmates at the start line and it was heartening to find that they were bricking it as much as we were. Tall flatmate almost pulled out at the last minute due to a complete lack of training compounded by contracting what might actually be AIDS in the buildup to the race and spending all of Friday night vomiting. In his own words, “If my head goes below my heart it will fall off.”

As with the last event I did the warmup almost killed me, so 13 miles wasn’t entirely appealing in truth.

I think the course could be summed up in the following three words: Sadism, pain, distance. All three were to be found in abundance, but there was a good smattering of fun involved too.

Overall we ploughed through 15 zones. After a mile jog down to the opening one, our first instruction from the marshals was: “Pick a car. Now climb through it.” This rather set the tone for what was to come.

Didn't even steal it.

Didn’t even steal it.

In the next zone, we had to climb through a half inflated bouncy structure and then found a rugby team waiting the other side with pads to batter us. Light comic relief was provided by one rugby person who was too fat to chase us and had to politely ask for us to run at him. We then encountered a straight 10ft wall to navigate, which I effectively ran straight into and bounced off. One of the marshals had to give me a leg up. In my high heart rate delirium I told her I loved her, and meant it.

Tall flatmate was starting to struggle, understandably, by mile 3, and was being shepherded by broad flatmte. So I gallantly ditched them both and pushed on with a quicker group of friends. This really sums me up as a person.

The water zones were ridiculous. The first one was fine, through a reservoir about waist deep. The aptly named ‘Wipeout’ zone was a bit more of a slog. We had to wade through about half a mile of lake which was neck deep at the shallowest, through 2 or 3 feet of silt and other gunk, which was properly draining. Thankfully some of the big inflatables had blown over so we didn’t have to do them, otherwise I would have added my own hot tears to the lake’s plentiful water supply. Then we had to jump off a big platform about 15ft above the water – I executed this rather too well and almost didn’t surface. The final water zone about 11.5 miles in was a real struggle – by this point my body was no longer my friend so I had to rely on the kindness of strangers to grab me by the arse and chuck me over some of the higher obstacles to save me from flopping like a dying salmon.

By mile 10 broad flatmate had also gallantly ditched tall flatmate, caught us and overtaken us. He’s not human.

By mile 11 my legs were fucked. I’ve not run more than 10k ever, so it felt like running through treacle after so much punishment and I guess I was jogging at walking pace.

The last mile was dreamt up by somebody who should be in prison. They put the three toughest zones right next to each other at the finish. I stacked it on one of the sprint ramps (think that thing from Gladiators they have to do at the end) and received encouraging jeers from the watching crowd. Then there was the world records zone.

This included 110m of monkey bars – I managed 2 before slipping off, I blame wet hands as opposed to a chronic lack of strength. The forfeit was to climb over about 150 interlocked barriers shaped in a zig-zag, the kind they have at gigs and events where they close roads, each about 4ft high. After 12.5 miles that was a real killer. Then there was the world’s largest wall of hay bales, which was actually quite fun because I climbed it next to a man dressed as Thor, complete with hammer.

The last obstacle was monster – a big structure of half pipes and 6ft walls that you had to scale before hitting the finish line. A random Welsh bloke gave me a helping hand on those so I’m eternally grateful to him.

And that was that! Over the finish line, pouring with rain, legs no longer working.

13 miles, 150 obstacles, all done.

Overall time was officially 3:46 but we probably lost about half hour to bottlenecking and queuing for obstacles.

This morning, after 14 hours sleep and a steak, I feel moderately ok, but haven’t got out of bed yet. I tested one leg a few minutes ago and it wasn’t pretty. I do get the feeling ingesting so much lake water might not have been good for me.

Never thought I’d say this but it was brilliant fun. I encourage everyone to get involved in this kind of thing because it’s just such a unique experience.

I’ll try and get some photos up in due course so you can laugh at me falling over things.

Going for another nap now…

P.S. I hope literally everybody else in the world had fun at the Rugby Sevens yesterday, you luck, luck bastards.

 

Exercise Update: Pray for me

Right then. Crunch time.

It has dawned on me that the Rat Race, aka the point of my life where I die, is nearly upon us. And by nearly upon us I mean it’s on Saturday. And there’s now a complete synopsis of all the stuff we have to do here.

You might think that I’ve been using the previous couple of weeks to hone my now finely-crafted physique, lifting things, running around, punching the air, doing sweating, and generally making sure I’m ready to face Soviet killing machine Ivan Drago, much as in this inspirational Rocky montage. I like the bit where he goes mental on the skipping rope.

Sadly, however, I haven’t. What I have been doing is eating cheese and drinking heavily.

In fairness, it wasn’t my fault. I had to go to Spain.

Now I love Spain; it’s an excellent country. 360 days of sunshine, a casual approach to public nudity, a strong focus on daytime drinking and a 3 hour lunchbreak wrapped in 4 hours of work are all huge plus points, and some of the foundations of the nation’s prospering economy.

I went with the best intentions, I really did. I even packed my running gear. The only problem is I never unpacked my running gear. What I did unpack was a hearty appetite which was well-served by Andalucia’s love of fat-free, healthy foods.

A modest range of training cheeses.

A modest range of training cheeses.

Oh wait no. It was all fat. And pork. And cheese. And variations on them. One of the most popular snacks, I shit you not, is chorizo fried until the fat runs out with mozzarella added to the pan until just melting. You then serve it with fresh basil and bung it into a french loaf, occasionally basting the mozzarella with the chorizo fat. In truth, it’s god’s own snack. Few tastier things have been in my mouth.

It’s also a heart attack on a plate and among the healthier of the options available in all good tapas bars. Then you just have to wash it down with beer, because it’s cheaper than water and we’re in a recession. Some of the beer bellies you see should have their own postcodes. But by god are those people happy.

That’s before you even hit dessert – one day we sauntered down to the village to watch a lady carry a porcelain saint with no arms (apparently perfectly normal) and then a middle-aged lady tried to force feed us all churros and chocolate.

There’s no escape!

Obviously it was a quality week.

Unfortunately I am now fully unprepared for Saturday, but I am now confident that my heart will give out before I have to run 13 miles. If I were a betting man I’d wager it’ll be somewhere in the first mile. I’d also wager that in the autopsy the doctors will find that my heart is deep-fried.

I have one small comfort: tall flatmate will be dying with me, as he has completely misunderstood what’s in store. An actual conversation from today:

Harry: “I figure it’s just run a mile, do an obstacle. By 10 obstacles it’ll be nearly over.”

Me: “No Harry, it’s not 10 obstacles, it’s 150.”

Harry: “Haha, funny. I went for a 2 mile run the other day so I’ll be fine.”

Me: “I’m serious.”

Harry: “<Confused look/whimpering sound>”.

Oh and broad flatmate still can’t swim. At all. And there’s a swimming part. A long one.

I’d like to say it’s been enjoyable writing for you all over the last couple of years, and I would urge you not to throw away your lives by blind stupidity as I am about to do.

We would all like fancy funerals please – I would like mine to be curated by vowel-hating producer SBTRKT to ensure I go into the flames to a cool, thumping beat.

Adios.