Overfishing sucks. But these Fish Love ads to raise awareness are just plain... fishy.

Overfishing sucks. But these Fish Love ads to raise awareness are just plain... fishy. King Adz goes behind the scenes of another off-point campaign.

The problem with writing this column is that I have to watch TV ads that I wouldn’t normally give the time of day to, which is a bit of a bummer as there aren’t really enough hours in the day to devote to the real shit. Then there was the super bowl (I’m so behind it hurts). I think the dust has settled and with a wider perspective that only time brings, I can say with a true heart that the ‘excitement’ around the TV ads shown during the super bowl is complete and utter bollocks; they are as cool as Katy Perry’s dance move (cue windmill). The hype around the super bowl ads is an invented media ‘thing’. Which are the worst kind of pseudo cultural happenings ever. When something really naff is forced to be seen as a ‘thing’. Nearly as bad as that J20 ad. Well, almost.

This week, the sacred cow I’m macheteing like that Brando scene in Apocalypse Now is the fact that communications for charities are rarely examined in the same way that an ad for washing powder would be, and the line we must never cross is to critique anything that is done pro bono. Oh well, here goes.

Open on obligatory boardroom. Place is full of agency male creatives/wankers and angelic clients. A projected screen-saver is flickering at one end of the room with an icon bouncing around. People are eating fancy-assed pistachio and almond pastries and sipping flat whites or Indonesian small batch chai. Someone will be paying good money for all this. There is a pleasant hum of bullshit emanating warmly from everyone in the room, none of who have any real problems in their lives. Then, an ‘important’ and ‘busy’ man (always male) strides in carrying a minute carton of coconut water, nodding to a few people and shaking a hand or two of the cash cows (mostly women) and then calls for quiet by putting his drink (that has been flown in from Brazil) on the table and clapping his hands. The lights dim.

‘Thanks for coming today. I am very excited to show you this…’

He hits the space bar and up pops an image of a female star, naked and wrestling – or so it appears – a giant fish. She looks a bit like Tilda Swinton or Kate Blanchet. Or someone dead famous like.

‘Who is that?’ asks the client.

‘That’s just a look-a-like. But we’re hoping for Helena Bonham Carter. She loves fish. She loves your cause.’ The important man drones earnestly, giving his ‘we all care about your cause’ face.

Murmurs bounce around the room about loving HBC, about loving the ad – or whatever the fuck it is.

Now, let’s just halt for a minute. You all know the photo I’m talking about. If you’ve not already seen it, check it here.

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How could anyone in that room keep a straight face? Why didn’t someone give the game away? The agency or whoever sold the idea through (it certainly wasn’t HBC) must be so far removed from reality to think that image would do any good – do what they were promising the client. Okay, so it became a trending ‘thing’ but it didn’t stop the massacre of the tuna or whatever it was trying to do (see?). I rest my case.

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