Saturday, July 26, 2008

dfs featuring Nickelback

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

I do not pretend to be an expert on adverts, in fact I am incredibly impatient and attempt to use my skyplus box to minimise my watching of TV advertisements. But at some stage this week I had the terrible misfortune to see this advert for the sofa selling company dfs (nice lower case branding there, by the way).

I won't go into too much detail but the point is that the advert mimicks the Nickelback video for 'Rockstar', the song that is used in the advert. The Nickelback video has a number of US celebrities and members of the public mouthing the words to their song and this advert has members of the public singing amongst some sofas.

If you wish to see the advert, I am sure you can find it on Youtube, but I will not be sending a link. If you have been lucky enough to avoid then congrats to you. Actually, I have changed my mind, it is worth following this link, not to see the videos but to see further outrage and user comments....

Anyway I have two problems with these adverts (I now see there are two of them!):

1) They are absolutely awful, painful adverts, full of particularly annoying looking people making idiots of themselves.

2) How on earth did Nickelback allow this to happen? They aren't that popular in the UK anyway and surely this must kill off their remaining fanbase.

I guess the answer to 2) must be that they take the view that all publicity is good publicity. Personally I would use this advert as a case in point to disprove this hypothesis.

Now Nickelback are not renowned for their artistic integrity and I say this as someone who used to like them (their single 'Breathe' from their 2002 release 'The State' is a great rock song). And in a world where US Hollywood stars appear in overseas adverts for instant cash rewards (Brad Pitt selling Rolex in Japan, anyone?) maybe this is the norm....but surely someone should have told them about this outrage...

I am guessing that most people share my views on this one but if anyone likes this, would admit it and argue that it has some worth I would be interested to hear why....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Debarge vs. Gloria Estafan

I am sure I am not the only person to think that the song 'Rhythm of the Night' which charted in the UK at number 4 in 1985 was by Gloria Estafan.

I have recently been told that this was a most foolhardy thing to believe as the US group Debarge were responsible for this hit.

Anyway this is them.

And here is a link to someone who also appears to get annoyed by this confusion.

Goodbye Dimitar...

Oh well, forgetting the current sniping between Daniel Levy and Sir Fergie, the press release on Friday night was a real shock, with the key piece of information being that Dimitar and Robbie both wish to ply their trade in a red shirt next season...

I think most Spurs fans were at a stage where Berbatov leaving was almost a given, but the fact that Keano, who captained the team for most of last season, also wants to go was a real heartbreaker. On top of that, Levy suggests that they are having a detrimental effect on the squad. In this case the situation must be sorted post haste. Either the deals are arranged for the maximum fees and they leave or they are told that there will be no sale and they better get back to training.

Seeing as the second case never really seems to occur, at least not in the Premiership( Ronaldo, Barry?), all we can hope for is a swift conclusion and some seriously talented replacements. I think it is unlikely that Tottenham will be able to play such a talented strike pairing for quite a while yet. We can also hope that Barca or Real come in with an offer high enough that Levy can tell Fergie where to go...

I still have a feeling that next season will not be a complete write off. There were a number of games without DB last season that showed we can play without him and if we really are to play a 4-5-1 with some an offensive midfield then all may not be lost. If Darren Bent can get 18 goals in a season with the Charlton team behind him he should be able to get 20 for us. I always thought that we only signed him last season as a replacement for Berbatov when he left anyway, as well as to annoy West Ham. Obviously he is not half the player in terms of talent but he can score goals and he really wanted to come to WHL so I hope he gets something of a chance this season along with Peckhart.

I am also a little disappointed about the four players linked with Sunderland. Chimbonda is on the way out but I have to say I liked him at Spurs. Though people talk about the Final when he stormed off, I think this showed how much he always wants to play. The match I always remember is the 2-1 Chelsea win in November 2006 when he appeared to sustain a serious injury but stayed on and played very well to help seal the win (and apparently help JT get sent off). I don't think anybody can say what Kaboul should be doing but I think he has burnt his bridges with Ramos. I definitely think we need to keep Steeeeeeeed and I would also like to keep Teemu too, but £23m is a lot of moolah, thank you Messrs Quinn and Keane.

Anyway we will see what this week holds and hope we can beat a few more lower division Spanish teams along the way.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


I paid a brief visit to Letchworth this week. I have to say I'd not been there before and I was quite impressed by the city/country split. Apparently it was the first Garden City set up after the turn of the 20th Century it also has the UK's first public roundabout (signposted) from 1909.

The idea of garden cities of taking the best bits of living in a city and the countryside was well ahead of its time 100 years ago and though many of these new towns and cities have been criticised as soulless and sprawling the concept behind them is surely still valid.

I have to say that the place reminded me a little of Hill Valley, the fictional town from Back to the Future (whose Courthouse Square set is now being re-used in the Ghost Whisperer). There are two main calls for Mayor Goldie Wilson in Letchworth and no Morrisons giant supermarkets in HV.

Letchworth also has a population of black squirrels, though I didn't have time to spot any

Anyway Letchworh seemed nice (if a little inoffensive) though I was informed that there wasn't much to do there of an evening....though this can be an advantage remembering evenings out in my old local town of Woking....

I was also impressed by an unusual building near the centre of the town which was the Spirella building. This was built in the style of a giant country house and fiished in 1920 as part of the US company Spirella Corset Company. They mainly made corsets and parachutes in WWII but this building also houses a ballroom as well as a large amount of office space.

The modern day garden city would appear to be the eco-town and it will be interesting to see what happens with these as local residents battle the government to protect their rural villages. The shortlist is now down to 15 with Gordon Brown originally calling for 100,000 new homes in 5 new towns but this target has now risen to 10 towns. The Independent has guide to the eco-towns here.