The world of advertising is an odd one. However it seems that when you can advertise yourself though your own media then even the normal rules don't apply and it all starts getting surreal. I started thinking about this the other day when I saw this self-promotion on the back of a bus:
Yes, I know it's a quote from Little Britain, but I don't understand the relevance to the Park & Ride scheme. Am I being obtuse or does it just make no sense? Did the advertising "creatives" get stoned and watch a Little Britain DVD? I suppose we're just lucky that we didn't end up with:
The only gay in the village"
It gets weirder when you get on the bus though - that's when you come across the posters inside. Originally they used stock photography of middle aged men and women photoshopped into a bus driver's uniform. The same bus driver's uniform. Which was boring and not particularly well done, but not really that odd. However a few years ago they changed tack and began to use anthropomorphised representations of buses and other things.
It's all rather sinister. Huge faces on vehicles. Imagine crossing the road with that lot bearing down on you. And how do the drivers see out with the eyes in the way?
The anatomy of these bizarre creatures is very inconsistent. In the one above, buses have just one arm - the right, which has three fingers and thumb on it. Trains and coaches have no arms.
However, in the one below the bus has no arms at all! What's more the humans in this picture are rather odd - the woman has four fingers and a thumb on her right hand, whereas the man has just three fingers and a thumb on his left. The woman also has very oddly placed eyelashes which make her look insane:
But it all changes very quickly. Suddenly the bus has two arms! And yet it has different numbers of fingers on each hand. And seems to have lost its nose:
Next we have a six-foot cigarette, which oddly enough doesn't look particularly evil, more sympathetic. It's obviously a relative of the bus in the last picture, as it too has different numbers of fingers on each hand:
Whose is the huge hand blocking the doorway? Is this some kind of extra internal arm that the bus has? Does the driver simply have a huge hand albeit with only three fingers and a thumb on it?
Finally, we have probably the oddest of the bunch. What on earth has happened to make this bloke so red with fury? Why does the bus look so embarrassed? There's obviously a lot more going on here than delays and cancellations:
The only thing I can think of is that the man (who is obviously a bit of an officious prick - there's something of the jobsworth Nazi caretaker about him, what with the little moustache) strolled round the corner near the bus garage and caught the bus masturbating over vehicular porn (HGVs Only). Whatever it is, the bus is probably about to lose its job. In a minute it's going to stop being embarrassed, panic, lose control and bludgeon Mr Jobsworth over the head with its single right arm. And then have to go into hiding.
However, the final proof that the ad men behind the buses aren't playing with a full deck came on the back page of the Winter 2005/Spring 2006 timetable:
Doesn't look that unusual at first glance does it? But have a closer look at the quotes - the one from Darryl Marks in particular:
(Still they can't be all bad - they managed to get a quote off someone called Nimrod Ping! Great name)