Channel 4’s Mad Women this week harked back to the days when “the ads were more popular than the programmes.” Not sure if this was ever actually the case but the ads were certainly better, even if Mad Women never really got to the bottom of it.
Also on C4’s More4 the previous week was Astrid: Murder in Paris, a Walter Presents number that knocks gritted teeth UK cop dramas like Line of Duty into a cocked hat. It’s intelligent, often funny, gritty when it needs to be. Astrid, who investigates crimes, is autistic. She’s incredibly winning.
But there were so many ads crammed in it they seem to have extended the running time. It seemed as though the programme interrupted the endless ads.
And what shockers they were. Being forced to watch these non-stop would be the equivalent of waterboarding. Is this performance marketing in all its dubious glory? And what crazed programmatic buying algorithm decided that Astrid viewers had a limitless appetite for cleaning ads? These may have been from P&G and the like but they were crap too.
A relief then to happen across The Or’s ad for shaving product Harrys, nicely cast, decent actors and well filmed. Not a rap to be heard or a sweaty footballer embodying “purpose” to be seen.
Astrid’s on again tonight. Will it be a pleasure or another ordeal?*
Update: There were nearly 50 ads in 75 minutes (admittedly some were short.)