Toothless: Least favourite ad of the moment

Ah, January.

The time of year when in Britain where we all try and recover from gorging on mince pies, spend wildly in the sales and, of course, complain. According to “scientists” January includes Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year. Of course, this is entirely arbitrary and not taken seriously by anybody apart from newspapers and local radio DJs desperate for content.

The idea that there can be one day of the year which is the saddest is nonsense, because while for some this Monday, for it is apparently that day, will be a sad day for some you have to consider that for others it’s probably going to be a good one. I mean, given how quickly she’s going through them, Monday will probably be the day some lucky so-and-so gets to date Taylor Swift.

When's gonna be my turn? I don't even mind if she writes a song about me...

When’s gonna be my turn? I don’t even mind if she writes a song about me…

But as much bollocks as this “science” is, it does kind of make sense. By the Monday of the last week of January the Christmas afterglow has truly evaporated, the weather is rubbish and for single folk there’s the rumbling of approaching Valentine’s Day. Also, it’s before a lot of people get paid so money is tight. Plus, you know, it’s a Monday.

Anyway, attempting to alleviate the January blues/cash in on it is The Sun newspaper.


I have mixed feelings on the Sun, at times I loathe it with an intense passion and at others I’m indifferent. I can’t recall ever buying a copy, but if there’s a paper lying around I’ll usually pick it up for a quick read, even if it’s something I detest, like the D***y M**l. And while the Sun is usually filled with fluff, ignorance, xenophobia and hyperbole, there are a few sections I quite enjoy:

  • Page 3- Look, I’m a dude and I like boobs, okay?
  • Dear Deidre- The paper’s agony aunt is usually rich with schadenfreude and idiots, and also there’s the photo casebook where regardless of the problem it’s illustrated by having sexy models fretting about it. Seriously, they could do a story about someone suspecting their neighbour of being a Nazi war criminal in hiding and the suspicious neighbour would be a buxom blonde wondering what to do as she sits around in her smalls.
  • The comics- Unlike other papers which feature three panel gags, the Sun has a bizarre footballing related strip which seems to be a cross of Roy of the Rovers and Sunset Beach, it’s so weird it’s engrossing.
  • Horoscopes- Enjoyable bollocks regardless of the source
  • Puns- Say what you want, but few can rival the paper for punning or jokey headlines.
Some of the Sun's finest work.

Some of the Sun’s finest work.

Russell Brand, a funnier and sometimes cleverer man than me, explained his stance on the paper by comparing it to a friend “but do any of you have a friend who you f**king hate?!” at the Secret Policeman’s Ball (video here).

The “Big Smile Giveaway” is another of the paper’s plans to make them look friendly, nice and help us forget the whole phone tapping thing. Now, I don’t have a problem with the campaign, and them giving offers to folk is fair enough, but what drives me up the wall is the irritating advert they’ve crafted for it.

The advert features a little girl delivering a sing song where she lists all the bad things about the first month of the year and how this can be remedied thanks to a combination of boy bands and the benevolence of the nation’s favourite red top. Here it is:

Now, I have several problems with this advert, and without sounding too harsh, most of them are because of the bloody kid!

First of all, I can’t help feeling that even in the swamp of precocious little gits and smug moppets there must have been a better choice of actress. Don’t get me wrong, the kid’s cute and all that but her performance is awful. There are parts of the advert where her little song’s lyrics are indecipherable and I find myself looking at the TV thinking “You what?” or wanting to go all Samuel L Jackson on her- “English, motherf**ker, do you speak it?”

Another issue with the advert is why the hell does a little girl care about paydays, takeaways and whatever else she garbles out? You’re a bloody kid, also, the ingratitude at the start over her Christmas presents? How is that anything other than insufferably bratty?

But the worst, the absolute worst, is the missing teeth.

I’ve got nothing against people who don’t have all their teeth, I love my Nan, for one, and also, as a kid I spent what seems like years missing my two front teeth after headbutting a door. But what grinds my gears about this advert is that they’ve clearly decided to go with this girl despite her inability to speak clearly because the missing teeth makes her cuter.

Which, given the cutthroat world of acting and some of the mental “stage moms” out there makes me worried that they may have been knocked out deliberately to give her an edge.

There are few things more annoying than a kid who is aware that they’re cute or thinks they are, and that’s the vibe I get from this advert, that they’re trying to be cutesy and sweet to dupe the sentimental and soft-headed. Well, it ain’t working on this cat. It’s just a sickeningly twee advert which due to it’s heavy rotation and annoying central performer has made me come up with a second theory of how she came to be missing teeth. Maybe somebody on set was so infuriated by the first take they ran up and smacked her in the mouth.

Ironically, this advert is one of the things that has annoyed me most about January. Roll on February, when this abomination will leave our screens, I’d even prefer the bombardment of ballads and hearts that herald Valentine’s Day.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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