A while back I posted a compilation of pompous Irish ads. Of course, this was in some way giving them even more exposure than they already received (though I don’t kid myself about how extensive this was)
However, while my children watched various Minecraft related videos on YouTube, suddenly up popped an ad that took the pomp biscuit, and which I also found weirdly offensive (for reasons which I will try and unpick below)
NB my finding something “offensive” does not mean I think it should be banned or whatever, just that something about it “offends” as in repels.
Anywhere here it is, for the no doubt genuinely worthy Quercus Scholarships of University College Cork, which claim to promote “excellence” unlike all the scholarships that promote mediocrity presumably:
Why does this get under my skin? Mainly, I think, the sleek, glossy, pompous-Irish-ad treatment given to a compellingly tragic story. The feeling that this tale of human loss and comradeship is being used to Look Good and Worthy, with a voiceover sounding an awful lot like that for AIB”s repellent “We’re Backing Brave” campaign and with the same sense of emotional manipulation.
There’s also the grandiosity typical of the modern university’s self promotion, and I felt particularly queasy about how the horror of World War I was being linked with the total amazingness of UCC (“a place where extraordinarily talented people gather to grow, learn and thrive”). University education has been commodified to a great extent, but using the trenches for self promotion strikes me as repellent.
Anyhow, I think UCC has achieved first place in the Irish-pompous-ad stakes – which in this age of university league tables is perhaps something they can boast about.