My bullshit radar is normally on a hair trigger during the week, but is pretty much off-duty at weekends, especially on long ones like this.
However, I was relaxing, leafing through a somewhat nerdy vintage Volkswagen magazine that I read, when something awoke the radar.
At the back of the mag, in the sort of semi-classifieds bit that normally has small ads for car repair shops and parts dealers, there were three small ads, all for Hot Wheels (the toy cars). I been reading this magazine for a good few years and I've never seen any ads for Hot Wheels before, this is what piqued the interest of the bullshit radar initially.
Then I noticed that there was something a little odd about them, they were all full-bleed pics, all with a little logo in the top right corner. They didn't look like ads designed for this space.
Bullshit radar ramps up a little.
On further inspection they all have roads replaced with a bit of flooring - carpet, lino and wood. And no words. They're like those simple, slightly pointless ads you see in some student books and top international creative awards annuals.
And the bullshit radar kicked into overdrive.
Is this a new foray into oblique, strangely targeted ads for Hot Wheels, I wondered? Or are these ads nestling here merely for the purposes of thus being qualified to be entered into some creative awards scheme at some point in the future, perhaps recreated not at their actual size seen here but rather as double-page-spread sized ads?*
Who could possibly know dear reader?
Certainly not me.
If anyone can put me straight either way, I'd be much obliged.
And if needs be I can recalibrate the old bullshit detector.
*For those who are not intimate with the weird and wonderful ways of the advertising industry, and is wondering what the fuck I am talking about here, there is a practice whereby an agency or individuals run an ad for a client (not always their own) in some obscure one-off way just to make it qualify for creative awards schemes. It's just one of the great ways that creative awards have been rendered pointless and self-serving.