Heartbreakers: Gene Hackman is a wacky smoker. Sigourney Weaver has great tits. So does Jennifer Love Hewitt. You must be 18.
Dr. Dolittle 2: Bears are funny. So are raccoons, but bears must be really funny because they're on both ends of the ad. And that wacky Eddie Murphy is in this one too! For the whole family.
Don't Circle London: If you weren't driving round the corner, you wouldn't be going round the bend. Apparently this means you will achieve inner peace and a new awareness of the oneness of all planetary life by walking down to the greengrocer's to buy your cigarettes instead of driving there. (Why can't you buy cigarettes at the greengrocer's?, Georges Perec once asked, but he didn't live in London.)
Abbey National: If you're a wacky teenager, complete with a lip piercing that approximates a herpes blemish, then you are allowed to choose from over 30,000 cash machines nationwide. Pity you probably don't have anything in there though. Go ask your parents for a handout and maybe you can piss yourself laughing over that cheap cafe table with a similarly bland, white twentysomething man. By the way, we have a boring typeface too. Enjoy.
I (heart) IBIZA: Come to a Spanish paradise too poor for a proper marketing campaign. Who knows, maybe Ed Koch will show up and start flogging us all over the world if we recycle an ancient US advertising campaign.
Arriva: We have a logo that is a vague approximation of the double spinning ring thingy as seen in the popular movie Contact. The name of our company is also written in a stylish typeface that only Dan K. would recognize. However, whatever it is we do or sell is for you to find out. We won't even give you a URL or phone number. We must be terribly important, though, or else we couldn't afford this space.
taxi media: Obviously, if you buy space here, you will be successful. Hey, we caught your attention with the e e cummings style wording and the garish pink background, didn't we?
FUBU: Attention all wiggers! Although you'll never be an authentically American, authentically black teenager from the 'hood, you can buy a shirt for £40 that will give your parents the impression that you belong to a group other than the 14-to-18 marketing demographic. For us, by us. Oh, and also for anyone with £40.
London Transport: 'Your borough, your bus.' Given that you don't have a choice when it comes to buses that stop in front of your house, perhaps this poster will convince you that there really is something special about you, your borough, and your insignificant little life. By the way, please don't drive in the bus lane. That's £80.
GBG: I don't know what this is, but I don't think it means the same thing it meant back in high school.
(At this point, I suspect someone has had an injury in the zebra crossing because the buses have stopped driving past the windows of the Trafalgar Square easyEverything. Oh, wait, there they go again.)
Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes: The deeper you look, the more you will find. Unfortunately, this poster has been affixed in such a way that the Open Doors button looks exactly like a giant zit on J.Lo's cheek. She is sexy. She sees something you don't. And she needs you to squeeze the pus out. Gently. There you go. Thank you.
egg: You may want to know that you should be going to our website, or else YOU COULD BE IN A BIG TROUBLE, MISTER. Uhhhh. Okay. I am now so incredibly agitated that I find I must go to their Web site. Fuck. It wasn't on the ad. OK, how about egg.co.uk... not loading... Wasn't that a short-lived men's magazine that vaguely looked like Might? Hang on... still loading... no go, let's try Google!... aha, it's egg.com... This is a bank? I'm supposed to mouse over their faces? Tell you what, I'm going to mouse ALL OVER YOUR FUCKING FACE and then leave. Trouble, my ass. And look at those interest rates... LOSERS.
Nescafe: There is a bottle of something on top of a doodle that looks like three dots on a thumb. I am not sure what this means. Perhaps this is the world's most poorly drawn polar bear? I suppose it means that the drink is cold and that you should have some. I bet it's coffee; there is definitely too much coffee in this town this summer.
South Africa: Visit south-african-tourism.com. Ah, simplicity. A national flag, a superimposed URL. Mandinka! Biko! Mandela! Smuts! (OK, not Smuts.) We love you!
(In the background, I suddenly notice that the store CD is in fact the St Germain one that we affectionately refer to as the New Zealand Cafe Music CD. Yay!)
Ellesse: Here is a jacket. There is a model in the jacket, but we have cropped the picture so that you may see his lips, but nothing else. He is too small for the jacket, and is probably jail bait, so you really shouldn't be looking at him. So: look at the jacket. OK, it looks like every other jacket you've seen before, but maybe it smells like Jade East. Whatever. Let's put the word 'Sport' on and hope it helps. Does it?
Marks and Spencer: Only words on this one: Exclusively for Everyone. How clever. Clever, clever, clever. But is it on sale?
Cats and Dogs: The fur will fly. Ha ha ha! Oh, how terribly clever! And there are cute animals! Oh, I will want to be In Cinemas August 3. Yawn.
RSA: Did you know that hindsight is 20/20? Well... it is. Oh, and A Poor Security Plan. That isn't a nonsequitur, but rather an invitation to reflect and think about whether or not you've ever realized after the fact that you practised Poor Security. OK, there was that time he promised he'd pull out and you wound up getting an abortion, sure... But wait, this is computer security and 99.9% of the people reading this ad will have no idea what RSA is (a subdivision of Durex?). OK. Next ad please.
Nautica: The Open Doors zit has moved to the boy toy with the perfect teeth, the hard nipples, and Fabio hair. It now looks like a bindi dot. This is far more amusing than the J.Lo bus.
Tommy Hilfiger: If you buy it, you will be white, happy, and partying with large breasted women. The sun will also be shining, and there will be canapes on a table with an ironed table cloth.
Madonna: Do you like my acid rock? Hate to break it to you, but that ain't acid rock. I've heard the Jefferson Airplane, and you, ma'am, are not acid rock.
Aberdeen Building Society: Sure, we're just another UK S&L, but perhaps these daring colors, ripped straight from Marks and Spencer fashions of 1996, will convince you otherwise? No? How about our URL? No? Well... Never mind.
taxi media: Perhaps we're not such a good idea after all as all of our ad spaces seem to be occupied by our own ads. Did someone say advertising slowdown?
SCOOT.com: Did you know it's the fastest way to find goods and services? Really, it is! I'm sure you might be tempted to get off at the next stop and go into a store and actually purchase goods and services, but I am sure that there is some advantage that you old economy dodoes don't understand, and that you will have to visit our Web site to find it out. (Hint: There's a £3 delivery charge on that can of cat food, guv'nor.)
Novell: They are currently accelerating eBusiness transformation. This being 2001, however, perhaps they are obliquely advertising removals and auctions of used property for now defunct companies? Or do Novell know something I don't?
Sprite: If you buy and drink our product, you will be cool, because you are the kind of person who is too bright to fall for this advertisement. Go on, buy it. You know you're smart. And thirsty.
Jansport: Our backpacks have small pockets that can carry a CD between your shoulders. Isn't that neat?
(And at this point, I need to leave for a bit to find the toilet.)