Being an unemployed drain on the state as I am at the moment; I have found myself watching more and more daytime TV. It’s not a fact I’m proud of, but they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Anyway, the sudden re-exposure to midday television has made me aware that there are rather a lot of online bingo adverts on during this time.
Bingo in general is a game that confuses and infuriates me. Firstly the name conjures up unpleasant illusions of ‘bingo wings’ (the fatty rolls you get under your upper arms due to age or, more likely, being too fat) or annoying songs about illiterate dog owners. As for the game itself that just makes me think of a group of cackling, demented elderly women, sitting in a tacky dilapidated hall, staring blankly at their game cards whilst a fat bald man in a sparkly suit jacket reads off numbers in an annoying rhyming slang.
As you can tell I’m not a big fan of the game. But now the old images of shabby old halls and overweight callers have been replaced by the magic of the internet, so that the venue is now your own home - which unless you have the explicit desire to make it look like a bingo hall will be a rather more average setting. This seems like a disastrous idea as bingo players always seem like shut-ins who’s only social event is bingo and now they don’t even have that. Also this has unfortunately that’s led to a rise of adverts for the subject.
Having looked at a few of these daytime fodder ads I’ve established two things. Firstly their target audience are women and secondly they are painfully annoying.
Yes indeed, from the advert where a frenzied ‘gal pal’ with a seemingly melting face forces her way into the house of a friend and using agonizingly obvious persuasion gets her friend hooked on Paddypower bingo. After all that’s what friends are for? I think my problem with is that it’s not just unrealistic but it seems like bad manners. You don’t just burst into someone’s home, get out a laptop and start autistically talking about some lame gambling fad – this is England after all.
Another offender of this type is Foxy Bingo. This is just as cringe inducing, but in a musical way. To set the scene we see a man-sized fox, in a suit, start a musical duet with Mandy a checkout assistant we are supposed to know for some reason? Is she a minor celeb or a character for the ad; well search me because it’s never explained. This advert is horrible as I am allergic to musicals for a start and the man-fox starts off by claiming he’s “got balls”, which makes you wonder if something truly degrading is about to happen. Also why is no one freaked out by the man-fox anyway? After all you’d be more than surprised if a giant human-like squirrel knocked on your door asking to donate money to charity.
So, as you can see the housebound during the middle hours of the day (read unemployed or housewife/husband) are being force fed this cheesy, cliché ridden rubbish, but you do wonder where are this demographic getting the money from. If they’re like me shouldn’t they be incredibly tight on money? If people are this ham-fisted with money then you don’t have to look far to find why our country is in £100 billion of debt. I know gambling is an opiate of the people; but for god’s sake don’t give them home access to it like this! But then people don’t often think this far ahead and it probably won’t be long before we are living in a society where we have an economy based on the bingo formula, bingo callers are our leaders, and people start speaking in bingo colloquialisms like a kind of newspeak.