Wednesday, October 12, 2005


There have been some curious tie-ups between advertisers and celebs in the past, but the new adverts featuring Kerry "just a small drug problem" Katona and Iceland is a stroke of genius.

Iceland is scampering downmarket in a desperate bid to try and shore up its market share - when we went into the Bletchley branch last week, it felt like a Lidl trying to recreate the days of rationing. Meanwhile, Kerry Katona is also desperately trying to cling to any business she can. At least it's easier to believe that Katona really does buy 12" pepperoni pizzas at a quid a time than it was trying to pretend that Sharon Osbourne ever wheeled a trolley round Asda, but the whole stinking air of desperation on both sides is made worse by the rubbish script.

Katona has been signed on for her total lack of dignity. In a bid to try and reinforce the idea that Iceland are now cramming more food into each packet, Kezza holds up a bag of chicken breasts and asks a hapless Iceland worker (and they obviously had a struggle casting someone who looked less glamorous than the 'celebrity' customer) something along the lines of "have these breasts been enlarged?" The shop worker mutters and shuffles off embarrassed, and then, presumably since they're afraid people might miss the joke, Kerry stares down, agape, at her chest.

You see? He thought she meant her tits! She meant the chicken!

It's believed that Ronnie Barker was watching this advert when he died.

The weakness of the gag is multiplied, though, by the ridiculous set-up. Why would someone challenge a shelf-stacker because they were afraid their portions had got bigger? And even if they did, why would they phrase the question in such a tortuous way - wouldn't you say "Are these bags bigger?" or something similar?

Even worse is the one where Kerry thinks that she's being offered home delivery because she's famous - someone at the agency had obviously realised that 97% of the country haven't got a clue who she is anyway, as they construct a plot which ensures she turns up at the shop dressed like a princess. A princess of a tiny, third-world country, admittedly.

Kerry Katona is perhaps so lumpen that she makes the old Bejam chest freezer seem like it was light on its feet. If Iceland's intended message was "We're really crappy, but at least we're cheap", it's spot on the money.

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