Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adverts on the MTR

And the advertising in supermarkets can be just as unnerving.  If you're a fish.

One of the tunnels in Causeway Bay station has been redecorated with an advertisement for instant noodles. Not with a poster here or there, but with the whole of each wall covered in a floor to ceiling mock-up of a supermarket, endless shelves of freeze-dried, almost-ready-to-eat instant noodles lined up along them, occasionally punctuated by a cartoon person looking at the munificence with unalloyed joy.

In itself that's no so bad; slightly disorienting, yes, but at least it's bright and colourful, unlike Canon's adverts a month ago, which were all dancers leaping through a pitch black universe: not so wonderful in a subterrean setting.

But what I didn't realise, until I walked down this corridor today, half dead from sleep deprivation and filled with a potent combination of dread and Starbucks apple fritters, was that the advertising makes a noise.

Worse than that: it talks to you.

First, it makes a slurping noise, to remind you how delicious soup noodles sound, and then there's a high pitched gabbling in Cantonese that I assume means "Yes, delicious instant noodles! Lovely! Nag your mother to buy some today!"

Although given my lacklustre linguistic abilities, could just as easily be "Intruder! Sweaty gweilo on the loose! Beware!" Then again, that's unlikely to be effective advertising.

Whatever it means, the slurping and the giggling voice pursue me, from one end of the tunnel to the other. Once would be bad enough, but by the third or fourth repetition of slurrrrp giggle bludgeon the foreign devil before he steals your handbag I start to develop paranoic fantasies about the meaning of the announcement.

So if you were to walk through Causeway Bay MTR and see a man with a beard and no clothes, simultaneously screaming and slurping and attempting to climb a sheer wall of facsimiled noodle products: don't be worried, just walk on. I will have been claimed by the super noodle brainwashing device, and what you will see is just a hollow shell of the man I once was. Tread gently, for you tread upon my discarded underpants.

Of course, it's lucky it's only the noodle adverts that are talking to me and not the ones advertising bras, breast enhancement creams and slimming programmes. Then you'd think I was some sort of mentally imbalanced pervert.


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