TV’s Worst Adverts # 794: Haribo – ‘Interrogation’

There are many things in life that can emasculate a man. Shower-time at the gym can be one of them. Being called a prick by a group of twelve year olds on a date outside Pizza Express and trying to pretend that you hadn’t heard them, another. Failing to sexually satisfy your wife or girlfriend repeatedly, over and over again, until years of her dismissive sighs and mocking laughter render you almost impotent, that doesn’t help. Nor does being stripped naked but for a little pink tutu and make-up and being made to run down Oxford Street holding a placard that reads, ‘Billy Done a Poo-Poo’. You get the idea.

So one can only imagine that the Dad in this cringe-worthy advert has at one point been subjected to degradation and humiliation equal to, or worse than this. Look at him, he’s an absolute mess, trapped in a house where he can’t even eat a grotesque and plastic-tasting penny sweet without being chastised and bullied by his own family and almost made to cry. A man so on edge and defeated by life that the very sight of his own tiny offspring can fill him with dread.

What’s the set up in this house anyway? What kind of disgusting dictatorial regime is in place that a missing egg-shaped sweet warrants an aggressive investigation and interrogation like this?

Like many great works of understated cinematic art, this advert is as much about what isn’t shown as what is. What we don’t see is, later on that week, his mother-in-law water-boarding him in the bathroom for eating a fizzy cola bottle and the postman shoving sharpened bamboo canes underneath his fingernails when he gets caught putting a jelly ring in his lunchbox.

This man needs help, he needs liberation. We need to do whatever we can to free him and all his brothers – all men made to live this way on TV adverts. The cuckolded, the hen-pecked, the patronised and pitied. Free them. FREE THEM! Or at least let them eat a fucking sweet every now and then.

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