I’m sick of stupid TV shows – the ad breaks are so much more meaningful

Davidoff Cool Water’s hunky swimmer For some reason, a topless hunk goes swimming in his slacks after talking about the power of the ocean for a while. Core message: The Irish are great craic (what’s the Irish for Lebensraum?)

Berocca Boost – the Big Day This ad for the multivitamin product Berocca Boost hypothesises that you are a smug young Australian who has a busy day ahead. Core message: time is fleeting and we all must die; eat bread. He then gifts the island to his people, the Gaels, and imposes Irish culture on all its citizens. Ultimately, he’s selling a form of smell-good juice called Davidoff Cool Water that, if I’ve understood the ad correctly, works in the sea. It’s an important moment in his life. Okay, I’m lying. “This child has notions,” the locals think darkly, but as this is an aspirational advertisement and not a novel written by a depressed Irish émigré in the 1960s, the child is left with his illusions intact. Core message: Our smell-good juice works in the sea

Yum! We’d just eat the kittens, thankful for the protein. Yes, life is often difficult because you have a punchable face and must spend a lot of time in an office around other humans pretending to care about their feelings. The main industries now seem to be tourism and beach hurling. Core message: Is homeschooling wise? No one has seen him in years. No such entrepreneurialism for the medical professionals in this ad, who, when their packet of digestives turns out to be filled with disgusting kittens, seem just fine with it. Be like fighty man. A confused orang-utan attempts to make sense of human civilisation (this was created before the Trump presidency, so I don’t think it’s a direct commentary). So the notion propagated by this ad, that babies need to be protected from eating something that looks as delicious as a 3-in-1 Ariel detergent pod, is just more PC nonsense from so-called “experts” who know little of baby lore. Come look at mountains. Conor McGregor shills Budweiser Conor McGregor walks from Dublin to New York, for he is Conor McGregor of whom the legends speak. “Donal” is spoken of in hushed and awed terms but we do not meet Donal. McVities Digestives – now containing kittens! The camera cuts away before she forcibly extracts the information from a carnie. But be assured she commits this violence with sadness, for she understands death. He will have them well into his 20s. I can tell you now that if this happened in The Irish Times, management would have those kittens destroyed for health and safety reasons. Yes, the moment will come when you will strip to the waist, paint your skin with blood and walk among their cowering bodies illuminated by fire and possibly energised by Berocca Boost. In a voiceover, he implores us not to give up on our dreams, even stupid ones like “chocolate covered ham” or “I should quit my job and bring chocolate-covered-ham to market”*. Core message: The time of man will soon be over. SSE Airtricity – Orang-utans! McGregor is, it is implied, heavily fuelled by the tasteless yellow gripe-water Americans call “Budweiser” and walks as though he has a few cans secreted in his coat. “Great stories stay with you forever,” says the voiceover artist who hasn’t quite grasped what’s going on here. Score! Indeed, inspired by the plucky but gluttonous tykes in this ad, and in defiance of “project fear”, I’m eating a mouthful of succulent Ariel pods right now. Owls are wise. Donal’s Lottery Island A man named Donal takes possession of a Mediterranean island thanks to a Lottery win. She is, of course, trying to figure out the secret of fire magic in order to steal it and take it back to the jungle court of the Animal King, Geoff (he’s a lion). But for now: spreadsheets. The child is enthralled by this insight into what it’s like to live outside of Dalkey and yet the child’s mother inexplicably drags the father away. *For information on getting the chocolate-covered-ham franchise for your region contact pfreyne@irishtimes.ie. There’s no sign of an insurgency, but then we don’t have access to all of the island and there are dreadful rumours about what’s happening on the eastern coast. “What makes the ocean, makes the man,” he says inaccurately, because man is made of guts and bones and the ocean is made of fish tears. They will weep as they recognise your glory. But Budweiser has dreams of its own, which is why you have a black eye now and Budweiser has been renamed Conor McGregor’s Magical Dream Juice. Johnston Mooney and O’Brien – weren’t the olden days gas A man who is filled with feelings croons like an infant Luke Kelly while grainy footage flits by our joyless postmodern eyeholes: Michael Collins, horse and traps, the GAA, JFK, bumper cars. Ireland’s Ancient East A father tells his child bedtime stories about violent conflicts and imprisoned political figures and weird old druids. Core message: People are but ants. Bide your time. Core message: People always disappoint you. It slowly dawns on everyone that he’s here to stay thanks to AIB and its desire to give telegenic families mortgages. The child peers at the book his father was reading. He realises that the pages are blank and that his father is quite mad. She wanders around a fairground jumping from ride to ride, gazing soulfully at the works of the greater ape. AIB ad featuring a nosy boy A precocious child, coded as middle class by his confidence, helmet-shaped hair and banal preoccupation with pupil-teacher ratios, wanders around a suburb bothering people: shopkeepers, lollypop folk, local urchins. And if you want to know if something is safe to eat, see if a baby wants to eat it. Core message: Fighty man likes firewater. Isn’t he fantastic all the same? Soon [redacted] were being sent bags filled with all sorts of things by the Freyne household, who know a good thing when they see one, and were soon coming down with £10 vouchers (“Hyuck, Hyuck!” we said with glee). An ad for delicious Ariel detergent pods Here are some things I know: Cats always land on their feet. Core message: [Vomiting sounds and wailing about “no good babies” and “betrayal”.] Between you and me and the Berocca advertising department, soon you will be powerful enough to crush these losers – your boss, your in-laws, that work-shy degenerate Smithy – but in the meantime you must fake empathy. If you like these things, presumably you will also like bread, the advertisement suggests. My sister once found a worm in a bag of [redacted] , complained to the manufacturers and was sent a gift voucher for £10. Yeah, they’re clever little yokes, babies. How this is done is left vague. Some people, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, for example, dislikes the idea of a possible role-model shilling the inspirational qualities of a mind-altering drug. There is no sign of industrialisation or, indeed, an indigenous culture, although washing is seen strung up across what look like the ruins of a formerly great civilisation. Core message: Our biscuits contain kittens. It’s much more successful than the rival bread ad, which unwisely focuses on mass emigration, corporal punishment and rickets.