One for the British among you. Imagine you’re watching Channel 4. King of the Hill is half-way through and you’re about to flip through the channels while the ads run their course. But the first ad catches your attention. It’s for a sports shop. JJB Sports or whatever those well-known chains are called. The screen is full of scrubbed and smiling people in scarlet jackets riding horses through the woods. They’re smiling as they trot. You can hear dogs barking in the background and, yes, look, cut to a shot of hounds scampering in pursuit of something small and fluffy. Cut back to the riders, whose clothing is particularly fine and bright and new, because it has presumably just been purchased from the well-known sports chain. A blond and rugged looking man grins down at a young boy, early teens, riding alongside the father. The boy smiles back, proud of his brand new hunting garb. Cut again. A change of scene. It’s the same smiling father and son team, but now clothed in Barbour jackets and spotless trousers. They’re both carrying shotguns, the boy’s weapon slightly smaller but still definitely hard and cold. The father is carrying a small, dead bird. Cut to a close up of the father kneeling, waterproof waxed arms stretching round his son, helping the boy steady his child-size shotgun, raising it into the air as they both smile.
No, I can’t quite see prime-time ads for hunting gear on British TV, but I saw one over here this evening. Very strange.