Persil’s Roboboy

July 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Oh my. Is it just me or is there something wholly disturbing about this ad?! It may have something to do with the fact that this little robot is actually meant to be a small boy and is being kept alone in a dark room, which doesn’t seem entirely loving. Or, maybe it’s the less than logical implication that keeping your child out of mud causes them to sprout a square head and become a robot.

The new ad from Persil, directed at clean freak parents, has its basic premise in the soul-searching struggle of one boy, who finds freedom from his mechanical shackles through the recreational pleasure of getting muddy.

Never mind its general oddness, the biggest annoyance I have with this ad with its lingering shots and triumphant music is that it can’t make up its bloody mind about what it‘s trying to be! At the start it could easily be a Pinocchio-esque two-minute eerie fairytale where Roboboy, through the help of his trusty side-kick, Persil, finds magic mud and smothers himself in it, thereby becoming a real boy. Maybe a little extravagant for Persil, but I’d be fine with this.

Yet, on the other hand, it’s also rather ridiculously, an offspring of your standard child protection charity ad, yes, that’s what I said, one of those ads that appeals for money to help abused kids (in this case, they’ve cruelly been kept too clean by their parents and denied a proper childhood). “Every child has the right to be a child?. Haha.

Persil, I’m confused and slightly annoyed. Are you enticing us into a magical world or are you telling us to donate to a cause?

By Susan Allen