Most news websites are now polluted with ads. I'm often annoyed, when concentrating upon an interesting article, to find a totally irrelevant publicity video flashing in a corner of my screen. In such situations, I usually resize the window so that the ad noise is no longer visible. Well, this morning, while reading the Australian press, my eyes were attracted by the image of the forehead of a curious grey beast, branded with an expression that meant nothing to me: earth+.
Behind the grey head, the whitish background seemed to be a sloping snow field. Was the animal a yak? Maybe a cloned mammoth? Then I saw the textual part of the ad:
Everything fell into place. It was a nice friendly grey-haired bull. What I had mistaken for trees on a sloping snow field was simply the animal's right horn. And I was watching Australia's national airline doing its best to maintain the regular statistics concerning drunken Aussies getting gored in Pamplona. But I remained intrigued by the image of the Qantas bull, which just didn't seem right. I wondered where on earth+ the ad agency had photographed this grey-haired animal. Maybe it was a retired senior Spanish bull purchased specially by the ad agency for its photos. It's more likely, though, that this bovine photo presents a young Australian breed of beef cattle (maybe a harmless steer or a cow) and that the ad shows only a small area around the animal's eyes for the simple reason that a larger view would reveal instantly that the beast in the photo has no connections whatsoever with bull running in Pamplona. In other words, they're trying to pull the bull over our eyes.
Here's an image of an authentic black Pamplona bull about to gore a fellow who might well be a Qantas earth+ tourist:
I'm wondering whether earth+ aims to attract Irwin-inspired Aussie animal-lovers who might be enticed by the idea of hopping across to Spain next July to watch a nice presentation of friendly grey-haired bulls skipping through the picturesque streets of this balmy town. I can imagine a future Qantas ad in which Bindi is feeding popcorn to the charming beasts of Pamplona, with a choir of angels in the background singing Still call Australia home. [To rediscover a celebrated specimen of Qantas publicity work, click here to see my article of 18 February 2007 entitled Watch out for life!]