There are an awful lot of TV ads that have been ridiculed over the years but one that has probably been ridiculed more than most is the advert for Vidal Sassoon Wash & Go shampoo.
Wash & Go was launched during the Eighties and was aimed at those Yuppie types who lived such incredibly busy lives. After a busy day at work, they hit the gym before hitting the town, but of course they need to look their best. However, having to both wash and condition their hair just took too long. What were they to do?
To the rescue came Vidal Sassoon, a man who could only ever have become a hairdresser with a name like that, with a bottle of Wash & Go, a cunning little green bottle containing a mixture of both shampoo and conditioner! Our Yuppie friends lives were saved!
Now the product itself was probably a very good idea, and in a round about kind of way so was the television advert for it. There were countless ads which all followed the same basic pattern, with some young go-getter (possibly even a famous sportsperson) giving us the same basic script:
This wouldn’t have been so bad if the tone of voice used to utter the first two questions didn’t make it sound like taking two bottles into the shower was somehow equivalent to drowning puppies, and if the “not me” part wasn’t spoken as if this person was somehow infinitely superior to us poor viewers.
Another aspect of the advert was that those first two questions were also presented to us with the actor or actress opening two other people’s lockers before they finally got to their own. A great example of the advertising executives completely missing the fact that this made their spokesperson look either untrustworthy (were they looking for shiny things to pilfer?) or as if they had a very bad memory.
I think perhaps my favourite spoof of this advert would have been this one:
For those who don’t know or can’t remember, Duncan Goodhew was a champion British swimmer who just so happened to be bald.
Wash & Go is still available today, saving you that valuable five minutes that conditioning would take, and all credit to the manufacturers as they recently remade the original adverts for the 21st birthday of the shampoo (and conditioner) using footballer Jimmy Bullard. Astoundingly for an officially produced advert it is probably one of the biggest spoofs going!