Foxy Bingo is supporting Red Nose Day 2009. Well after sponsoring The Jeremy Kyle Show, in the words of Yazz and the Plastic Population, the only way is up (old skool reference: it was a No 1 hit way back in 1988). They will match every penny spent on their games with a donation to the Comic Relief Fund. Good for you Foxy Bingo! I applaud any company that gets involved in fundraising but I must say, I find this combination as bizarre as the infamous Foxy adverts themselves: Comic Relief and…Foxy Bingo.
‘Do something funny for money’; that’s the charity’s slogan this year so I’m inclined to view the Foxy Bingo collaboration as the most literal interpretation of that statement we’re ever likely to see – it’s almost too postmodern for words. You just know that somewhere, even Nietzsche is laughing his socks off. Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s. Comic Relief and the BBC. Comic Relief and Oxfam. Comic Relief and…Foxy Bingo. On the face of it, they make strange bedfellows. OK, it’s not Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley but it’s up there. Or at least, it is to me.
But, as I keep stressing, it’s all good. It’s for charity. Back in 2007, glamour model Jordan (as she was then) was the face of the Foxy Bingo campaign until her pay demands exceeded their budget. The irony is, after they changed the Man-Fox from a snooty, rather aristocratic type (a kind of fox-like Lawrence Lleweyln‐Bowen, if you will) to something that wouldn’t be out of place in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, they became even bigger without her. These days, only the more fanatical are likely to recall Katie Price’s involvement with Foxy Bingo. Not many companies can boast of humongous success after dropping a blonde with grossly-inflated silicone-enhanced boobs, but Foxy Bingo can. The laughs just keep coming with them, don’t they? Want a reminder of Foxy the Man-Fox as he was? Here ye go:
Looking back, it’s easy to see why the creative was changed. The message was garbled and unclear (why the hell would an Old Etonian-type care about bingo?) so the campaign went downmarket socially and struck gold; goodbye ABC1s, hello C2DEs, chavs, Jeremy Kyle-viewing chavs and Jeremy Kyle-guesting chavs – in that order. Out went the posh Man-Fox and in came the northern disco-dancing version, complete with the voice of Adam Catterall (a local radio station dj from the north west’s Rock Fm). I have to admit to a repulsive fascination with the Foxy Bingo Man-Fox – mainly because it’s such a naff concept. And yet, soooooooooo right. I think my hate-hate relationship started with the 2008 Pied Piper advertising campaign. You know the god-awful one that bastardised Sister Sledge’s We Are Family?
Clearly inspired by John Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Pied Piper campaign’s Man-Fox became a microcosm of how the film would’ve looked if it were transferred from New York City to Burnley town centre with Tony Manero renamed Lee Alcock or Dave Fisher instead. He’s got a hairy chest a la Travolta and a variation of the suit; but criminally, he’s missing the medallion as you can see from this – omigod it pains me to admit it – genuinely funny Comic Relief sketch with Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff (comprehensive coverage of Strictly here in MSN’s blog). First John Sergeant and now the Man-Fox. It wouldn’t surpise me if she danced with Rik Waller next…
And the Comic Relief efforts continue as you can see with the new advert…
So Lipps Inc classic Funky Town gets the "’By ‘eck, ‘ey up!" treatment this time (as long as they stay away from Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real or Shalamar’s Take That To The Bank, I can still function as a human being) but what’s up with the CGI? Get rid of it Foxy Bingo! You’ve killed the essence of the disco-dancing, he-thinks-he’s-Lancashire’s-answer-to-The Fonz, eeh-bah-gum Man-Fox. I’m almost beginning to miss the freak. And I *never* thought I’d say that.
Today I am mostly lovin’ – I have finally received my press invite to the launch and first episode screening of The Apprentice. I can’t wait! Yeah, there’s more than a whiff of Big Brother about Sir Alan Sugar’s monster hit these days, but it remains my favourite reality TV show.
Today I am mostly hatin’ – During a GMTV commercial break, an advert for diarrhoea was followed by that ghastly advert with the child that wants to do a poo at Paul’s house. What a load of cr*p.
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