A 45-minute pilot of The Mad Bad Ad Show is being filmed this month, with the promise of ‘getting behind all the perfect promos, publicity and puff that we have pushed in our faces every day and find out exactly how we, the public, are persuaded to buy, buy and buy’.
The show is being made by Objective Productions, whose credits include Peep Show, Reggie Perrin and John Bishop’s Britain.
Producers promise it will ‘go beyond the traditional question-and-answer games of the common-or -garden panel show’ by including documentary-style segments about the dark arts of advertising.
It is not the first show to be based around the advertising industry. Australia’s ABC has had a hit with The Gruen Transfer, hosted by comedian Wil Anderson and named after Victor Gruen who designed the very first shopping mall. BBC Three piloted a UK version of the show in 2009, but it was not picked up.
Channel 4 commissioner Madeleine Knight said: ‘We all connect with famous ads but we don't always know why. Why do drum-playing gorillas make you buy chocolate or meerkats sell insurance? In this new panel show, Micky Flanagan and Mark Watson join some of the ad industry's biggest names to examine the science of adverts and come up with some ads of their own for impossible-to-sell products.’
Executive producer Lee Hupfield added: ‘It's about advertising. So it's going to be absolutely amazing. I wouldn't lie to you, would I?’