Discover the ultimate cliché experience!

The copywriter entrusted with this ad from Bombay Sapphire clearly wasn’t feeling “infused with imagination” on the day she dredged up from her psyche this sorry piece of work.

We refer, of course, to that tired old formula “Discover the ultimate G&T experience”.

In the name of the public interest, we therefore charge said copywriter with gross negligence in the performance of her writerly duties.

Count 1 of the indictment
Causing offence to the defendant’s more literal-minded readers, who, while partial to a G&T, baulk at the thought of a drink that causes one’s declaration “the sun’s over the yard arm” to be one’s last.

Count 2 of the indictment
Possession of an offensive cliché in which the only non-aggravating words are “the” and “G&T”.

Evidence for both counts of the indictment

A Google search for “discover the ultimate * experience” (in which * is a wildcard) returned about 1,870,000 results in 0.11 seconds.

(That’s 1,870,000 lethal experiences to discover. My, what a dangerous world we live in!)

Here’s just a handful of our favourites:

Discover the ultimate Smart TV experience. (A TV so smart, it can hatch an elaborate plot to murder you?)

Discover the ultimate spa experience for you and your partner, friend or family member. (Just make sure they’ve put you in the will first.)

Discover the ‘Ultimate Driving Experience’ on the Manx Electric Railway. (Will it be death by collision or electrocution? The not knowing is the exciting bit.)

DISCOVER THE ULTIMATE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPERIENCE: Walk in the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Elvis Presley’s home – Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. (Last stop, the lavatory).

Discover the ultimate gentleman’s pampering experience, featuring expert barbering, grooming, and therapeutic treatments. (And while you’re enjoying your shave, why not encourage your lady wife to sample one of our unique “pork” pies in our café next-door?)

Discover the ultimate shooting experience. (Kinda the point…)

Sit back, relax and discover the ultimate dental experience (*shudder*)

Discover the ultimate cellar door experience (*double shudder*)

Discover the ultimate role-playing experience (alternatively, use a codeword, folks.)

Discover the ultimate sleep experience (your relatives will be comforted to know you went peacefully.)

Discover the ultimate luxury villa experience. (This one’s available in locations around the world. Like the equally common “discover the ultimate hotel experience”, it sounds a bit Agatha Christie to us.)

Discover the ultimate shopping experience (in Edinburgh, in case you wanted to stay away.)

Discover the Ultimate Thai lanna Spa Experience. Treatments created by combining the best of ancient Thai traditional medicine and herbal secrets. (For those whose preferred mode of demise is poisoning.)

Discover the ultimate red sea experience (as enjoyed by Israelite-pursuing Egyptians.)

Discover the ultimate Miu Miu Shoes experience (now, that’s what we call killer heels.)

Discover The Ultimate Gambling Experience (i.e., “Pay up or our heavies will look for you, they will find you and they will kill you”).

Discover the ultimate dining experience. If you would like a dish that is not listed on the menu, it can be prepared upon request. (Bring your own cyanide.)

Discover the ultimate new experience in home parties. An Airbrush Tanning Party! It’s the ultimate social gathering. Invite over your friends, enjoy some drinks, music and good food, and get a tan at the same time! (The pale and interesting corpse look is so A/W 2011.)

And here are some that just made us go “huh”?

Discover the ultimate curl experience

Discover the ultimate in living experience

Discover the ultimate seating experience!

Discover the ultimate wellness experience!

Discover the ultimate listening experience

Discover the ultimate bridal experience

Discover the ultimate string experience! Spectacular effects! Maximum power and spin.

Etc, etc. You get the point.

8 comments so far . . . come and pitch in!

  1. Nigel Bamford says:

    It would be comforting to know that as I “shufflel’d off this mortall coile” my last G&T had been infused with ‘vapour’ (product label) and imagination (blurb).

  2. Andy Sylvester says:

    With so many Ultimate Experiences currently available, I question whether to bother with old age.
    If nothing is likely to improve further, pack them in now and check out earlier to save the care home fees.

  3. Clichéd it may be, but I think you are being a little harsh on the copywriter as ‘ultimate’ can mean fundamental as well as terminal. (How did you know it was a woman?)

  4. rufaroz says:

    My favorite was the newspaper ad I once saw for a “penultimate wedding planner.” How does one know when to call them?

  5. Paul Eveleigh says:

    Another wallpaper ad. In five minutes any copywriter worth their salt would riff off better headlines. ‘The sun’s always over the yard arm’. ‘Mother’s favourite’. ‘Life’s too short’. ‘Shaken never stirred’. ‘Good karma’. Anything to cut through the clutter of ‘Discover blah blah blah’.

  6. Phil says:

    I like the idea of discovering the ultimate sleep experience. It conjures all sorts of questions.

  7. Liat Gat says:

    I don’t understand. Should we not use “ultimate” to mean “best super-awesome?” Is that not what it means? Thanks!

  8. Cathy Cleary says:

    I am a fan of chef Gordon Ramsay and occasionally watch his “Kitchen Nightmares” reality show. However, I did a double-take recently – thanks to this post of yours – when I saw an advertisement for his book “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”. I laughed out loud!

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