Tara Ward checks in with The Cafe and finds a hidden gem in Advertorial Holly, the woman who can talk turkey necks like no other.
Some people hate advertorials with a passion usually reserved for pineapple on pizza or Mike Hosking’s ripped jeans. Breaking news, you miserable bastards: advertorials are television gold. Which would you rather watch on morning TV — a cooking segment where some bloke stuffs one vegetable into another and calls it a meal, or five minutes of promotional skincare that begins with “let’s talk turkey necks!”?
The answer is obvious, so watching The Cafe had me more excited than the time I discovered I’d get a free car battery starter if I ordered three kilos of protein powder.
Advertorial queen Holly is the true jewel in The Café’s gaudy crown. Never before has anyone discussed cleaning windows with such passion, or raved about storage solutions with such giddy excitement. I’m not afraid to say it: Holly is the best thing to hit daytime television since Mary Lambie’s cat on Good Morning.
Just who is Advertorial Holly? After seconds of extensive research, I fail to find her anywhere on The Café website. She is an enigma wrapped in a courgette stuffed inside a vegetable roll and I must learn more about this magnificent creature.
By day, Holly sells vibration trainers and miracle shammys. By night, I imagine she sleeps on a soft bed of collapsible plastic containers, glued together with gravity defying neck cream. Her house is fully insulated and lint free, she tones her muscles in under 10 minutes a day while watching TV or reading a book, and she understands the importance of using her auditory muscles. Holly really does put the ‘wow’ into WindoWow.
She makes every advertorial come alive, like a benchtop convection oven transforms a limp piece of steak into a juicy feast. If Holly could climb into the product, she would. “It’s so warm and toasty!” she’d cry from deep within the tiny oven that cooks an entire market garden of vegetable kebabs in a mere 25 minutes. “I’m having a great time! Daryl! Tell me about today’s special offer!”
However crap the product, Holly polishes that turd until you see your double chins shining back at you. “Tell us about the Pizza Stone, Daryl!” she shouts, eyes wide, hands waving in wild anticipation about what is effectively a flat piece of rock. Her enthusiasm is contagious. “Yes, Daryl!” I beg. “For the love of all things made in China, tell us!”
But wait, there’s more. “I’ve got the Giant Sticky Roller with the New Sticky Fingers!” Holly squeals. Never have I felt such an urgent need to purchase a human-sized lint remover. I’m calling now, Holly, and I don’t give a shit how much postage and packaging costs.
Not even a lousy script discourages Holly. “If droopy necks have put you in a fowl mood, then don’t worry!” she cries, in a segment titled ‘Goodbye Turkey Neck’. If that pun wasn’t tragic enough, Holly hits me with a sticky fingered sucker punch: we’re aging “not only from the chin up, but from the chin down!” She’s so pleased about it that I can’t believe it’s a bad thing.
I’d like to use my crepey neck skin as earmuffs to block out any more of these alternative facts, but Holly has an answer for that. “If you can’t hear me right now,” Holly shouts, “then audiologist Melissa Markley might be just the person to help.” Bloody Holly, she thinks of everything.
Best of all is Holly’s chemistry with Jesse the Silent Barista. Jesse is a helpless bystander as Tornado Holly practices her Russian/Welsh accent or checks how toned her arms are, and after she sprints off to her next advertorial he is left staring blankly into the camera, wearing a facial expression that’s 50% WTF and 50% FML. I’ve never heard him speak, nor seen him make a coffee. Sort yourself out, Jesse, there are eight members in the studio audience and they’re all still waiting for their lattes.
Every show needs a Holly. If only The Café had a craft segment, so I could crochet my saggy turkey neck into a token of love for her. May her light never be extinguished by a thousand stuffed courgettes, may she always have a ‘bonus one-time only’ offer, and may the fingers on her lint roller forever stay sticky.
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