Guitar fans on Twitter are freaking out over this ad – which features the least convincing handling of a guitar we’ve ever seen

Cider clothing ad
(Image credit: Cider)

Everyone knows that the guitar is a pretty cool instrument. So cool, in fact, that electric guitars and acoustic guitars are frequently used as props for films, TV adverts and other promotional materials. 

Sometimes, in such circumstances those wielding the chosen six-string will be unfamiliar with it, having never had a proper guitar lesson – nor even played the thing – in their entire life.

Having said that, it’s not unreasonable to expect everyone would understand the basic mechanics of the guitar. For example, you don’t have to play the instrument to know that – depending on your handedness – one hand positions itself underneath the fretboard and the other hovers above the strings. Likewise, if you’re standing up to play, it’s wise to have a guitar strap to take the weight.

With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that a certain advert currently doing the rounds on Twitter has drawn considerable attention, owing to the fact the ad in question looks like it was made by people who have never even laid eyes on a guitar before.

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All of the above preconceived notions about how a guitar works have been thrown – nay, launched – out the window for Cider clothing’s Diamond Pattern Polo Mini Dress ad, which has so much wrong with it that it will make the majority of guitar fans wince.

The ad really doesn’t need any explanation – partly because, well, we’re not quite sure how it could be explained at all. Take a quick glance at the picture and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s wrong with it.

First of all, the B-Tone Stratocaster copy only has two strings, one of which – the low E – is being used as a de facto carry handle. That thing we said about using a guitar strap when playing standing up? Forget about it. Who needs a guitar strap when you've got the low E string?

With the model’s left hand supporting the instrument by holding the underside of the headstock – which itself is a ridiculously unnatural place to put the fretting hand – the entire weight of the guitar is firmly placed on that one string alone. Like we said, truly wince-worthy stuff.

Naturally, the ad – shared on Twitter by Stef Schwartz – has attracted a lot of attention. Schwartz’s initial post has got more than 85 thousand likes, and has been retweeted almost four thousand times.

While one user wrote, “I hate all of this on so many levels,” another said, “Why is she tugging on that string that much. It’s making me feel pain.”

Safe to say the pile-on was relentless. One user who took particular offense to Cider’s ad wrote, “This is the worst thing ever… why are they holding the guitar like that, why are they grabbing the string, wtf is that chord supposed to even be. Oh my lord it hurts, help me.”

Others decided to make light of the ad, with one helpfully offering, “How do you know she’s not in a Sonic Youth-inspired noise band and is bending the strings behind the nut for effect while snapping the low E percussively against the fretboard?”

The fact that no-one in Cider’s marketing team took one look at the photo and flagged up the obvious errors leads us to believe this is all just a stunt – a social experiment conducted to get people talking and to indirectly draw eyes to the dress.

Further evidence supporting such a theory can be found elsewhere in the ad, which features a picture of the model holding a turntable on their head. It really is rather baffling.

So, is this really just a stroke of marketing genius, or a clear indication that there are some people out there who genuinely don’t understand the guitar? Either way, it’s got people talking, so the ad has done its job triumphantly.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.