Absolutely nuts about family values

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The Independent Culture
Among all the excesses of late-1990s British advertising - attitude, production effects, self-parodying celebrities - one advertiser stands clear for its commitment to traditional messages rendered in traditional forms. The Ferrero Rocher ads have enjoyed a huge afterlife among British connoisseurs of popular camp. But there's absolutely no reason to think their makers intended anything remotely clever. I suspect they were initially mystified at becoming a comic cult - and possibly not a little insulted.

But this hasn't stopped them from promoting another Ferrero brand, Nutella, in an equally innocent, straightforward and old- fashioned way. It starts with a brother and sister in silhouette against yellow, looking like an Edwardian illustrator's design for kiddies' bedroom wallpaper. When the children emerge they look positively Just William: satchelled boy, pigtailed girl (where was it filmed - and when?)

"When your pack of hungry little wolves come home from school, give them delicious Nutella on chunky bread and watch them turn into little lambs."

Moving swiftly on, we have a pack shot, followed by a mum with Stefanie Powers hair, dressed in a first-generation ribbed polo, who manages a dainty little-finger sampling along the way to the presentation on "chunky bread".

Then we have an exposition of the Key Copy Point: "made with great-tasting ingredients." A shower of HAZELNUTS plummets neatly into the jar: MILK swooshes round a glass. The children kiss their mother, leaving the chocolate-brown sacrament on her cheek and provoking a reprise of her earlier animated smile. It ends with a final compelling sign-off line: "Helps satisfy a healthy appetite." In the world of Mortal Kombat, Nutella - surely a cousin of Primula - must shine like a beacon for the children of the Victoria Gillick set.