BROADCASTING: PETER YORK ON ADS No 290: BUDWEISER
The Budweiser frogs are coming along nicely. It's a simple trick, a throwaway line but well done. And, like the Claymation figures in the "Creature comforts" adverts, the commercials depend utterly on the dialogue.
The bendy pets of "Creature comforts" spoke the language of group discussions and amiable stream-of-consciousness non sequitur - but as real as the creatures were not. The Budweiser frogs speak an utterly real and recognisable language too, but this time it's American comedy-speak - equally throwaway conversation between torpid green jumpers, but in Jackie Mason voices with a script somewhere between Frasier and South Park.
It's irrational, confident Psycho-babble For Men. One version has one of the frogs saying, "it could'a been me" (as the Budweiser star). His friend counsels him to "let it go". The present advert's edging closer, taking more risk. It opens on a lovely lily pond at night. Owls hoot; there's a great big green world beyond. It's a Frog's Life (a better size than a bug's) and this time there are some subtle innovations - such as lizards. There are lizards across the way and that means dialogue that's distinctly bold in American terms.
The frogs do their comic croaking - barmaids must be sick of it by now but it works - and they don't get it right first time. Then there's this fevered rallying. Frog to Lizard: "You stink. Get off the stage! Your mother's an iguana!" Lizard to Frog: "Hey, my mother's half iguana." "Sorry, I meant no disrespect." It's payoff lines such as these that turn these simple 20-second treatments so neatly.
There's an entire range of routes to go down, a whole continent of Kermits waiting in the wings for a turn when these stars are carted off to Friends restaurants. The people behind this advert could do it for ever, uncluttered by the usual dated-in-three-months mess of casting, clothes, music, settings and the rest. Young comedians will want to have Frogs scripts in their cvs, well above Perrier Awards and the Hackney Empire.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
Orange Is The New Black season 3 episode 1, review: The Ross and Rachel-ness of Piper and Alex is starting to grate
The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair at Glastonbury is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera House, review: Gang rape and stripping naked of female actor met with boos
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato