Everyone can be a winner (if not Michael Winner)

Peter York on Ads: No 182: DORITOS
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When Did Michael Winner last direct a film? This innocent question is raised by seeing Mr Winner in the establishing shot of the new Doritos Movie Money commercial, where he is set against cameras and lights, the usual film-set activity and a canvas chair saying "Michael Winner". I had rather supposed, from his appearances in the papers, that he'd become Winner the Dinner, Winner the Lover, or maybe Winner the Propagandist, for his tireless work on behalf of the middle-aged rich and famous of his acquaintance in his various columns. But perhaps he has been making super-grossing films on the side.

Anyway, Doritos is using him as swift shorthand for the wonderful world of cinema, to sell its Movie Money scratchcard. The commercials are short, technically and artistically unambitious - quite a relief really - and concentrate on Mr Win- ner's huge personality. This means, in practice, the famous film director nutshelling everything he's said about himself during 30 years of highly effective personal communication. He says that he's very rich ("I don't get out of bed for less than 50 grand"), very famous, very "outrageous" ("But we can't all be me") and rather mean. "The difference between a Doritos packet and my wallet is that with Doritos you could get your hands on 10 grand," he says, with a flicker of interest.

It's an act pitched somewhere between Dame Edna and Miss Piggy. In the show-business circles Mr Winner inhabits this is known as self-parody and people are admired for it.

Doritos started on British television with humour and lifestyle overtones. Now it has gone the scratch-card promotional route. Winner's a rather interesting choice and a natural salesman, but I think the scene most viewers will find missing is the one where he gets his fee. How much is it, paid in what form. These things provoke lively human interest.