Jools Holland gets into the jazz groove

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The Independent Culture
Are you ready to get into jazz? Clearly the inventors of Jazz Greats see a market of thirtysomethings out there, just ready to move on up to jazz as part of the rounded life. Jazz Greats is a part-work available fortnightly at pounds 1.99, part CD or cassette, part magazine. Its great theme is personalities - and the personalities are the people we've heard of: Ellington, Armstrong, Nat King Cole.

In the manner of part-work advertising, Jazz Greats states its purpose and propositions pretty straightforwardly, with obvious imagery and an "out now" orientation. With a part-work, you have to get them into WH Smith to buy issue 1 tomorrow or the whole initiative's dead in the water.

So we start in Props Corner, with an old Forties radio and dark trellis wallpaper, while Louis Armstrong gives us "Jeepers Creepers", and then move rapidly into the new world of stacked mini hi-fi, minimal sub-Tizio desk-lamps and so forth.

The presenter settles back in his classic Herman Miller chair. "Once everyone listened to jazz ... A listening guide to help you really understand the music ... brings you the unforgettable performers." All this is the Golden Chestnuts of part-work copywriting. The visuals in Jazz Greats are in the same mode. You see the featured players, you see some swift, cheap, rostrum camerawork showing the magazine, and you see the pack shot for easy recognition in-shop.

What lifts the commercial is its presenter - Jools Holland is the man you'd trust to take thirtysomethings from pop through to jazz. He's got his pop credentials and his jazz ones. We know he's a modern eclectic, not an old jazzer. If he says Billie Holiday is one of his favourites, we'll accept it utterly. And if he has to read some stilted lines to camera we'll accept that too, because with his voice they sound amusing, even credible, since we know Jools favours the Mock Formal mode. This is a classic example of a commercial where choosing the right celebrity really is worth it.