PETER YORK ON ADS : Memories are made like this
No 77: CAPITAL GOLD
We're in a traditional barbershop in 1967 - expertly recreated, as we've come to expect - and all the familiar tortures are there. So too are the mums, comforting, wrapping their little scalped bundles in sensible coats.
And the soundtrack is - most delicious irony - Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)". Right there in that traditional male-initiation outpost, a play version of the army, the world of something-for-the-weekend-sir?, is this twinkly pop version of hippie-dom, long-haired and blissed-out (with a subtext of Polymorphous Perversity thrown in). This little boy will want to be a hippie by 1973.
Capital Gold, the London golden oldies station, has hit on the rather obvious idea of "when and where you first heard a hit" - and then rendered it quite brilliantly, with much better ironies and social observation than we have any right to expect from a local media ad. It looks as if it's benefited from some very good "oral history" research (another version, to Marc Bolan, has a little girl bouncing around a council-house garden on a Space Hopper). It's miniature Mike Leigh.
Julie Burchill called it "mugging your memories": using pop music that once meant something to you to sell insurance policies. Capital Gold has reversed the trend: recreating memories to sell music.
8 Video supplied by Tellex Commercials.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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