PETER YORK ON ADS

NO 98: FORD GALAXY
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The Independent Culture
A NEW car launch is a major event; a new Ford a particularly big thing; and a new Ford with a funny shape likely to be positively epic.

The Ford Galaxy commercial is in fact markedly celestial, notably choral, somewhat dramatic and just a tad vulgar in its self-importance.

It starts as it means to go on, with a turbulent, marbled, mid-blue time- lapse sky. There's a chorus keening and some odd whistling sounds. It could be the opening credits for a mid-range horror film with an ambitious cameraman.

"I will build a car for the great multitude," it says on-screen and intoned in a posh actorish way, as we go into dawn over a vaguely sci- fi, orange desert. And then - painterly is the word that comes to mind - the screen goes black and lightens into the gorgeous pink/orange/blue of the sky in a Victorian spiritualist painting. We're bowling forward through it towards a receding mid-line horizon with the sun at the centre. We could be about to meet a simpering child or an American Indian spirit guide. "It will be constructed of the best materials" (the choir is "aahing" appreciatively) "by the best men" (ooooh) "after the simplest design". Then they confirm you're amongst greatness and in precisely the right period for the aesthetic ... "Henry Ford 1907". No irony, no attitude. Then the sky gets working again - red and blue, orange and mauvish-pink! Another dawn! We're onto about the third or fourth day of the Creation cycle, usefully serving to back-light the silhouette of a very conventional-looking car.

But no, from behind it emerges a different shape, something singular in silver, looking like a Motor Show concept-car version of the Renault Espace. It's a people mover! And then the screen darkens again, the chorus becomes agitated and we get some very slow military drumbeats. "The new Ford Galaxy. 12 September 1995."

If we get recorded highlights of Genesis in the launch ads, God knows what they'll do in the dealer conference. Perhaps a Stealth fly-past.

! Video supplied by Tellex Commercials.

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