PETER YORK ON ADS

No 123: PINK FLOYD
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The Independent Culture
THE record industry produces a huge number of commercials, most of them of absolutely no interest. They're usually swift, cheap combinations of the acts' existing videos with an uninspired voiceover. There is the occasional ad for a middle-aged compilation of the Your 100 Best Love Songs kind to give us a kitsch fix and an easy laugh. But there's very little like the wonderful EMI Golden Greats commercials of the 1970s with their original work and big budgets.

So the new Pink Floyd ad really stands out. I've never liked Pink Floyd - my generalised irritation was compounded by the utterly stupid "Another Brick in the Wall" - but this is a neat commercial.

It's based on an art-gallery theme, using the group's admittedly rather famous and original album covers - the best thing about them. The covers are blown up as large framed pictures, and in this gallery a succession of couples of different nationalities remark on the Floyd artwork in their own languages.

The Wall provokes a blond, Dutch couple, the wife bearing a startling resemblance to Victoria Wood. The "handshake in a deserted town" excites a pair of young Japanese girls, carefully dressed in Rock Chick; while the one featuring Battersea Power Station and the flying pig produces close attention from some fashionable Italian boys, one of them with Hugh Grant hair.

The ending is nicely done: an English couple stroll by a final cover while the man says in the confident, supercilious tone ignorant upper- middle-class men use for Private Views, "Flogging a Dead Horse, middle period"; while an earnest-looking Late Show boy in polo-neck and specks crosses the screen.

So we have a brand positioning for Pink Floyd, expressed with clarity and economy; they are classic, internationally recognised, with cross- generational interest. There's very little left to say on screen, so they keep it simple: "Classic Pink Floyd, remastered and re-packaged, CD and cassette."

! Video supplied by Tellex Commercials.

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