It's difficult not to think of the Victorian apocalyptic painter John Martin when watching the Dept for Education and Employment's uplift- ing new training ad. True to form, against an orange sky a cruel modern city rears; computer tricks make the buildings appear to grow and change. And up a huge viaduct pointing skywards marches an army of job-seekers, folk of all callings, races and genders, organised in a wholly PC way - construction worker, nurse, TV repairman. It's not unlike an Eighties Janet Jackson video. And they're marching to ... disaster, because the viaduct ends in a sheer drop. Going nowhere, see (but also, so it looks, sinners on the primrose path). "Everyday, thousands of people like you begin to search for a brighter future."
The answer, as you approach the precipitous plummet, is skills. "You need skills to lift yourself above the crowd with work-based training and vocational qualifications."
And the leading job-seeker, a saintly looking yuppie, grows shimmering golden wings and takes off vertically. After that there's no stopping them, they're all getting lift-off. "Start training now." By now the first fliers are into their flight-path over The City, like something out of the Book of Revelations, redeemed by a diploma in video-mastering or footwear retailing.
The brief was clearly to get some attention, particularly among youth, for the somewhat low-key subject of training. It elevates to, at least, the interest level of a building society. But can you imagine the agency pitching the religious theme to the civil servants?
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