Peter York on Ads: A wonderful gift from 'Sliding Doors'

NO 277: BT'S ONE-PHONE
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The Independent Culture
Version 1. She's outside in a taxi. Your mate calls - on the fixed phone - and it's important manly stuff/help needed/never let a friend down. A few minutes later she's off.

Version 2. As one, except that you've got a neat mobile-like thing and you walk out the door continuing your call.

And from then on events unravel, get to the bar together/get to the bar alone (rather All Bar One-ish - that's about the social pitch). Go on to the party (some social mobility here - big house, close-hung drawings, swimming pool), skinny dip together/go home to soup. Go home together and start chewing each other's face off the moment you're inside the door/sleep miserably on the sofa.

And of course, these are precisely the emotions of the twenties' kiss- chase as experienced by boys who think it's having the wrong gizmo that's keeping them from skinny-dipping blondes.

The gizmo in question is The One-Phone: "the only home phone that's also a mobile". You never know, it might just change your life.

Sliding Doors, that neat low-budget Britfilm of 1997, gave us Gwyneth Paltrow as Britgirl. Her accent really was incredibly good, wonderfully flat and classless but West London smartish too (pity she spoiled it all by being so soppy and effeminate and un-British at the Oscars).

But the film had another gift for the world - the "what if" view of life- changing small events. What if you'd caught that train and met your dream lover instead of missing it and slumping home late to a bowl of soup in front of the TV? Let's just re-run that sequence, shall we?

That theme is absolutely tailor- made for advertising. It actually played back and dignified a lot of traditional advertising - the kind where they show you how to get it wrong, and then right, by elaborating it, artifying it in the cutting, the moodying up, the big themes.

Well, it's all come back via BT Cellnet and a young man who gets the girl, or doesn't. But the intervening variable, the guardian angel, in this case is BT's One-Phone which frees up loyal lads to have it all - talk to their mates about big problems and go to high sex-and-money quotient parties with girls who want to take their tops off.

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