PETER YORK ON ADS: Antoine flaunts a bit of lip and a lot of lolly
No 187: LYONS MAID LOLLIES
He's doing a lot of commercials here. The latest is lollies; the Eurotrash style translates readily to the Saturday-morning sub-teen market. In a post-modern garden, Antoine introduces a new, intensely fruity lolly. It's a lurid multi-coloured cylinder, apparently made from Rowntree's wine gums, fruit pastilles or similar. He says it's too intense, too fruity, too fashionable to be English (shades of that Right Said Fred song).
But the lolly is redeemed, anglicised, says Antoine, by its little wooden stick, "so plain, so pedestrian, so boring ... so British!" This is what we pay French mountebanks for: to display aesthetic arrogance and restart the war against Our Historic Enemy. Franco-British relations, replayed as farce for children, are a big collective-unconscious theme for advertisers now (cf Blackcurrant Tango).
In other versions of the ad, de Caunes - and shouldn't he be promoting Mr Whippy with a name like that? - goes through a variety of "Can they mean us?" routines. He does the one about the British saying sorry for practically everything except for the things we should apologise for - cricket, string vests and Morris dancers. In another, he compares a British lollipop lady with the French lollipop gentleman. And - bonjour, voila! - he calls us his little British chums.
This commercial's all over the place, but in quite an interesting way. The branding, for instance, is utterly tortuous - it's Nestle as owners/ endorsers of Lyons Maid, using Rowntrees' - also owned by Nestle - fruity flavours. But the viewer take-out - ie what you'd actually ask for at Bob Patel's - is wholly mysterious. So is the question of whether live sub-teens will find the product or its presenter remotely interesting. Good for Retarded of N1, though.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Downton Abbey fans unimpressed by Kindle sponsorship adverts
Cilla, episode 2, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith continues to shine
Kendrick Lamar announces new song 'i' following leak
Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Top Gear to launch in France after Jeremy Clarkson banned from driving on roads
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God