PETER YORK ON ADS: No 183: VIRGIN COLA
Fat Finns in bras, just for the bad taste of it
Virgin Cola has no problem with the Finnish question; they take the Fast Show view of things - "Boutros Boutros Ghali!" Virgin Cola's new commercials are packed full of funny foreigners (meanwhile Coca-Cola has a new approach that seems to feature a lot of tasteful World Weaves, a mass of ethnic- looking textile patterns).
The fat Finns - risk one - are apparently naked, big blokes who look like Hale and Pace in blonde wigs and silly Scandy moustaches, running around in a snow-bound conifer-rich landscape. And of course they run to a smoking sauna hut, where they beat each others' pendulous pectorals with leafy birch branches in a desultory way.
Meanwhile - Tony Ferrino, Eurovision! - there's an excitable voiceover in Finnish urging the viewers on to God knows what. The Fat Finns drink Virgin Cola slowly and then stoke up the steam by pouring it on the coals, creating a huge head of white smoke which sends them blinking out into the snow. Risk two: they've grown great plastic breasts in huge bikini tops. Shades of Kenny Everett or Vic and Bob and their bra-wearing blokes. That's what Virgin Cola does for you. You can just imagine how this kind of product- benefit might score in American-style pre-testing research conducted in, say, Minnesota.
It'll never get past the risk analysis. Far better to go for a fail- safe, Youthquake approach like Pepsi Blue ...
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Is Poppy Pym the new Harry Potter? Children's bookseller wins Independent's new author search
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms