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 ...
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre