PETER YORK ON ADS No 299: MAXWELL HOUSE
The writers of the new Maxwell House commercial obviously think so too. The formerly well-known instant coffee-style beverage (it hasn't had much advertising support recently) is relaunched with a spoof of one of those late-night post-Dynasty dubbed or subbed Globo soaps. It's not even that good - half high Eighties, half spaghetti western, with "Bollywood" overtones - but I'm on the floor the moment the gravy-dark Spanish voice- over gets going.
It opens with "Maxwell House" filling the screen diagonally like a Forties drama movie. Big garden, picket fence and crimson flowers - they've turned the colour up full volume. "Maswell Howse" says Senor Grande Cojones. "Episode 747 - Oh Brother!" say the subtitles. A joke Zorro figure - big black hat and dark glasses - is outlined in the front door saying something Scorchio-ish very aggressively.
Cut to a woman like you don't get them now. She's the South American Way - big black hair, jewellery, cleavage - absolutely not the aspirational girlie you get in Gold Blend commercials. And the hall of her lovely Spanish Country top-of-the-range Wilmslow-of-Rio-style home absolutely isn't Elle Deco either.
Her husband - white jacket, stubble - growls in Spanish as Black Hat walks through the heavily-coffered front door: "You're not welcome in my house"; then, deliciously, you see his white trousers are tucked into short black boots. So are his visitor's black trousers; those dumb bootees. They're twins, doing a face-on confrontation. The wife reappears with a tray of coffee - the luridly blue Maxwell House jar and two matching mugs, one with "Julio El Boss" on it. "Es Maswell Howse?" asks Brother Black.
Mugs are drained, then ceremoniously smashed. They embrace - "I love you" say the subtitles. Exit arms around each other.
Lovely long shot of the hall - machine-gilt chairs and mirrors, giant china jars flanking the door. The Lot. More Bisto Spanish: "Maxwell House gets it sorted".
While Nescafe and Gold Blend go for authenticity and provenance, Maxwell House has positioned itself permissively as fake and fun. The mug with "Julio El Boss" is heartland Clinton Cards' repertoire, and "getting it sorted" is EastEnders; they're a Spanish Grant and Phil; wouldn't touch that cafetiere rubbish if you paid them. It's all a hundred years away from Starbucks world.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 3 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
Royal Academy of Arts' Tim Marlow: Bronze statue of lovers embracing at St Pancras station is a lesson in 'how not to do' public art
Britain's Hardest Grafter: Petition set up as Twitter reacts to BBC 'poverty porn' series pitting low-paid workers against each other
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'