Peter York on ads: Not potty enough
NO 272: TANGO
The campaign has had daft moments before, and like a thoroughly Post- Modern brand they've made them part of the dialogue with the Tango constituency. (Tango is heavily followed in media studies departments.) But now there is another Tango-in-the-teapot treatment and I think it is going to be difficult to explain away.
It is set in a comprehensive school staffroom with a very late-Sixties steel-and-glass feel. And of course the room is painted saturated orange with fluorescent tube lighting, so it is more promising than a front parlour. There is a silly young teacher in a blue T-shirt doing a funny walk to amuse the other staff. He settles down with the Tango pot and pours it from a great height. "I really enjoy these afternoon Tango breaks," he says blithely. He leans over to the stereotype cynical older master - and here we really are in John Alderton/Please Sir country - who is in tweed jacket and check shirt, and asks, "Are you taking 10G?" This is clearly a St Trinian's, Bash Street Kids sort of reference. The gentleman's outfitter customer - think Hugh Lloyd - goes ape and they struggle excitedly for the Tango mug. The oldie is triumphant, the younger man wet, cowed and thoroughly strange. There follows an odd moment which, if not full- on homoerotic, is certainly charged with something. Hugh strokes humbled Mr Jones while they stare at each other and Mr Jones makes a funny little animal noise.
But the animated final sequence - a bouncing teapot over a map of Britain with a Brian Sewell voice-over "We drink Tango, dontcha know" - loses the oddness, the momentum, the attitude. It is an interesting conceit to present Tango as the national drink and it could be consistent with the brand. But there is a real danger of confusion when you co-opt themes and directorial cliches from another product advertising tradition, itself already well beyond parody: Tango needs to be much madder to make sense.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
The Fall, series 2, episode 3 – TV review: The Gillian Anderson drama is starting to push the realms of plausibility, but who cares?
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'