Peter York on Ads: Trailer trash triumphs

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The Independent Culture
Modern life is a torrent of filth. Young people have constant unfettered access to each others buttons and zips and it's affected their attention span.

Turbulent modern button and zip matters are central to the communication of the troubled jeanswear trade (troubled because young people are monstrous show-offs too and prefer the fascist eagles of designer brands to the homely looks of traditional denim) and nothing could be more on-strategy than Bad Idea jeans (at least that's what I think they're called).

Bad Idea or Rocky are advertised to the restless youth of Euro-land on MTV, which means that their imagery derives from a curious mish-mash of Seventies/Eighties/Nineties looks and symbolism re-cycled through Britain and America.

So we get an underclass boy leaving a deserted caravan ("trailer") at night, wearing a Two-Tone trilby. (Fifties black, Birmingham Two-Tone Seventies via Blues Brothers Eighties and now a staple of Wedding Singer type acts) and apparently carrying an accordion. He gets into a beat-up old model white Mercedes and drives to an early Sixties-style middle-class American Town House.

Aloft a blonde girl not unlike Tamara Beckwith sits on her white bed in her safe bedroom, Sixties pop posters behind her. Hex anxious mother - Doris Day flick-ups - peers from another window at the lad.

He's from the other side of the tracks, down in the Boondocks, trailer trash. Tamara's IBM executive dad - early Jack Lemmon perhaps - doesn't like him one bit. And he's right to worry because the young couple repair upstairs in seconds with their hands in each other's back pockets. In no time they're nuzzling and, nibbling and in the modern manner, the boy's shirt is off and he's undoing her peasant blouse.

At a strategic moment it occurs to him to put on The Hat, nip into the parents' bedroom, wake up Dad and ask for the big parental bed for the night. Bad Idea, say the pulsing on-screen letters. It all moves seamlessly to animated jeans with a pulsing tumescent front and flying hearts followed by animated underpants. Everything here seems to come from somewhere else - Levi's Diesel etc - but conspires together well enough for a sexual purpose. But the branding is a muddle. Is it Rocky - an old Seventies name if ever there was one - or Bad Idea, or is it the own-brand H and M?