TELEVISION / York on ads: No 14: GM's credit card

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The Independent Culture
MARTIN SHAW used to be a curly-topped Action Boy in that rather below-stairs Seventies series The Professionals. Since then he's come up in the world enormously, playing MPs and senior policemen and other authority figures and looking increasingly like Lord Gowrie. The curls have been replaced by a sort of brush cut, modern yet responsible.

Shaw now is reckoned right - enough authority, enough charm and interest - to present that epic development, the General Motors credit card. We know it's epic because all the cues are there: Fanfare for the Common Man at full blast; portentous numbers - 'over eight million Americans have signed here'; and big transatlantic imagery.

And in truth the GM credit card is the biggest example of an important new development, the brand-owners' credit cards that are challenging the traditional card-operators. As an inducement, there is no signing-on fee, and there are potential rebates on GM products (why didn't they think of it before]). While the copy points unfold in Shaw's masterful voice-over, we swoop around the eight million Americans, finally fading from what looks like a Texan in a 10-gallon hat to Shaw in another 10-gallon number against a half-timbered Home Counties setting. Responsible and right again.

The GM commercial is a particularly straight-arrow version of the 'onward march of progress/ join the future now' type of presentation. And very grand it is too. In the 10-second version, Shaw just says with the absolute confidence of a Lord Lieutenant: 'If you're invited to apply . . . don't throw away the chance.'

Videotapes supplied by Tellex Commercials.

(Photograph omitted)

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