THE CRITICS: PETER YORK ON ADS: Not cool enough to escape from Lollyland

NO 281: SOLERO SHOTS
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The Independent Culture
Walls. The very name conjures up 50 ingenious ways with extruded animal fat by-products. Walls lent its brand to sausages and ice-cream, which meant the mind dwelt on the industrial synergies. The master company within Unilever Global Command was Birds-Eye Walls - fish, sausages and ice-cream. The last - family briquettes of Cornish (ie, yellow) and Neapolitan, and a raft of lollies and lolly-ice combos with wonderfully early Seventies names - was enough to keep a Perrier Award comedian in work for years.

They're clearly deeply madly aware of all this baggage in Central Command, New Malden or wherever, because over the past few years Walls's advertising has started to get the Global Groove Thing sprayed all over it: oral sex references in Magnum ads, and so forth.

And now here's another Walls advance into the world of Deep Cool: Walls's mind-altering green pellets or Solero Shots. There's a club scene; there would be, wouldn't there? There's this lad - like Egg from This Life, dark and curly, in one of those metallic silky shirts. And he's sweating up a storm and looking for something ... cooling. On his search he passes a - well, one has to say a "cat" - because this creature, who looks vaguely like the person who presents Channel 4's curious style programme Slave, is bearing every outward and visible symbol of the bourgeois beatnik circa 1958, ie, a goatee, specs, an orange shirt and a real-gone expression. He's real gone because his eyes are in the back of his head. And the cat's clutching a little green bottle which comes from a room beyond a beaded curtain, which is got up David Lynch-style and has an old-fashioned green fridge (those coloured repro fridges are just walking out of Selfridges basement, you know). And in the fridge, of course, there's a Nordic beauty in a sort of green plastic Paco Rabanne bikini affair with matching green boots.

Then it's down to serious kissing, obviously tongues and all. But in an effect of Dr Who crudity, she turns into a shower of what look like Birds Eye frozen peas. Or pills. "Strange the stuff you find in the freezer today - Walls Solero Shots, the mind cooler," says the voice-over in Mockney.

But, detailing aside, all this - naughty references and all - could perfectly well have been conceived in 1971. It's not that easy to get out of Lollyland.

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