The train that takes every kinda people

No 185: EUROSTAR
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Certain kinds of people don't appear in TV commercials, except perhaps as background colour - everyday upper- and under-class folk, for instance. And before Eurostar's current commercial I can't remember seeing an inter-racial couple.

They're on Eurostar to Paris, obviously for the first time, representing the youth vote, comfortable in their skins. She's a pretty office-girl who goes home from Liverpool Street; he's every Essex Cockney Jamaican mother's son, slight, goetee-ed and shaven-headed with a Big Shirt over the white T. He talks like those boys do: "Listen ... I've been thinking a lickle bit about us recently ... yknow," as he casually squeezes her exposed thigh. And then - delicious cinema-verite interruption - a crazed Irishman stands up and tells the carriage he's lost his passport, and as quickly decides he hasn't.

The mini-drama continues with the girl - she's a bit like the saucy Kira from This Life - nattering on about how she didn't realise it took just three hours to get to Paris ... but gradually registering what's really been said. "Eamonn ... " (perhaps his dad came with one of the early London Transport waves of immigration and was a huge Eamonn Andrews admirer ... anyway, it's a nice culture mash) "Are you trying to propose to me?" And Eamonn stares gloomily out of the window, conscious of the scale of what he's said and incapable of taking the conversation on. "It's easy to take someone you love to Paris" says the voiceover - and so it is now. Clearly Eamonn and Kira are today's Terry and Julie, and clearly Eurostar has young working-class couples in its target market.

It's only when you see something like this that you realise what's usually missing. In this sense Eurostar is reminiscent of last year's Superdrug ads with their pudgy provincial temptresses. And it reminds you that, in their limited way, TV commercials can contribute to the social engineering of happiness.

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