We're all Mod for it

PETER YORK ON ADS; No 232: LUCOZADE
WAS LUCOZADE ever a Mod drink? An important, statement type of Mod drink? Did it come in single-serve bottles in the Sixties? For the new Lucozade commercial represents another elaborate attempt to reproduce a period culture: in this case, the world of Quadrophenia, the 1979 movie about Sixties Mod culture, based on an early-Seventies concept album by The Who.

The research has been assiduous, the locations are good, the clothes are good (only an expert will know if the multiple headlamped scooters are just right, but they look OK to me). But best of all, the casting looks good. These Mods are small, with small faces; slightly runty post-war working-class kids from those quadrangled Peabody-type estates. One conspicuously carries a BOAC flight bag, a precursor of today's branded T-shirts (Ralph, Hugo, Tommy).

It involves an establishing shot of 1960s traffic, the exterior of one of those grim brick blocks, and the scooter gang all swarming into the inner yard to enlist their friend for the Brighton run. He dresses quickly and emerges in a blue-green shiny mohair-mix Italian-cut tonic suit, swigging Lucozade as he walks down the stone stairs, with flash-forwards to the gang on the Brighton Road. And there's a nice little bit of byplay about his mum - an early Wendy Richard type with a raven dye job - offering him some embarrassing home-made sandwiches.

As they roar away through the railway arches - "Dirty Old Town", "Waterloo Sunset", etc - the Lucozade bottle is overlaid upon a red-white-and blue graphic with an arrow, straight off the early material of The Who. And there are some whooping and overtaking scenes that I'm pretty sure do come from Quadrophenia. But I wonder whether today's young person is quite as appreciative of all this period detail as today's early-middle- aged bloke, and therefore, what particular value this ad adds to Lucozade.

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