When currency means anything but current
ADS No 193: THE ROYAL MINT
The ad is designed for what sociologists describe as deferential types. There's no drama, personality or spontaneous emotion in royal collectibles. These shiny little coins sum up the world of the women's weeklies of the Fifties, and the kind of imperative that one Sixties wag described as "knit your own Royal Family".
The style of the ad is trad-to-the-max: a Union Jack overlaid with kitschy white writing, trumpety regal music and a sonorous voiceover after Dimbleby (Richard, not Jonathan). It's all deeply condescending. Everything's explained slowly-and-clearly, in Dimbleby vocab: "to honour this very special occasion" we have "this historic coin" which "is official legal tender".
Demand, they remind us, "is expected to be high". So form an orderly queue and proceed in a sober fashion - new customers only, one per household. A shiny coin - on one side an elderly couple in profile, on the other a couple of heraldic shields - spins on its axis against a bright royal- blue background, reflecting light as it goes, with sparkling effects from its milled borders.
I'm convinced that it's virtual, a computer effect. I'm also reminded of a variety of Brit-kitsch filmic effects, but particularly of the old Anglia TV ident. That model of a mounted knight in armour, waving his sword and looking about three inches tall, was always good for a laugh.
Will demand be high? Is this really the thing to give the thousands who waited outside St James's Palace? It'll be very interesting to know.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
Star Wars 7 leaked photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'