York on Ads / No 27: Hutchison Telecom

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The Independent Culture
DON'T WORRY, be happy. Here's why: 'The future's bright, the future's orange.' This wonderfully gnomic New Age (ie techno neo-hippy) thought is the punchline of the new Orange Personal Communications (Hutchison Telecom) commercial, selling Hutchison's entry into the fast-expanding world of mobile telephony (the industry word) with a new digital network.

You can tell it's New Age because of its gorgeous, expensive images: a baby drifting in blue stellar space; limitless seas; high-quality mountains, skyscrapers bathed in gold. Very Man Who Fell to Earth. 'In the future,' says a couth and knowing child voice-over, 'men will think it strange that voices ever travelled down wires . . .'

This future will be wire-free, and no man will ever be tied down. The contrasts are pointed up with black-and-white footage of the old world - overhead telephone cables, schoolboys in long shorts playing with string and tin cans.

Hutchison identifies itself with this market's collective future, as well as attaching Body Shop sentiments - individual freedom, environmental friendliness - to its initiative. This commercial is seeking to brand the new democratic age of mobile telephones - to get away from the current embarrassing associations by replacing them with the imagery of a kind of telepathy. This is the branding ad, the launch of the service. Other more hard-nosed commercials dealing with product features will follow. It's all a long way from the world of the Carphone Warehouse. Peter York

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