York on Ads: No 28: Guinness Draught

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The Independent Culture
PERIOD PASTICHE is a staple of modern adverts - especially recent-period pastiche. And the decade to do down - The Decade that Taste Forgot - is the Seventies. So what better way is there for canned draught Guinness to illustrate its smoothness, its up-marketness, its made-it-ness, than to contrast itself with the horrors of Seventies lifestyle.

So an Eighties-style success - cooled-out, slicked-back hair, at peace with himself (Betty Ford?) - sits in the indoor pool of an inventively restored classical folly, the Bath House. An opera track completes the picture. Fade to 'The Bathroom 1976', announced in a Sixties typeface.

And there we are in the world of . . . well it's actually Top of the Pops Annual 1971-2: superfly and loopy shirts, black rock-chicks, Afro wigs, always in the bathroom at parties, party-time low-grade funk tracks. And they're opening a party 'Super Seven' beer-can, so Early Own-Brand, so gruesome, that you know this is the mark of early laddish poverty; the rough experienced and survived. Amusing in retrospect, hellish at the time. And at the front of the opening ceremony is a Trogg-like creature with a long fringe . . .

Yes, it's our man, who, back in the future, is getting his individuated, sleek can of Guinness draught from his brushed-steel fridge. 'You need to experience the rough to appreciate the smooth' is the punch line: widely relevant to a range of second-rank pop stars who did better in the Eighties, and the host of builders, small traders and lads on the make everywhere who identify with them.

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(Photograph omitted)

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