YORK ON ADS: No 34: SPECIAL CONSTABLES

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THIS is an immensely long ad - over two minutes instead of the usual 20 or 30 seconds. It's intended to achieve maximum impact, so the makers have avoided the usual long-haul route - announcement or admonition - in favour of high drama.

Our hero, a big-eyed, tight-lipped young man passes a series of - relatively minor - felonies, becoming ever more worried. He sees a young black girl spraying graffiti; a blind man unassisted; girls running from a restaurant without paying; lads kicking a football right into a baby's pram and, finally, a my-little-pony-tailed bad boy in a blouson stealing a car. 'Why doesn't somebody do something?' appears on the screen, word by word.

All this is rendered in a variety of moody tinted monochromes - bluish, brownish, goldenish - with an urgent soundtrack like a crime series from around 1975. The effect - compounded by the gallery of familiar characters - is of a flashback or dream sequence from quite a whiskery British film.

In the second half our lad strides out in a Specials uniform looking born again and slightly alarming. He rights every wrong committed in the first minute, in a faintly Dixon-of-Dock-Green manner. We close on a proud line-up - very blue-tinted - of Specials. Specials can do something.

It's rather good - the sterotypes are geared to the expectations of the target market of useful citizens. This commercial absolutely isn't selling Tango. In fact, it gears up a band of men and women who would happily apprehend anyone engaged in any remotely Tango-like forms of behaviour. Peter York

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