York on ads: Taking tea down Golborne Road . . . via Consett: No 38: Snapple

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The Independent Culture
J C Ewens Jr, 20ish, has one great look on his nice plump face (Sir Dirk Bogarde believes that's all an actor needs). He exchanges this look with his mum, Mrs J C Ewens Sr, as they line up outside their family CTN (confectioner, tobacconist, newsagent) shop in Golborne Road, London W10. The look says family pride and why us? and let's go for it. It's funny and likeable and it seems authentic.

They are the makers of Snapple, a flavoured iced-tea soft drink whose advance publicity says it's enjoyed vertical-take-off sales in America.

And they introduce 'JC Ewens, brought to you by the Snapple Corporation' in an exaggerated cod-American voice-over. And from then on the theme, the running joke, is the battle for

airtime between the Ewens with their traditional sweetie offer in glass jars and their discounted pro-football trainer, and the imperial demands of the Snapple Corporation whose unseen director is determined to film nothing but Snapple packages and the Snapple legend on the back of Master Ewen's royal- blue polyester/satin blouson top. It's all a bit hand-held and a bit Beadle-ish.

This ingenious approach, 'deconstructing' Snapple's message with the 'subversive' Ewens, allows Snapple to identify itself with this engaging pair and their traditional Sunday-lunch Englishness. It also probably reflects a strategy aimed at achieving shelf-space in CTNs through identification and flattery (at last a hero for us]) as much as one aimed at the ultimate consumer. The Ewens are the first famous small CTN proprietors. This will be very hot stuff in the trade papers.

J C Ewens of Golborne Road is memorable, like Phileas Fogg of Medomsley Road, Consett. It seems intensely real too, so I had to know. A spot check in Golborne Road reveals Master Ewens, wearing a T-shirt saying 'Matey'. He explains that the creative work was entirely co-operative and the advertising team made them laugh a lot.

Tapes supplied by Tellex Commercials

(Photograph omitted)

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