Tuesday 17 October 1995
Agency: Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury
How do you advertise a product as bland and cheap as Pot Noodle? You make its blandness and cheapness a virtue. And you go to Wales.
"'Ow do. I'm Terry," says a nondescript Taff with a nondescript moustache on a grey plastic MFI sofa with a poster of a car stuck to the wall behind him (nice touch). But the final detail that makes the picture of working- class bachelor domesticity in the Valleys perfect is that he has a steaming Pot Noodle in his lap. "And this is my mate, John," he adds. John's thumb appears in front of the camera, complete with black nail. "'Ow do," says John.
"And this is how we used to spend our evenings together." Cue crazy shots of Terry and John larking about with Pot Noodle to the strains of salsa music. These shots consist mostly of John's very large stomach on the sofa wobbling while he laughs.
Back to Terry. "Until yesterday when we saw this." The camera shows a devastated John looking at a leaflet extolling pot noodle as a source of fibre and nutrition.
Terry is not pleased. "What are you saying, you makers of Pot Noodle. It's flinny food, like, like leaves!" he exclaims. "There's been an error," he says, adamantly. "It's too gorgeous."
This commercial is a masterpiece. It is also a classic example of a certain kind of youth ad that might be dubbed "Tango" - usually promoting some snack or fizzy drink that schoolkids invade corner shops for at lunch time - which relies for its appeal on being as unlike other advertising as possible and using a surreal humour that adults aren't supposed to get. Pot Noodle are food products attractive to children for being nothing to do with the sensible food that sensible Mum might buy.
When you want to con kids with advertising, you have to flatter them that they are more media literate than mum and dad, and that they can't be conned. So, like most of these Tango-type ads, Pot Noodle deconstructs the medium. But this ad goes further by suggesting it is deconstructing advertising itself by celebrating the ordinary people with silly accents who live in Wales.
I suspect we'll be seeing more of the Welsh Reeves and Mortimer.
Life & Style blogs
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 2 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...