In the great ebb and flow of life, John Frieda has done terribly well. At first he was a tolerably successful London hairdresser - and very good-looking. Then he married Lulu, a national treasure, and became a West End brand. Now, 20-something years later - and dismarried from Lulu - he's big American money. Their son, an old Etonian, is set to become a film star.
The money came from selling his company, which had some nifty little hair products in it. Products women bought because they seemed to do the trick, here and in America.
Like Vidal Sassoon before him, he's the TV spokesman for his products now, so he's fronting the new commercial for Frizz Ease, his first big breakthrough in the hair world. He's still handsome in a middle-aged Alpha male, faintly George Clooneyish, strong, grey-haired way. His voice is pretty dull, and his accent's from nowhere in particular, but it's convincing enough. It's certainly not a hairdresser voice - but it is the kind of voice that owns a yacht.
The pitch is dirt simple: Frizz Ease cures The Frizzies - it transforms dry or frizz-prone hair into sleeker shiny hair instantly.
The ad looks good in an absolutely conventional way that'll travel - they're probably showing it in 25 countries as we speak. But it's not one of those cookie-cutter American hair-and-beauty commercials. There are no silly computer graphics, no hair arcs, no multiple models, no hysterics.
Instead, they've got a ginger model against a white background - and you remember the ginger. First - ancient cliché - she's blowing at her frizzy fringe, then she's transformed into various states of ginger foxiness as Frizz Ease sleeks it out. Curly sleekness. Atomic Kitten straight sleekness. Around her, important incantations writhe in slithery spaghetti writing. Shiny. Smooth. And this is what you do. Apply to soaking wet hair and smooth through. "It's fast, it's easy and it makes a big difference."
When Frieda's first on screen it signposts him as a "hair-care innovator". When the girl's on they tell us that Frizz Ease is the UK's biggest-selling anti-frizz.
Had you taken on board the burgeoning anti-frizz section on the groaning shelves of the world's drug stores? It's hugely important for all those girlies who want to have all-purpose poker-straight TV presenterine hair, and there are millions of them from about seven to 75.
This Frieda approach reminds me of the iconic Ronseal series with its marvellous line: "It does exactly what it says on the tin."Reuse content