Claire Beale's Best in Show: Pot Noodle (AKQA)

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The Independent Online

Once it was known as the "slag of all snacks". Now, for the princely sum of £29.95 you can buy a "Poulet et champignon" Pot Noodle in Harrods. All proceeds go to Action Against Hunger. It's the only reason I can possibly think of for eating the stuff. Well, that and a stunning new viral for the brand by AKQA.

And what timing. Last week was rip-off week in adland's corridors of gossip, the perfect climate to dissect the Pot Noodle ad. It's a piss-take of rip-off ads. Does that make it a rip-off too?

Anyway, remember Honda's "cog" ad with all the car parts doing a domino effect (an ad that was itself "inspired" by a piece of film from a couple of Swiss artists).

Then last year Guinness took the domino idea on for the "black stuff". Now Pot Noodle's got its teeth into the whole domino scene to joyous effect.

AKQA's viral is set on a grotty-gritty housing estate and instead of dominos (or car parts or books) it uses fag packets, fridges, mobile phones, microwaves, wheelchairs in a chain reaction that ends up with boiling water tipping into a Pot Noodle tub. As rip-offs go, it's pure class. Not bad for a slaggy snack.