Peter York On Ads

Mum hopes that till-death-us-do-part sex will sell even to Britons

Men had always believed they could make first-class babies until they croaked it. They'd cite 'Star Trek' Scotty (James Doohan) or Des O'Connor, who were both fertilising in their 70s and beyond, and ignore the rest. Leave aside the question of equipment failure – crucial until the Viagra decade – men sustained themselves with the idea that there was no male menopause and it was all there, power in reserve. Hyperactive teenage sperm thrashing around just waiting to get out there and in there. So last week's big report showing men go mouldy from 35, producing fewer, lower-quality sperm with every passing year, must have been a downer for every fat baldy in denial.

The idea of Everlasting Love, with that side of life continuing despite stress, bad backs, morbid obesity or terminal boredom, is a nice one in principle but worrying in practice. It's the stuff of Euro-comedy and European advertising. But it's not 100 per cent us.

'No Sex Please, We're British' – one of the more brilliant lines of the post-war world – actually opened in 1971 as a West End farce. It ran for nearly a decade. It's about as relevant to 21st century British behaviour as the book 'Major Thompson Lives in France' (1959) or a 'Carry On' film.

But there's a legacy. While our behaviour has moved towards the downright barbaric – mainstream Europeans are shocked at our bottom-flashing, pavement-sicking, predatory bike-shed, bunk-up teens – we still find continental romantic soft-porn a bit much. We'd rather they played it for laughs. Euro-trash, with its unfeasibly giant boobies and silly willies, presented by that unstoppably supercilious "ironic" Frog, Antoine de Caunes, initially with Jean-Paul Gaultier in a kilt, showed they'd got our number.

The 'Newsweek' account of the Max Mosley affair was headlined "Kinky Sex Please, We're British". All British gents of a certain age, so this Do-They-Mean-Us view goes, like spanking and 'Allo Allo' costumes. Depend on them for satisfying outcomes.

That's why increasing numbers of British viewers will find themselves thoroughly rattled by the new Mum commercials. They propose Everlasting Love with a definite physical side to things and a plangent piano music track. They start like an old-fashioned film trailer with young Kim and Fernando getting it on in a car while the rain buckets down outside. They're young and gorgeous, so tongues seem OK. They've been together for eight years. Then it's Anna and Marc, clamped together, out on the front step. They look pretty much the same age but they must be owner-occupiers because they've been together for 16 years.

Mick and Zoe, well-dressed 40-somethings, have clearly made it. Their kitchen location is wall-to-wall stainless steel. You'd think that would be distracting but they're still at it after 23 years. But there's more. Mick and Helena seem to be on the cash-out "liquidity event", long-haul retirement holiday of a lifetime, silhouetted against the sea and the sky, framed by palm trees. They've done 34 years together. At this point viewers all over Ambridge are starting to fret and turn away from the TV. And terrible thoughts are coming unbidden. Plummeting dentures. rock-star seizures, that kind of thing.

But there's worse. Mary and Frank – locked in bed together after 59 years. Him apparently naked. What's their secret? Mum deodorant has apparently kept the home fires burning since the Forties. How insanely romantic is that?

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
News
peopleSwimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Financial Controller

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is a busy and varied role w...

Senior Business Development Manager

£60-70k fixed, double OTE uncapped: Sphere Digital Recruitment: The Senior Bus...

Ad Operations Executive

30,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: My client is a global name within the ente...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style