Peter York on Ads: How to make Serious Grumpies go techy - blow bubbles

XDAIIi

Do you remember the twins who lived underwater? Under blue, bubbly water? They were Greek or Turkish or at least highly Mediterranean, and identical. The twins became terribly familiar to heavy Big Brother abusers a while ago because they were the sponsorship idents and their bubbly blue, parallel universe seeped into one's head.

Do you remember the twins who lived underwater? Under blue, bubbly water? They were Greek or Turkish or at least highly Mediterranean, and identical. The twins became terribly familiar to heavy Big Brother abusers a while ago because they were the sponsorship idents and their bubbly blue, parallel universe seeped into one's head.

The owners of that universe are O2, the mobile telephony operators, and they're re-using it rather dramatically in their new commercial. We're in the desert, with an outline of hill behind at dawn, with a deep blue sky. I'm completely set up for a car commercial. "There is a machine," says the manly, faintly northern voice-over "even faster, even more responsive, even more advanced", as a Malcolm Campbell-ish fast car cuts a billowing line in the sand.

But it isn't the car. O2 have grasped completely that mobiles have a car-like machismo for boys of all ages if a) they've got a lot of "features" and b) a car-like model name, so what this commercial is selling is the XDAIIi phone, which can probably monitor your blood pressure and open the garage door (it's part of the XDA range if that helps). And the XDAIIi's big little screen - it looks big for a mobile - is awash in bubbly blue water.

"See what you can do?" is the gnomic New Agey injunction with this attractive bit of kit. It's a bit like "where d'you want to go today?". I haven't a clue but it sounds like a nice invitation to be what people call "creative". I don't have much truck with creativity but the come-on-in-the-future's-lovely mood could just make even Serious Grumpies change their minds.

There's a trade-off to be done in advertising hi-tech introductions. You've got to keep the magic and the boy-racer elements, and you've certainly got to make it look lovely in a memorable way but, at the same time, you've got to guard against being too tricksy - lots of moving buildings for instance - and you've got to make sure the brand gets a look in.

Ideally, you'd own a set of visual cues that get straight to the unconscious. O2, whoever they are - and whatever the XDAIIi really is - seem to have pulled it off.

Peter@sru.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - London - £40K plus benefits - Salary negotiable

£38000 - £40000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: A leading consu...

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Sheridan Maine: Are you an experienced Accounts Assista...

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Payable Clerk

£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Manager

£55,000 - £65,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accountant with ...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor