Peter York on Ads: The art direction's so good I want to live on set

Orange Wednesday

Flicking ever onward through historic picture books as art directors constantly do, where did they find the interior for the new Orange Wednesday commercials? It's the classic 1950s modernist New York apartment - it feels like an apartment rather than an office - huge, double height, with vertiginous total glazing. What was it based on - an early TV network tycoon's pad, a Broadway impresario's?

Flicking ever onward through historic picture books as art directors constantly do, where did they find the interior for the new Orange Wednesday commercials? It's the classic 1950s modernist New York apartment - it feels like an apartment rather than an office - huge, double height, with vertiginous total glazing. What was it based on - an early TV network tycoon's pad, a Broadway impresario's?

Whatever, I want it. This interior, shot in black and white from above, or with telescopic lens, from across the skyscraper canyon, adds huge tone and gnomic depth to the business of advertising Orange's "two cinema tickets for the price of one" promotion. (It operates on Wednesdays, which starts you wondering, if Saturday is the peak admissions day which is the worst?) Two middle-aged men are in this über-apartment, debating, in a slightly post-modern way that's meant to involve you with the brand, what the promotion should be called. One has a deep smart American voice, the other speaks British RP and their conversation is shot in that 1960s art-movie style with the voice-track drifting over cloudy grainy views of the town and a fine Deco clockface surmounted by a globe, just below this Orange skylab.

It's all a bit tricksy - lights go on and off as they speak; a picture creates mouse-ears behind one of the characters. It's wildly disingenuous: "I don't have a promotion, just a name." And it's more than a little pi - "We reward our Orange customers." But it stays in your mind because everything - the art direction, the Nouvelle Vague-ish conversation, the music track with its clever jazz-ish sounds of double bass and plinky piano - has an effective kind of false resonance for people who stare at a lot of stills and watch a lot of films. They'll know how it's intended to work on them - to say that Orange is the cleverer network, the one with the cultural hinterland, the one for People Like Us - but at the same time they'll feel it's worryingly attractive. This is a commercial that targets art directors brilliantly.

Peter@sru.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing / PR / Social Media Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A thriving online media busines...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower