Peter York on Ads: When a little old lady in black boots talks tough, we listen

The Herald

Now here's a strange one. Sixty seconds of big thought from a newspaper I've never heard of. In today's competitive market where money off at the local liposuction clinic is more like it. But The Herald (from Glasgow) has a moody image, tough words describing horrible things and an old woman who looks rather like Joan Hickson.

Now here's a strange one. Sixty seconds of big thought from a newspaper I've never heard of. In today's competitive market where money off at the local liposuction clinic is more like it. But The Herald (from Glasgow) has a moody image, tough words describing horrible things and an old woman who looks rather like Joan Hickson.

Maybe it's a very reflective population in The Herald's circulation area, made up of the last proper middle classes left alive - concerned headmistresses with their hair in grey buns, public health inspectors above reproach, Doctor Finlays. Rather like, say, the good people of Ottawa where some of the forgotten virtues are preserved (a fair few Scots there).

This old woman is independent-minded, she's got a black beret, a long, black coat and this year's flat-heeled long, black boots. And she's on a deserted seashore - wide horizon, lovely, watery blues - mouthing over to herself the words of a Herald foreign correspondent - the local Fergal Keane or Ann Leslie. And it's tough stuff; the kind of thing they always say is advertising suicide.

That's because it's describing an Intifada shooting of a 12-year-old, and in some detail. And the follow-up shooting of his father.

And they've added the "From our own correspondent"-style local colour. "Everything has been demolished except the old command post ... the flowers mark the point where a young man died".

You see her first as a blurry, Impressionist, black silhouette at the seashore, which resolves to her walking around to what sounds like a pleasant voiceover from one of those Islington women in the BBC's Social Affairs unit.

Then she's in a deserted seashore café with lace half-curtains, shot from the outside - someone's making a little British film here.

She's actually reading it out herself, in a younger, stronger voice than you'd expect. A clever granny in a delicious, cold, deserted place thinking about the horrors of hot, noisy, overcrowded, life-is-cheap countries where everything is unthinkably different.

I always liked that American expression about activists being "little old ladies in tennis shoes". Here's one in black boots. Of course print hacks like anything selling their skills. ("The Herald: experience it"), but this is great stuff, running absolutely counter to the way The Herald's peers are marketing themselves.

The smart boys up London should look at this again when it comes round to the award dinners season.

Peter@sru.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

Account Manager, Spanish, London Bridge

£30,000 + 20K Commssion: Charter Selection: This rapidly expanding organisatio...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz