Peter York on Ads: When Irish eyes are smarting, lenses are the solution

Click to follow
The Independent Online

We've all seen the phrase "pan-fried", and wondered. Does it mean something different from what anybody ever did with a pan, a potato and a bottle of toxic hydrogenated trans-fats? Or is it all about the fat? Do pan-fryers use quadruple virgin olive oil or hand-churned pale unsalted butter from Normandy?

I'm willing to bet that all these hip hotels and restaurants round the Liffey and Temple Bar in Dublin are heavy on pan-fried this and that. New Irish - hip, educated "classless" - is a favourite flavour for voice-overs now. But now Acuvue, a contact lens brand owned by Johnson & Johnson, has gone one better: they've got a New Irish spokesperson who isn't James Nesbitt. She looks terrific, blonde and blue-eyed. She tell us her name's Gaby and she runs a restaurant. Her contact lenses were killing her; her eyes felt fried. At this point you see she's doing it - the pan-frying - and the pan's full of flames. They're in a modern set-up where the customers can see straight into the kitchen "Hey, bright eyes," she asks one of the cooks, "what's your secret?" Turns out it's Acuvue, so Gaby's off to the optician and - here comes the science - handsome young men in white coats are pushing those giant eye-test machines at her.

And Acuvue lenses turn out to be so comfortable that even after a busy day she's on for a night out. Gaby winks her big blue eye. She's saying she's up for it. An RP voiceover says something corporate and missionary about Acuvue with its Hydraclear as "the next generation of contact lens comfort". An old formula is updated with a heavy dose of New Irish sex and pan-frying. It's a lesson to us all.