He just wouldn’t let it lie.

September 29, 2008

Before I start to take his latest advert apart, I should point out that I am a huge fan of Vic Reeves.

What he and Bob Mortimer achieved was nothing short of genius. They, for me, were like a modern equivalent of Morecambe and Wise. That’s how good I think they were. They ripped up the rule book and made their own brand of comedy. They took risks with their laughs and showed a huge amount of intelligence as they did so.

But what on earth is Vic playing at? Surely he’s not so skint that he’ll just agree to any old tosh that an advertiser throws his way? Although the fact that Vic was the voice of Churchill Insurance’s dog for a number of years (until his drink-drive conviction got in the road) should have been a bit of a warning that perhaps Vic’s standards are not set particularly high. Maybe he just doesn’t care. Show me the money, and then I’m off.

The 888 Ladies Bingo advert is a lame idea to start with (the man dressed badly as lady idea). What about the Bounty toilet tissue ads? They’ve owned this area of advertising cliche for some time. I would have thought that Vic might have tweaked the script himself, to make it at least mildly amusing. I’ve worked with a number of comedians over the years, and every single one of them has brought their own ideas to the script. Especially Frankie Boyle who I had the great pleasure to record an anti-racism advert with. He ad-libbed outrageously and made the finished advert better than I could have ever made it on my own.

But, unfortunately, this Bingo ad just layers cliche on top of cliche. There are no wry smiles, no clever insights that make you feel any warmth towards the product. Just Vic in a dress. Looking awkward and uncomfortable. As you can see below.

What's on the end of your lip-stick, Vic?


On the other hand, I love the new Ford Fiesta advert. It uses boxes, like flatscreen TVs, to follow a journey through a city. It has very little to do with the product, but it looks fantastic. This is the sort of fresh thinking that all agencies should approach their work with. They’ve found a technique that they can own, and I hope that their campaign continues to do it justice.

Ford Fiesta 08 Ad

Otherwise you end up with something that isn’t so much Shooting Stars as Plumbing the Depths.

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