A hard man known for his violent antics both on and off the
football pitch would seem a risky choice to front a multi-million-pound
Yet Bartle Bogle Hegarty thought the controversial and colourful Vinnie
Jones would be an ideal subject for the latest One2One commercial.
The idea was to move the celebrity theme on and instead focus not on the
star but on his friends and family. The question was, what would they
say about the former Wimbledon ’crazy gang’ footballer, and would their
views be fit for broadcast?
Having found the relevant people, who ranged from the jockey, Frankie
Dettori, and former Wimbledon football manager, Joe Kinnear, to Vinnie’s
great aunt, the agency team planned how they could make the commercial
seem natural and in line with the brand’s approachable image.
They decided on the director, Ringan Ledwidge, who has a reputation for
putting people at ease, and brought in the journalist, Rebecca Cody,
whose relaxed, persuasive manner soon had tongues loosened for the
As Tina Harrison, the One2One ad manager, comments: ’A lot of the skill
was in the director and journalist.’
BBH also decided to dispense with scripts, as the account director, Ben
Fennell, explains: ’If it was scripted, we wouldn’t have got the relaxed
To maintain authenticity, Ledwidge filmed everyone in their usual
The crew shot Frankie Detorri on the day of the eclipse. Warned about
his busy schedule, they were prepared to be quick, but ended up having
such a good time that when the eclipse started they found themselves in
his garden unsure of which was the better sight: the eclipse or the
sight of Detorri running around in his dressing robe, using a piece of
lighting gel as a visor.
The jockey had only good things to say about Vinnie, describing him as
an ’ace bloke’, despite his ’reputation’.
Kinnear proved to be a bit of a joker. After filming at the Walthamstow
dogs, the crew propped up the bar where the stories flowed with the
It emerged that Dettori, having only known Jones for a short while, was
unprepared for the ensuing reaction when the dud tip he jokingly gave
Vinnie finished after his own. He escaped lightly: ’Vinnie walked over,
grabbed him, and hung him by his ankles, to the tune of ’that’s the last
tip you give me!’,’ recounts Fennell. Kinnear, like Vettori, was full of
nothing but praise for Vinnie.
Vinnie’s great aunt was another story. She was very keen to talk about
Vinnie. And talk. And talk. Even when the production crew had returned
to London she kept calling them with stories about his youth. Naturally,
she didn’t have a bad word to say, ’butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’,
was her view.
The camera only stopped rolling after a hefty ten hours of footage,
which meant some serious editing. The first viewing caused some nerves
at One2One as Harrison remembers: ’It was completely unscripted, so when
we saw the first edit, we didn’t know what to expect.’
Vinnie’s cameo at the end drew unanimous praise and Fennell claims: ’He
was an absolute pleasure to work with.’ It looks like this hard nut is
actually very soft.