NEWS: Ad debut for Kissinger in AMV Economist film

Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state and advisor to a string of presidents, is to make his first ad appearance in a British television commercial.

Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state and advisor to a

string of presidents, is to make his first ad appearance in a British

television commercial.



Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO pulled off the coup on behalf of the Economist,

for which the statesman agreed to star in a new TV spot. The ad breaks

nationally next Monday during News at Ten.



In the 30-second spot, a businessman settles into his first-class seat

on a transatlantic flight. He sits back in horror as Kissinger, renowned

for his towering intellect, settles down next to him and panics at the

thought of trying to hold his own in conversation.



His angst is underlined by the punchline: ‘Ready for a good chat?’

David Abbott, the agency’s creative director, and Ron Brown, its head of

art, went to New York for the shoot, which was completed in an hour - as

much time as Kissinger said he was able to spare.



‘Everything went according to plan and Kissinger did about half-a-dozen

takes,’ Abbott said. ‘He was very good, although the action isn’t very

complicated.’



The agency wanted to use Kissinger as part of a poster campaign for the

Economist six months ago, but he declined. He changed his mind, however,

when Abbott converted the ad into a TV script.



Peter Levelle directed the film through Beechurst Film Productions at

New York’s Silver Cup studio.



Abbott would not reveal how much Kissinger was paid for his

contribution. ‘It was a token fee,’ he said. ‘He reads the Economist and

the idea just tickled his fancy.’



Andrew McGregor, the Economist’s director of marketing, said: ‘I hope

people will be amused by the ad.’



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