HPI Equifax, the car information service, will make its first appearance
on television next week with an animated commercial created by Barker
The campaign is designed to sell HPI checks - a service routinely used
by car dealers - to the general public. HPI finds out whether a car has
been stolen, badly damaged or not fully paid for at some time in the
The spot opens on a cartoon character zooming around in a peach with
wheels. He is introduced through a voiceover by Clement Freud: ‘Royston
here has just bought himself a quality used car...he reckons it’s a real
But Freud goes on to explain that Royston didn’t ask HPI to check the
vehicle’s history. ‘They could have told him that this particular peach
was actually a lemon,’ he explains. ‘Two lemons welded together in
Nicki Websper, the marketing director of HPI, said six to eight million
second-hand cars change hands in Britain each year, many of which have a
concealed history that the consumer would want to know about.
Most of Britain’s main dealers use the system via online computer links,
but Websper hopes the campaign will encourage more ordinary buyers to
use the phone service.
The ad, which was written by Richard Carman and art directed by Julian
Scott, will be tested on Channel 4 on 15 July. It was produced by Pizazz
Pictures, while the animation was by Gaston Marzio.
The ad will be backed by radio and specialist press work, as well as
posters and cards on the London Underground. Media is being handled by
Media Campaign Services.