NEWS: Barker and Ralston makes first film for car checks service

HPI Equifax, the car information service, will make its first appearance on television next week with an animated commercial created by Barker and Ralston.

HPI Equifax, the car information service, will make its first appearance

on television next week with an animated commercial created by Barker

and Ralston.



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

past.



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

peach.’



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

fact.’



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.



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