Leagas Shafron Davis Ayer has persuaded Seat, the Volkswagen-owned
Spanish car-maker, to gamble half its UK advertising budget on a series
of eight soap opera TV commercials, each of which will be broadcast just
The daring pounds 2 million initiative breaks on Saturday 18 May and
will run for eight weeks - a new 90-second episode will be launched in
the same peak-time spot every Saturday evening.
The ads, or ‘soapverts’ as Leagas Shafron dubs them, tell the story of
Count Otto Montenegro, a suave cad living perilously above his means.
His dastardly plan is to marry the spoilt wild child heiress, Tara Kane,
but meanwhile he continues his affair with the ice-maiden, Gretchen
The TV spots, which star Minder’s Dennis Waterman, Bread’s Jean Boht
and the film actor, Jim Broadbent, will be flagged by press ads running
in Saturday tabloids.
The films were directed by the Blackadder director, Geoff Posner,
through Academy Films. They were created by the Leagas Shafron creative
director, Steve Grime, and the copywriter, Rob Janowski. Media planning
and buying is by BBJ Media.
The script includes deliberately creaky references to Seat’s range of
cars, such as this line from Tara: ‘Keep away from my horse, my fiance
and my befuddled father, do you understand? You cannot manipulate me as
easily as you would a Seat Cordoba with power steering as standard
across the range.’
Grime said: ‘It is a first for this type of advertising. We were in a
David and Goliath situation with Seat - the David against the might of
other car manufacturers. We needed to make a splash.’
A Seat spokesman said: ‘We have got to punch above our weight and make
our brand enjoyable. The script will get people watching the telly - we
are not giving people a hard sell.’
The campaign will promote the entire Seat range rather than specific