Rover heads off in direction of 'cool Britannia'

- Ammirati Puris Lintas has taken a radical change in direction in its new campaign for Rover, which taps into the current "cool Britannia" mood in Britain.

- Ammirati Puris Lintas has taken a radical change in direction in its new campaign for Rover, which taps into the current "cool Britannia" mood in Britain.

Two 40-second films, for the 200 and 400 marques, drop the old endline, "relax", in favour of the spoken line: "things haven't changed a bit". The films, which break nationally around the "News at Ten" on Tuesday night, aim to position Rover as a fashionable, contemporary car that is an integral part of the new Britain.

The Rover 200 film is urban-based and aims to make the car appeal to a younger market. Backed by the track "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" by Sparks, it opens on a carnival scene and then cuts to a funky-looking girl driving the Rover. She opens her eyes and displays lurid red, white and blue contact lenses. The voiceover contrasts the old image of a dull, predictable Britain with its new incarnation -- for example it refers to "pearly queens" but the visual image is of two girls outside a night club both with their navels pierced with a pearl.

The Rover 400 film, which is shot in a similar off-beat style, takes the viewer on a lightning tour round Britain and is backed by the song "Virginia Plain" by Roxy Music.

The commercials are shot in vivid colour and use a ramping technique to speed up the film. They were created at APL by copywriter Adam Denton and art director Andy Fairless. They were directed by Howard Greenhalgh through Brave Films. Media planning is by APL with buying through Zenith Media.

Chris Thomas, the managing director of APL, who was hired last summer to boost the agency's work on Rover, said: "These two commercials are a dynamic and positive presentation of the Rover brand. They will challenge people's perceptions in a way that is credible."

John Lowndes, Rover Car's marketing director, added: "This is a real step change for Rover. We are preparing the way for our new range of products. This campaign will give us a real sense of momentum whilst maintaining our traditional values. This is all about contemporising and adding modernity to the brand."



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