Here’s an interesting brief. It’s for a malt whisky, Glenfiddich, which
is going on to TV for the first time. It wants to move its image away
from traditional tweedy values and into more emotional territory. An ad
is created, as reported in Campaign last week. The storyline centres on
a father and son. The son, a doctor, delivers the voiceover and explains
the history behind the unhappy relationship. The father, once a
professional boxer, is attempting to heal the rift via a holiday with
his son in the boxing Mecca, Las Vegas. The scenes are intercut with the
son at work, and boxing.
Just a word of warning for the agency, McCann-Erickson. The British
Medical Association has simultaneously but coincidentally unveiled an
anti-boxing film, also reported in Campaign last week, designed to
challenge the legitimacy of the sport.
The second ad, by DMB&B, opens on what looks like a conker fight. Later,
the scene is lit to reveal that the game is being played not with
conkers, but with human brains. It’s a powerful film, and it has the
support of two media owners, Cinema Media and Pearl and Dean, which are
giving the airtime for free.
The final irony is, of course, that NABS, the charity that exists to
help punch-drunk advertising people, makes most of its money from its
boxing night. This year’s event raised a staggering pounds 551,000. It’s
a truly awesome amount, and much needed for NABS’s good work in the
business. Unfortunately, it’s also a truly awful way to raise it, as the
BMA and most people who go to the evening, will testify.
Contrary to popular wisdom, I’m sure most boxers are nice people and
I’ve heard boxing described as a harmless channelling of aggression. All
the same, I wonder if I am alone in thinking that there is something
wrong about a script featuring a sport that champions reducing your
opponent to such a state that he can no longer stand or defend himself?