CHI in Christmas ad for Carphone

Clemmow Hornby Inge has unveiled its Christmas TV campaign for Carphone Warehouse, which enforces the retailer's positioning as a long-term service partner for mobile phone users.

The ad is a parody of charity ads that discourage people from buying dogs as Christmas presents. It uses the endline: "A phone is for life, not just for Christmas."

The BACC demanded that CHI sought permission to use the line from the RSPCA and the National Canine Defence League, which first introduced the "a dog is for life, not just for Christmas" slogan.

In the Carphone Warehouse ad, an RSPCA-style volunteer explains the horrors facing abandoned mobile phones, while viewers are shown "disturbing" vignettes of a broken phone with a cockroach crawling out of it and a phone on a rubbish dump. In a third scene, we see movement in a discarded bin bag lying in a dark alley, before the volunteer is shown rescuing "Mowbli".

The abandoned phones are then compared with phones bought at Carphone Warehouse. The happier phones are shown moonwalking with joy and being tickled affectionately. The ad closes with a death knell soundtrack and the "a phone is for life" strapline.

Charles Inge wrote and art directed the 40-second ad, which was directed by Marc Charach at HLA. The TV ad will be supported by press activity and, possibly, radio advertising by Radioville.

Tristia Clarke, the head of marketing at Carphone Warehouse, said: "It is another fun and enjoyable ad, which reminds people that when you buy a mobile phone the most important thing is where you get it from."

The ad will run until just after Christmas, with media buying through Matters Media and planning by Unity.

Carphone Warehouse was CHI's founding client when the agency started up 18 months ago. The agency now handles advertising for the company across Europe, where the brand is called the Phone House. It is the biggest mobile phone retailer in the region.

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