The Duchess of York is to appear in her first British TV commercial
in a campaign to boost interest in reading among school children.
She is one of six celebrities giving their services free for the #l.5
million initiative which is part of National Literacy Year. It is a
joint effort by News International and Walkers Snacks and has been
produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
Walkers’ advertising front man, Gary Lineker, the author and prospective
candidate for mayor of London, Lord Archer, the film director and
restaurant critic, Michael Winner, the agony aunt, Claire Rayner, and
the Spice Girl, Mel B, are all featured reading passages from a
favourite childhood book.
All the passages are ironic comments about the readers themselves. The
Duchess reads the opening words from Prince Charming: ’Once upon a time
there was a girl who dreamed that she would one day meet a handsome
Mel B picks one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books which talks about ’a
wild-looking little creature with a mass of untidy black curls’. Lord
Archer describes how Dick Whittington ’returned to London and became
mayor three times’.
Meanwhile Winner, eating a mouthful of spaghetti, reads from Mr
’That was a delicious breakfast he thought to himself. Now I wonder what
would be nice to have for lunch.’
In another ten-second spot, Claire Rayner reads from The Growing Pains
of Adrian Mole: ’Dear Auntie Claire, I am a 15-year-old schoolboy and my
problem is that I am obsessed by sex.’
The ads were written by Tony Strong, art directed by Mike Durban and
directed by Paul Weiland. They promote tokens that will appear on crisp
packets and in all the News International titles, which will be
redeemable against reading books for schools.