Glazer directs latest epic commercial for Stella Artois

LONDON - Film director Jonathan Glazer has returned to advertising with a 90-second epic for Stella Artois, the latest in the 'reassuringly expensive' series of advertisements created by Lowe & Partners.

The ad will break nationally in cinemas from March and on television a month later, with a 60-second version also planned.

Glazer, who directed the gangster film 'Sexy Beast', used a cast of more than 800 for the six-day shoot in Buenos Aires.

In the ad, called "Devil's Island", the hero, Didier, is a prisoner on a ship bound for the infamous penal colony.

A fellow prisoner is carted off to solitary confinement -- a small cell in the ship's deck in the blazing sun -- after knocking a guard unconscious with a soup ladle. At the same time, another guard loses his unopened bottle of Stella, which Didier manages to stash in a rolled-up blanket, unable to believe his luck.

There is nowhere to hide on the ship and Didier is thwarted in his attempts to drink the precious beer. Finally, he grabs the same ladle as in the first scene and taps the same guard on the shoulder. With a Gallic shrug, he knocks the guard out.

It ends with Didier being carted off to solitary, clinging to his blanket with a private look of satisfaction in his eyes, and uses the "reassuringly expensive" tagline.

The ad was written by Vince Squibb at Lowe, produced by Sarah Hallatt and directed by Glazer through Academy.

Glazer made his mark on the advertising world with a spot for Stella in 1997 called "last orders". It showed a young man unable to resist drinking the pint of Stella that his father has requested on his deathbed, but manages to shift the blame to a hapless priest.

Interbrew last week consolidated the global advertising for Stella with Lowe, after the success of the "reassuringly expensive" campaign. The agency has also been briefed to create a new series of idents for Stella's sponsorship of films on Channel 4.

Karen Waring, marketing manager of Stella Artois, said: "The ad continues to reinforce the Stella Artois 'reassuringly expensive' positioning as the brand of supreme quality and worth."

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