Hamlet cigars continues its controversial use of cinema with a
commercial that breaks this Friday. The provocative film stars several
people - and a horse - wearing luminous condoms.
The commercial is the 100th by Collett Dickenson Pearce since it won the
account in 1963 - and it could also be the last for the tobacco giant,
Gallaher. If the Labour Party wins the general election it has pledged
to ban advertising for all forms of tobacco except for point of
CDP insists that the film, created by Noel Hasson and John Cook, has
been cleared by the Cinema Advertising Association, despite its risque
It opens on a dark screen, and a shaft of light indicates a man entering
a room. He tells his partner that he’s home and asks her to keep the
lights off because he has a surprise.
’I bet you haven’t seen one of these before,’ boasts the man, to the
sound of unzipping flies. Suddenly, a short, green, luminous rod
appears, waving around in the darkness as he makes his way to the bed.
However, before he reaches his goal, he is surrounded by an array of
similarly bright and colourful phalluses - including a much larger one,
apparently belonging to a horse.
The dark screen goes silent. A match strikes, followed by the familiar
strains of Air on a G string. ’Hamlet. Extra Mild. Extra Happiness,’
says the endline.
The ad, which specifically promotes a new milder form of the market
leader, Hamlet, was produced using 3D animation by Hector Macleod at
Glassworks. It will run nationally in adult-rated films such as the
Chris Macleod, the managing director of CDP, defended the raunchy nature
of the ad. ’I think it’s humorous rather than crude,’ he said.
He added that the commercial continued the theme of ’solace in the face
of adversity’, which has been Hamlet’s trademark since the 60s.
Gallaher returned to the large screen last year after a seven-year break
with a spoof on the game of hangman that later picked up a gold award at
The brand shot to fame 30 years ago with a long-running series of TV ads
carrying its now familiar signature tune.