The tussle to secure Billy Connolly as the frontman for a major
advertising campaign has been won by Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson.
The agency has secured the Scottish comedian to star in the pounds 30
million launch work for Goldfish, the new credit card from British Gas
and HFC Bank. The budget covers an 18-month long campaign.
Connolly recently turned down a contract to replace Bob Hoskins in BT’s
‘it’s good to talk’ campaign, and NatWest Bank is also known to have
coveted him as a spokesman.
This week, Connolly is revealed as the frontman for Goldfish with a
blockbuster launch commercial directed by John Lloyd through Limelight.
The ‘Big Yin’ plays a wise man with the answer to life’s major
questions, including: ‘How can I get money off my gas bill?’
The commercial’s Icelandic setting lends it an epic feel, while Connolly
is portrayed as a legendary figure with piercing blue eyes. Humour in
the film comes from the mock-serious juxtaposition between the mythic
setting and the prosaic message of the advertising.
The ads were written by Ros Sinclair and art directed by Sean Thompson.
Paul Simons, the agency’s chairman, said: ‘This is a mass-market, anti-
elitist launch, and the image of a goldfish is warm, friendly and
associated with the home. It is also a symbol of wealth and prosperity
in the East.’
The selling point of Goldfish is that it makes useful offers - such as
money off the gas bill - rather than asking customers to save up points
for a gift.
Gold Brand Developments, the holding company for the brand, is hoping to
secure further deals offering money off other home essentials such as
supermarket shopping and telephone bills. It is also expected to expand
its products across the financial services market.