- Granada Home Technology has signed Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson to front its first television campaign for seven years.
The work is the first by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO since it won the business in 1996 and promotes the company's new TV 2000 deal, which introduces customers painlessly to digital television.
The package allows people to rent a digitally compatible TV and promises to deliver complementary equipment such as set-top boxes as they become necessary.
The commercial takes a Monty Pythonesque tone by contrasting a knowing Clarkson with a customer who slaps himself with a fish for ignoring TV 2000.
It opens with Clarkson talking about what a customer gets for signing up with Granada, as a workman piles up the equipment in front of him. He then commiserates with the man who "blew £400" on buying just a television, destined to become obsolete in the near future.
The ad then cuts to images of the man flagellating himself with the fish as Clarkson turns to the camera and says wryly: "Self recrimination. It's a terrible thing."
The commercial breaks on 13 May and was written by Richard Foster, art directed by John Horton and directed by Nick Lewin for Cowboy Films.
Carl Shuck, board account director on the business at AMV, said that Clarkson was chosen to front the campaign because of his straight-talking reputation: "We chose him to put over Granada's offer because people recognise him as someone who will 'tell it like it is.'
The TV 2000 idea came from a brainstorming session between agency and client on how to boost interest in a generally flagging rental market. Granada currently has around 460 high street rental shops around the country, while 80,000 people a week opt to buy televisions rather than rent them. Granada Home Technology was formerly Granada's rental division.