A couple of nights ago, I watched a very old VHS tape (Cheers, Just Good Friends, Channel 4’s Starsky and Hutch Night etc). Up popped some great old adverts that had me squealing in excitement. One in particular is genius: it was a McDonald’s advert (yes, McDonald’s!) for their Indian menu: the Lamb McSpicy (£1.39!), the McChicken Korma Naan, vegetable samosa and pineapple sundae. It cleverly spoofed those old 70s cinema ads for the local curry house. Complete with scratchy audio, bad acting and a 1960s-sounding BBC-accented narrator, it ended: "For curry in a hurry, poppadom to McDonald’s restaurant". Laugh? I nearly wet myself.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down a version of this advert on the net and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I get around to uploading it. However, I did find some press about it. Here’s what Campaign’s Karen Yates reported back in 1999:
"Leo Burnett has resurrected the style of 70s low-budget cinema advertising for the launch of the McDonald’s Indian range. Three films, which parody the classic local curry house ad, deliberately use outmoded film techniques to create a dated effect. Each execution begins with a cliched shot of Indian people or beauty spots, such as the Taj Mahal, and goes on to show people in 70s clothing enjoying food at McDonald’s. The script, meanwhile, features some awful puns (‘kormalong to our friendly restaurant’).
The director, Steve Reeves, enhanced the self-conscious and stilted atmosphere of the ads by casting catalogue models rather than actors. He gave deliberately bad directions to the cast and rolled the cameras before calling ‘action’ to enhance the effect. The editor, Adam Spivey, then hand-spliced the film, sometimes using Sellotape, while the dialogue was manipulated by Wave to recreate the typical mono style of degraded sound. Music for the soundtrack was lifted straight from a 60s public information film, and the ads also feature dated typography and end-frames that appear to have been added on at the last minute."
It’s no fun hearing about this advert and not being able to see it, so as a compromise, I instead present Pearl & Dean’s ‘pa-pa, pa-pa’ theme tune and a selection of 1970s cinema ads. Brilliant.
Today I am mostly lovin’ – The fact that Bravo has chosen to re-run classic hit The A-Team. I pity da fool who ain’t seen it!
Today I am mostly hatin’ – OK, whose daft idea is it to recreate teen smash Beverly Hills 90210 for the noughties? When will these TV execs learn that sometimes, you’ve got to draw a line under a show and move on.
MSN Editor Coops
Don’t miss a trick – Add MSN Reality TV Agent to your IM contacts