Saturday, March 31, 2012

Advertising: Batchelor's Peas and the best gay ad never broadcast

The Olgilvy museum has been uploading some of the agency's classic ads (including a beautiful, pristeen copy of the gay Guiness ad which was never aired, and which is probably the best gay commercial ever made.)

But first, the ad for Batchelor's Wonderful Peas:

And In Westminster lately one sees
That scaffolding all 'round Big Ben is a sight
But whatever it is that they do at that height
You can be sure that the time's always right
For those Batchelor's wonderful peas

CommercialCloset (now part of GLAAD) had this to say about the Guinnes ad:
Artfully shot with the help of maverick California-based British producer Tony Kaye, the UK tabloid press widely reported the planned ad before it aired, to much scandal. Pubs and consumers were shocked that the traditional brand would air a gay ad.
     Fearing greater backlash by straight consumers, the TV spot was ultimately dropped by Guinness. Later, the company tried to deny that this spot even existed.
     "There was a desire by the agency and Guinness to have a certain ambiguity about it," Kaye told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in 1997 about the ad he created. "So that when you watch the spot, you said, 'Well are these guys gay or not?' These guys are gay -- the storytelling, to me, needed him to give the other guy a little peck on the cheek."
     When asked why the company would deny the existence of the ad he shot, Kaye offered, "Most of them have the vision of a dead rat. I think it was charming and it was very funny and would sell a hell of a lot of beer."
     It is deeply unfortunate that the spot never aired, as it regularly gets standing ovations at live Commercial Closet screenings to gay audiences.

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