In the mid '80s, good old Auntie Beeb had the jolly wheeze of letting its resident creatives and production people loose with its resources so they could make their own videos to accompany old hits that predated the pop video era. Whether through typical BBC reticence, management interference, or being naturally shite, the end result was a risible series (hosted by Dave Lee Travis, which would have been a sufficient indicator of its inherent crapness) called the Golden Oldie Picture Show. A variety of pop and rock numbers were illustrated by videos which literally interpreted every damn song.
Kung Fu Fighting? Let’s do a film of people kung fu fighting.
Waterloo Sunset? Let’s have the sun setting over Waterloo Bridge.
Sunny Afternoon?... you get the picture.
High street retailer Boots’ classy No.7 cosmetics range gets the Golden Oldie treatment from agency Mother. Here, a young woman scrambles from one ill-fitting boudoir to the next, until she happens upon the No.7 room, which fits perfectly, ending with the tagline Find Your Perfect Match (boom boom!).
The imagery is Alice In Wonderland, the young woman being of an age when the words “Eat Me” would indicate a successful conclusion to her night out. What’s the soundtrack? It’s White Rabbit, which was written and composed when Jefferson Airplane’s lead singer Grace Slick was on an LSD trip and listening to Miles Davis.
I didn’t much like the ad at first (I’m hardly its target audience, after all), thinking the soundtrack too obvious. But maybe Mother are being mischievous – maybe they’re hinting that, sod it, a woman can enjoy herself even if it means knocking back a few happy pills. It beats the “wear this and have a sophisticated slow motion shag” euphemisms of your typical classy fragrance ad.
In the interests of research, I dispatched a brace of scantily clad monkeygirls to find a typical ad numpty, and ask her opinion:
"It’s for cosmetics you say? Think of all the White Rabbits they tortured! And then they sing about it! I’m going to complain."