A law firm's good intentions have resulted in a howling dog of a commercial.
The advert is for Sheffield firm SSB, part of the Quality Solicitors network, and if you've never felt your gonads cringe, prepare for an uncomfortable sensation. The star, a young man in a toga waving a spatula, possesses enviable levels of commitment but less range than the lovechild of Rupert Grint and Ron Weasley
He must have done some horrible things on the casting couch, because he doesn't have one part, he has both of them:
's creative team uploaded their Roman crotchpunch of a video with a description saying it was a "viral advertisement
", which was a bit presumptious because at the time no-one had
seen it, which is actually the opposite of viral.
But now I've watched it 11 times and their optimism seems well-founded. It truly is "made in the style of the successful Apple campaign 'I'm a
PC & I'm a Mac'
", in that both have white backgrounds and exist.
I phoned up SSB to find out more about the creative process behind Toga
and what the reaction had been to
within the firm.
It turns out there's a good reason why it looks like a student film, which is that it is a student film. Partner Jeremy Brooke explained to me that Sheffield University had asked local businesses to give its media studies students an
advertising brief so they could get some real-world experience besides unemployment. SSB requested a commercial about the dangers of
dying intestate, which to be fair to Ron Grint had to be the short straw assignment.
Jeremy was surprised when I told him that the advert had already gone live. He hadn't seen it and the partners were expecting to watch
it in-house for the first time that afternoon, presumably so they could check it was ok before they allowed it to be released on the internet to go viral (well, even more viral. Viral2
). However he
happily agreed to watch it while I was on the phone, and seemed excited.
If hearing another man's
testes retreat into his stomach had been on my bucket list I would be a happy man.
Instead I felt like I'd promised Jeremy a BMW and then listened in as he unwrapped a Z8-sized turd. When it was over he sounded like a changed man, a much older man somehow. In a defeated tone of voice he asked, "What would you like me to
" But that said it all. We both hung up to make our wills.
.... read more