The Good, The Ads & The Ugly, Jan 2016 – Nescafé/A Big Start

Do you want things? Generally, yes – but which things? Adverts attempt to make that decision for you but sometimes they go the opposite way and make you hate the corporate world more than you thought imaginable. This is The Good, The Ads & The Ugly.

Remember when the internet first took off in a big way? Not like Netscape and the Space Jam website but the proper internet like YouTube and IMDb and Kim Jong-Il looking at things. The place was full of new ideas and creativity, Kickstarters and flashmobs. And then television got its grubby hands on the ideas and restaged them but with vacant actors playing out duller storylines.

In this advert two guys purport to give an extreme wake-up call to their mate “sleepy Alex”. (Side note – no-one has ever had the nickname sleepy Alex for the simple reason that it is incredibly shit. Sleepy Alex does not get a lot of shagging done. Sleepy Alex does not lose his shit after taking half a gram of coke. Sleepy Alex is so boring he doesn’t ever warrant a nickname, even, paradoxically, “sleepy Alex”.)

So these guys, for a laugh, these guys have brought an orchestra into their mate’s back garden. Not a proper orchestra mind, just enough of an orchestra so that there can be some pick up shots of the various instruments. The stoic tuba man who comes closer to drowning the more it rains, the vaguely posh violin woman who doesn’t really need to read the sheet music. All these people have run through the logistics of setting this up: parking their cars on the front street, rearranging the chairs, tuning their fucking instruments in a cacophony of noise, without waking Alex.

Nescafe 1

Go to bed with your doors wide open like that and you’re likely to wake up to a totally different surprise.

Then, as they proceed to bleach any happy memories of Morecambe and Wise from the association with Bring Me Sunshine, Alex finally rises and greets them at the window, naked enough to imply he’s just got up, but not so naked as to be unbroadcastable. “Oh my gosh,” he says, in a tone suggestive of someone who is attempting to decipher a semaphore message.

He joins his mates downstairs, his mates who have such shit banter that they think essentially providing free entertainment and refreshments is an amazing prank. They drink a cup of Nescafé together, the message presumably being that it will wake you up like an orchestra and the lack of other parallels being subtly ignored. The orchestra doesn’t form into a debilitating addiction, preventing you from functioning on a normal level without a regular hit or use child slavery to produce its products. Child slaves are, notoriously, terrible at the bassoon.

Nescafe 2

Slavery bantz.

All too soon it’s time for Alex to deliver his final killer line. “Un-believable,” he says, sounding every inch the man who can believe it. A man who has spent so long on this shoot he can no longer imagine a garden not being filled by an orchestra. A man whose own garden is now so eerily silent he can’t sleep at night. A man no longer in need of a Nescafé Big Start.



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