Friday, 7 March 2008

Telly Selly Time #3: 'Hand over that Tizer, you boys!'

I’m not usually a subscriber to the idea of advertising as an artform in its own right. Far from being a hive of creativity, 99% of it leeches off what’s floating about the zeitgeist, chops it up into a one-minute chunk for the uses of Messrs Procter and Gamble, then sits back and takes all the money. Ad execs like the dreadful Trevor Beattie nick someone else’s perfectly good idea, employ highly talented technical folk to recreate it, then bask in all the glory despite having contributed nothing but a badly soiled fag packet. It’s not out of some strong Socialist principle or anything like that, I’m just sarky about Saatchi.

But a rule as monolithic as that spawns some great exceptions, and the 1985 Tizer ad here is one of them. (Doesn’t start until 00.50 but don’t miss a fine bit of Roland Rat/Tommy Boyd rivalry on the way.) The premise doesn’t hold much promise: a bunch of bored South London yobs get high on Tartrazine fizz and decide to terrorise a pair of security guards (a pre-Carling Black Label Oblivion Boys) with an intimidating mixture of formation pogoing and Pig Latin.

But. It’s great though, isn’t it? That catchy Madness-meets-Sham 69 song, some top crosstalk from Frost and Arden, that moustache, and an all-round playground quotability factor of 10. There’s a school of thought (population: me) that says adverts at their best are the purest form of nostalgia. Think about it – you spent about eight months of your childhood watching the same sixty seconds of action several times a day. It burns itself into your brain. Then they stop showing it, and you forget all about it, until it turns up decades later on an old VHS or YouTube and the sleeping dragon wakes. You enter a dreamlike state wherein – you swear – you start mentally reciting the ad a fraction of a second before it unspools on screen. It’s like playing a tape directly out of your memory, and when it happens the results are uncanny.

By the way, if anyone can identify any of the actors playing the ‘yobboes’, or indeed decipher the line that comes directly after ‘so we say words they won’t understand,’ you’ll have scratched a 23-year-old itch.

1 comment:

The Sourest Grape said...

Almost a year after you asked, the lyric in question sounds like "There's Rize-o-mize-e-o and Muscle Mize-an", which I guess is meant to mean that the nicknames of Arden and Frost are Romeo and Muscle Man. Well, obviously.