A friend of mine sent me a YouTube link to the new John Smiths’ Peter Kay advert. His observation in sending it was that it picks up a subtle difference between the sexes in that often women try to guess which other women men find attractive — glamorous celebrities often being cited. This advert shows that this view is often very wide of the mark.
The advert is a model of economy but crams an awful lot about a relationship into its thirty seconds. It’s very much a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ in terms of being honest with a partner (‘I won’t get upset. It’s only a game.’) Peter Kay’s character is very well behaved ‘There’s only one lady in my life’ until he’s pushed three times by his partner.
The setting is also quite subtle — some upmarket restaurant pub and the other couple’s presence, although they don’t speak, is essential to the drama. It also cleverly bridges the gap between the fantasy of showbusiness and celebrity (Kelly Brook, Tess Daly) and people’s own lives: ‘Clare from work’. (Great choice of name to bring out the northern vowels — Peter Kay’s from Bolton, not too far from where I come from — Rochdale.) Â The shot at the end with the photocopier is one of the truest representations of interior characterisation I’ve seen for a long time. ‘Oh aye’.
Some of the books that examine men’s and women’s different behaviours in relationships from an evolutionary psychology perspective make the point that availability and proximity are Â often more prescient factors in a typically male assessment of a mate than the attractiveness. (And this tendency is amplified by alcohol — the infamous ‘beer goggles’).
It’s very much in the vein of James’ point of view in The Angel in the scenes I’ve written with Emma and Kim. These promoted one coursemate to suggest that the log line for my novel should end ‘can James keep his mind off sex for long enough to stop the business falling apart’ — a line that everyone found rather hilarious though I’m not sure if poor old James would.