Monday, September 15, 2008
In between reading Penelope Fitzgerald - brilliant - and dreaming idly of bankers' bodies swinging from the lamp posts of Notting Hill - only a matter of time - I have been pondering the new Hovis ad. It is a montage of historical events: Titanic, suffragettes, World Wars I and II, a Mark I Cortina and so on. All are experienced by the running boy with a loaf under his arm. Of course, this is just a way of saying the Hovis loaf goes back a long way. But it's the pay-off that intrigues. The mother calls, 'Is that you home, love?' The boy responds 'Yeah' with evident satisfaction. The word 'home' is made ambiguous - he is back in the house, but also he is at home in this history. American advertisements are full of the joy of being at home in America, but British advertisers don't usually risk it for the simple reason that we don't feel at home in our history. But this boy is at one with the doomed tommies marching off to the trenches and the pithead confrontations of the eighties. Is this a change of heart or just another loafload of killer carbs?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 1:03 pm