One of the best commercials ever made in my opinion was BBC’s ‘Perfect Day’. Watch it here: [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”aK596p-Co5s” width=”640″ height=”480″ auto_thumb=”1″]
Made under the direction of Jane Frost (now CEO of the Market Research Society!), it was the beeb’s first real go at a house commercial using the level of creative subtlety & power available from London’s and the beeb’s – creative communities. The fun game is guessing the name of all the artists, many of whom you will know – but almost certainly, some of whom you won’t. You can see a labelled version here and find out how many you got right:
[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”wP-uxfmD6dc” width=”640″ height=”480″ auto_thumb=”1″]
The idea of Perfection (Be Perfect from our Miniscripts) provides the grounding for the whole film, with the symbolic pastoral scenario returning every few seconds, interspered with the lyric of Lou’s song. Even though the pastoral scene is stylised, you quickly get the message of tranquility and perfection as it cuts back and forth between the singers, the song and the dream-like outdoors with the sun and shadows moving to reflect the passing day. Be Pefect is a miniscript (a set of early instructions) particularly prominent in those of us who had a strong religious or moral element to our early years. Be Perfect is determined to do the right thing, find the perfect partner and the right job. H/she also wants the perfect answer! Common words that indicate the presence of the Be Perfect driver (alive in all of us!) are: perfect/worthless, tidy/untidy, should/shouldn’t, actually, obvious, exactly, precisely, personally, particular. Watch out for these in your own speech! Then notice how you feel when Be Perfect is in charge!
Here is more detail of the story behind the film:
A few months after the first Labour parliamentary victory in nearly 20 years, the BBC made a celebration and a justification of itself, a four-minute promotional film featuring the stars of pop, country, R&B, jazz (well, they got Courtney Pine) and classical. All singing lines from “Perfect Day.” The promo film was masterfully shot and cut (Simon Hanhart produced the music), making a smooth whole out of what could have been an ungainly patchwork. There was a clamouring for the track to be released as a single, and soon enough it was, with all proceeds going to Children in Need.
It would be Bowie’s last appearance for some time. And Lou, of course, left us a few weeks ago!
Jane Frost, the BBC’s head of corporate marketing, was the force behind it. After tenures in marketing for Lever Brothers and Shell, Jane was recruited by the BBC in 1995: her main job was to explain the service’s role to a new generation, using the language of pop videos and advertisements. The BBC had just won a battle to raise its licence fee (the fee for colour TVs increased from £71 in 1990 to £104 in 2000) and in Jane’s words, it wanted to remind viewers what they would miss if it ever went away (“if it disappeared, you really would be losing something”).