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Boy! Oh Boy!
Talent that sells.
Every now and again advertising produces one of those really special moments which makes you feel you haven't left the show that you were watching and entered the ad break. Those are usually the genius commercials which have been so finely crafted that the quality and the story have formed the perfect segue from entertainment to advertising.
Often the difference is in the idea, sometimes it's the quality, or the music, the setting, the feel, interestingly it is usually less about the talent of the players.
Recently I've marveled at a commercial that's simply mesmerised me and the impact has less to do with the product or the story or the setting. It's all about the character and the talented little actor who plays the role. Uncle Toby's like to use kids to play the roles of messengers and their ads are always professional and well acted, but their new TVC for Quick Oats Sachets is a blinder and it's all because of a young guy who reckons "I'm not really a morning person".
As an AD man I can only say, Wow! This young guy brings to your TV screen, 30 seconds of real acting talent and demonstrates that casting can make or break a commercial. Whatever they paid for this school boy wasn't nearly enough because he carries the part, makes the commercial and lifts the product to new heights of credibility.
Yes, it's beautifully written and well filmed and his support actors are almost as natural as he is, but brother is he refreshingly talented. He simply oozes personality and without playing a phoney character role, appearing precocious or being a little smart arse. The kid is better than good and I hope he's destined for bigger and better things.
Child actors and actresses are usually a pain to work with and that's OK... if they're good. Most aren't, a few are average, one or two are special and this bloke's got the lot.
When you watch this TVC, notice the little things that make it so natural and realise that the young bloke concerned is controlling this shoot. The Director may be guiding him but this schoolboy is stealing the camera and charming the pants off the audience.
It's a lesson for us all in Adland. If you want an ad that works, don't use rubbish talent. Forget about rent-a-crowd, or using your Mum or her best friend. Oh, and that special friend with a nice smile just won't cut the mustard. You need the right person and they need to be trained.
Take a leaf out of Uncle Toby's books, or should I say TV, and find skilled, well rounded characters with the ability to naturally command the screen and deliver your product with as much punch as our talented young bloke.
I've always been a traditional porridge man myself, but now I'll try this product - you see it really does work.