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Editor’s Pick. John Smith’s ‘Antiques’ advert

Agency: TBWA\ London

Client: John Smith’s

A new John Smith’s TV ad sees actor, writer and comedian Peter Kay resuming his role as ‘John Smith’, the UK’s archetypal ‘No Nonsense’ man.

The verbal sparring takes place at an antiques fair, set in the grounds of an imposing country mansion.

As Kay listens intently and impatiently to the resident art expert valuing a watercolour he’s taken along, a gathering audience waits with bated breath to hear how much it’s worth.

But his dream of owning a rare masterpiece is dashed when the expert confirms the worth of the painting to be just £200 much to the disbelief and disappointment of ‘No Nonsense’ man.

“We wrote a lot of scripts around TV shows for the new ad campaign – television is such a big part of our cultural consumption and the antiques TV show format in particular felt like a common reference point for all of us,” said Al Young, Creative Director at TBWA\ London.

“What’s interesting about antiques shows on TV is that there are a couple of social rules that are expected to be played out  – having to put on a brave face when you’re told your prized possession is of little financial value or having to act calm and unexcited if the expert reveals you’re the owner of a masterpiece.”

He added, “All we really want to see is an honest reaction and, in ‘Antiques’, that’s exactly what we get from Peter’s character.”

Sky viewers will have the added bonus of being able to click on the green button at the end of Antiques to see exclusive a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video capturing the making of the two new ads.

It is the first time in five years that Kay has reprised his role as John Smith’s No Nonsense man, after starring in the first campaign from 2002-2005.

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