3 January 2011

Making A Parody of the 'Freeman'

With the new year come new advertising campaigns and in amongst the ubiquitous "We'll pay the VAT" (a lie of course because, as the small print reads, what is actually on offer is a discount equivalent to the looming VAT increase) is a range of adverts from the MORE TH>N brand of insurance company RSA. It seems that every other commercial at the moment on television features a 'character' or story in an attempt to entice the viewer into purchasing that product (more often than not a 'service' like insurance). Obviously in an attempt to replicate success of a certain Meerkat, RSA have launched a new character (it appears that Lucky the Dog's luck finally ran out) that parodies the deep, recognisable voice of Morgan Freeman, the originally named 'More Th>n Freeman.'

More Th>n Freeman, 'Rooftile' Advert

On first hearing the above advert I, as they intend all viewers to, assumed that it was actually Morgan Freeman however after 30 seconds or so I began to doubt the authenticity of the voice and my suspicions were confirmed with the end 'reveal' of it's true owner - Josh Robert Thompson, an American comedian and impressionist. The RSA group must be hoping that we hear the voice of an actor, well known for his authoritative voice, and begin to associate the two together before a 'classic' Postmodern twist when we find out we have been duped - "Silly old us, it's not him after all." Even the voice over itself is filled with tiny humorous inflections (" life there are many things that go over a man's head..." while the screen is filled with a view of roof tiles), not to mention powerful metaphors (roof tiles as a Red army marching back to Moscow). 

The advert itself is well put composed and the creative director has done an excellent job in stitching it all together. There are already four different adverts feature the character and I for one look forward to seeing where they go next. Although, for sure 'fun' it is still a long way off what must surely be one of the greatest advertisements of the past 10 years - the Barclay Card Water Slide.

Barclay Card, 'Water Slide Advert'