We open on a slightly deranged but average-looking bloke in a decidedly un-average kitchen (big enough to fit a film crew in), talking on the phone to 'Mike', his new best mate from Picture, about the weather while juggling a football on his head (as you do). He is being filmed by his missus on a camcorder, oh, and the theme music from 80s art show Take Hart is playing in the background. So far, so surreal, as what else do middle-class suburban couples get up to with camcorders in the privacy of their own homes, but film each other taking out substantial loans against their mortgages?
And what a loan this fellow is taking out. It is only £25,000, but he will actually pay back £43,358 over 180 months, That is 'only' £18,000 interest. 'Brilliant!' he exclaims, and camcorder woman gives him the thumb-up.
He must have negotiated his previous deal with Mad Frankie Fraser if he thinks that is 'brilliant!' - no matter, as he still has time to patronise camcorder woman by telling Picture that it's a good thing 'there's no need for paperwork' as it gives her 'one less thing to do'.
Watching TV will also be one less thing for her to do in a few years' time, when the bailiffs kick in the front door and nick the telly when he can't keep up with repayments. I guess the premise of this commercial is to show how simple it is to take out a loan with Picture, and on that level it certainly succeeds. If this sexist idiot can manage it, anyone can.
What paints a far more worrying picture is that the Citizens Advice Bureau has reported a 15% rise in debt problems over the past year. That is 5650 cases a day. Of the 13m people who consolidated their debt with loans, 8.5m continued to borrow and get into further debt through other finance deals ... hardly 'brilliant!' by anyone's standards.
This article was first published on Marketing