Comedian Tom Allen is to delve into the advertising archives in a new series produced by Boundless for Channel 4.
The show has the working title of Tom Allen: Ad Man; will explore 65 years of the nation’s best-loved and most outrageous TV adverts; charting the changing values and attitudes of the UK along the way.
A lifetime of ads
During a romp through six decades of the TV ads that made us gasp, laugh, cry and buy, Allen reveals what some of Britain’s most iconic ad campaigns really say about us.
We love the ads and we definitely have our faves off the telly. This one below from coca-Cola is our number one. So we can’t wait for this.
Over four episodes, he’ll take a smart look at the infamous and the long-forgotten, unearthing ads that could be baulked at or banned today, as well as revisiting the nostalgic, the heart-warming and the up-lifting.
Allen will make viewers think as well as laugh, as he delves into the issues of gender, race, class and Britishness, and explores how our evolving attitudes to these issues have been reflected in the ads beamed into the nation’s living rooms.
Filmed from the comfort of Allen’s own home, Tom Allen: Ad Man will feature playful spoofs and lots of laughs, alongside thought-provoking observations.
It will be filmed with a self-shooting kit while Allen is self-isolating in the home he shares with his parents.
“I’m delighted to be analysing the world of advertising which, in our consumer age, has really dictated how we see ourselves.
Ads and identity
“I don’t even know who I am unless I’m buying something! If I buy Ski Yoghurt – does that make me a health freak? If I choose Diet Coke – does that mean I should take my top off? Would drinking Cinzano make me Joan Collins??!
“Anyway, fingers crossed it’s just as glamourous as the programme Mad Men, but here’s hoping I don’t start smoking, drinking Scotch during the day and having an affair with my secretary.”
Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment said: “The show will not only allow Channel 4 viewers to enjoy the nostalgia of revisiting some well-loved TV ads, but also reveal how they reflected the surprising and sometimes shocking attitudes of yesteryear, with Tom’s trademark wit and humour bringing the perfect mix of entertainment and insight to proceedings.”
The show was commissioned by Lee McMurray for Channel 4. It is a Boundless production, part of Fremantle, and the executive producers are Cal Turner and Amanda Sangorski.
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