Is it me... or am I risking the wizard’s wrath – again?

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I don’t know if I should be happy or scared – but Gusto has taken off.

Clearly the offer of one director for both tabletop and live action appeals to both agencies and their clients. It must be the convenience of having everything under one roof or the flowing commercial that comes from a solo vision. Ah, who am I kidding – it’s the cost saving isn’t it?

Well, whether it’s art or numbers luring them in, long may it continue.

But there’s just one small cloud on the horizon. And it involves pale men in dark rooms. Yep, you guessed it. Now I’ve got to deal with those old-school Merlins again. And they’re not happy about being ousted.

To be fair to the old guard, they did seem to enjoy last year’s blog. In truth, I think they’re angry, worried and plotting. Let’s hope ol’ Voldermort (I assume it’s safe to say his name these days) isn’t thinking of moving into table-top now Potter’s roughed him up for the last time.

The magicians should have seen it coming really. And if they’d spent less time watching the cauldron and more time watching the news, maybe they would have. Production budgets were bound to be affected by the economic climate sooner or later. And using two of everything never felt shrewd – even in the days when a long lunch break seemed an imperative and Banoffee pie was always on the menu: did you know it was invented in East Sussex?

Of course, there are some Oxbridge boffins in the table-top game who none of us can compete with. You know the type. You’ve seen their work. It’s all dunking a bee in a boiling vat of honey, before letting it gently slide down a pipe into a welcoming glass of beer. All to communicate the nectar-like quality of the beverage – obviously. But my comic mind can’t help thinking of the poor bastard at the bar who spits out the little yellow and black critter – turning to the barmaid and uttering: I’m buzzed, honey, but this beer stings.

I’m sorry, but as I said in last month’s post, to me, a commercial should always be built around a story. And there remains something in the table-top arena which makes people forget this. No matter how beautiful the food looks, it needs to be linked in some way to people and emotion.

Even the great work a certain Mr. CS did for M&S was emotional. Who could resist those syrupy tones as they lulled you into believing the microwave was some sort of sex aid – go on, reheat me, you know you want to. But then those commercials didn’t involve a family. Or their happy kitchen lives. They were just… table top. It’s when you need a performance from an actual human, as well as a manicured cauliflower, that these conjurers come unstuck – and the Gusto offer comes into its own.

Of course I’ll admit it’s hard to generate believable stories in the tabletop environment which is why I’m looking to a wizard free future where we can talk more about story development with the confidence that the food will just… look good – did you see that Maggi spot where the little girl helps her Mum prepare the meal? Sweet. Although I thought the food could have looked better, sorry.

Anyway, back to the grind this month, on the road shooting for Gusto and other brands, trying to keep those magicians at wands length - seems I'm failing judging by the pictured onset AC failure. It's going well...

Look out for new work coming this autumn once the summer madness has passed, so check in soon.

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