Waitrose Autumn TV advert

So, call me a purist… But let me get this right. Some copy donkey saw fit to edit the first stanza of To Autumn by John Keats. And got Roger McGough, who should be ashamed of himself, to do the voice over, and seamlessly blend Keats into “enjoy all the delicious flavours of Autumn now. At Waitrose”.

The first line “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!” is left dangling. In post production someone removed rhythm, meaning and scansion, to let in a bit of music and linger over the visual cliches. But I am forgetting myself. This is to sell Waitrose not a dead poet.

So let’s waft a bit of Golden Brown by the Stranglers into the mix, while the banal film shows us fruit and veg (mellow fruitfulness geddit). It’s like, uh, leaves are golden brown, so the music seemed a good idea.

Yep that’s Golden Brown, which in Hugh Cornwell own words, is “about heroin and also about a girl… the song was about how my girlfriend and heroin both provided me with pleasurable times. The third verse is more about the feelings you have when taking heroin. When you smoke it or snort heroin you can still feel it in your body the next day.” (The Stranglers Song by Song p. 215).

Nice. Great going. Not often does an TV advert manage to trample on two works of art at the same time. Way to go Waitrose.

By Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, comedy plays, dark fiction and the odd libretto. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.

3 replies on “Waitrose Autumn TV advert”

hi peter…i’m so happy coming to your blog. may i say, how do you can get your money for live? it’s serious question. i want to become a professional blogger…ha..ha…

It is a mind bogglingly awful advert, although the conception of using Keats is great IMO, the Golden Brown bit sucksHave you seen the new Hovis ad though? I love it.

I wouldn’t have minded the use of the marvellous ‘To Autumn’ had the first stanza not been massacred by the omission of lines, half lines and, in particular, the last line of the stanza ‘For summer has o’erbrimmed their clammy cells’.The whole stanza builds in meaning, scansion and in rhythm to the word ‘o’erbrimmed’. I like Roger McGough usually, but he really has upset me here.

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