Ad Watch

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 12:00am

Product: Visa.

Title: All It Takes.

Ad Agency: BBDO.

First Impression: easily the funniest

and cutest ad currently on air. A big production directed by Matt Murphy (previous credits include Visa International with Pierce Brosnan) and starring Catherine Zeta Jones.

Idea/storyline: the ad opens with Zeta Jones and her Asian guide driving a jeep through a tropical jungle (shot in the forest reserve of Shah Alam in Malaysia). The actress spots an injured orang-utan on the ground, but as soon as she alights from the jeep, other orang-utans swing into action and snatch pieces of her luggage from the vehicle. The 'injured' animal Zeta Jones is examining suddenly flashes her a cheeky grin and she realises she is being conned. Luckily, there is a banana in the glove compartment and the guide throws it to Zeta Jones, who trades it for her handbag, which contains her all-important Visa card. 'Need supplies?' flashes across the screen before a truckload of bananas arrives, which the actress pays for using her credit card. Slowly, the orang-utans return her bags in exchange for bananas. But wait. The head of the orang-utan gang gestures it also wants her credit card. Zeta Jones, who is back in the jeep, refuses. The ad closes with the orang-utan holding the car keys.

What the ad man/client says: Visa's manager for Hong Kong and Macau, Prudence Chan, says: 'We are delighted to have Catherine Zeta Jones in our new commercial. We continue with our strategy of featuring international celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan and Zhang Ziyi. Catherine's confident personality and beauty, together with the humour of the orang-utans, make the commercial entertaining. We set out to create bold, distinctive campaigns that will reinforce Visa's image as the global card leader.'

Does it work? It had better. It took more than a week to shoot, with more than 70 crew members brought in from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. The five orang-utans are from Malacca. They are part of a larger group rehabilitated after being rescued from bush fires and jungle clearances. This commercial is funny, even after repeated viewings.

But ... Ad Watch wants to adopt an orang-utan now. It would make a perfect business partner.


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