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13 July 2021

Can you hear me, Major Tom?

by Jason Stone

Co-op: “First Day Out” - 60s

Tom – the old boy at the centre of this lovely commercial for the Co-op – is venturing outside, and we get the impression that it may be his first trip beyond his front door for the entirety of the pandemic. This isn't stated, and it doesn't need to be… we've all experienced some measure of isolation over the past year and a half, and we know that this has been more acute for elderly people living alone.

In that sense, 'Tom' is representative of a whole demographic who have had to sacrifice their social lives in order to be responsible. 'Tom' is, of course, also the name of the 99 year old man who caught the imagination of the public by raising money for the NHS, and became one of the faces of the pandemic, and that doesn't entirely feel like a coincidence.

And it is yet another Tom – the esteemed director Mr Tagholm – who is responsible for capturing the poignant details of this man as he emerges from the safety of his cocoon. Everything is sweetly understated, but it's nonetheless clear how much it means to the protagonist to be able to walk from his house to his local Co-op. He doesn't actually enter the shop, merely opting to drop off a reusable plastic bag… it is, in a sense, a trial run for him as he feels his way back towards normal life. It's beautifully observed and delivered without drifting into mawkishness.

There's a neat link to Co-op's Christmas ad from last year as the two buskers from that d are spotted rehearsing on a bench just outside the shop. It's a neat 'Easter Egg' for superfans of the CCU (Co-op Cinematic Universe).

Creative Agency: Lucky Generals Ⓟ Ⓦ
Film Production: Park Pictures Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Tom Tagholm Ⓟ Ⓦ
Cinematographer: Jackson Hunt
Editor: Tim Hardy Ⓦ @ Stitch Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music Supervision: Mr Pape Ⓟ Ⓦ

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.