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1 January 2021

Auld lang syne

by Jason Stone


On The Beach: “Someday” - 2 mins

The first line of Robbie Burns's most famous poem asks: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?" and, as it's the only line of Auld Lang Syne that anyone actually remembers as they drunkenly maul it on New Year's Eve, it seems appropriate to recall it as we blearily wake to the virgin snow of 2021, unsullied as yet by the events which made its predecessor such an ordeal.

The reason it springs to mind while watching this new commercial for 'On the Beach' is because of the acquaintanceship between its star Iggy Pop and the creative supremo at agency Uncommon Nils Leonard. The former was famously interviewed by the latter at Cannes a few years ago with both stripped to the waist as an acknowledgement of the avant-garde pop star's tendency to eschew a shirt in favour of a bare chest at every opportunity. All the more so because this film directed by Uncommon's Sam Walker features the 73-year-old musician in his customary lack of attire.

It's fitting that one of the last advertising notes sounded in 2020 should be from a brand which shares its name with one of the 20th century's most famous pieces of post-apocalyptic fiction, but while it may be impossible for some of us to dissociate 'On the Beach' from Neville Shute's grim novel, it seems unlikely that the holiday company's founders have any awareness of it at all. If they had, they probably would have adopted a different name.

The film itself is a rumination on 2020 a year which has left its bruises on so many of us, and the ad ruefully hopes that soon we will return to the carefree pre-pandemic days when it was possible to gather on the beach without putting lives at risk.

Like so much of Uncommon's work, this film's advertising message is secondary to the conveyance of something more important. And while this approach always risks sliding into bombast or portentousness, Uncommon are adept at just about staying the right side of the line. The outcome is a film which sells hope for a brighter future while creating an association between this much needed aspect of life, and a holiday company which can help to fulfil them. Happy New Year!


Creative Agency: Uncommon Ⓟ Ⓦ
Film Production: Pulse Films Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Sam Walker Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Luke Goodrum
Executive Producer: Lucy Kelly
Production Services: Twentyfour-Seven Ⓟ Ⓦ
Cinematographer: Alex Barber
Editor: Paul Watts Ⓦ @ The Quarry Ⓟ Ⓦ
Offline Producer: Tor Adams

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.