Hugh Laurie may be the king of US TV drama, but one of his first big TV breaks was in a Kellogg's Crunchy Nut ad.
It wasn't House, but a B&B that provided the setting for Hugh's starring role, playing a guest turning up late for breakfast and desperately trying to finish his bowl before getting caught by the fearsome landlady.
Those 80s ads had real charm, with Hugh sneaking away underneath a moving table because 'the trouble is they taste too good'.
In recent years, though, the ads lost their way. The 'Ludicrously tasty' theme had people doing increasingly bizarre things to eat those 'golden flakes of corn, encrusted in honey, nuts and brown sugar'. The behaviour was so obsessive you felt they were actually Crunchy Crack Flakes.
Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer to eat cereal out of a bowl, not a hood, and the ads just put me off. So I'm glad to see Kellogg has gone back to bowls - Bruce Bowls, to be precise.
Casting Rob Brydon as a breakfast TV presenter is just inspired. I'm a huge fan of his work. The Trip with Steve Coogan was actually addictive.
It's interesting to see that while Foster's is using Coogan's Alan Partridge to promote its 'amber nectar', Brydon is also playing a cliched broadcaster for laughs.
Brydon, of course, is no stranger to advertising. He started off as a voice-over artist in ads for Tango, Tesco, Toilet Duck and Pot Noodle. It should perhaps be no surprise, then, that his Bruce Bowls is one of those great characters who you want to see more of outside the confines of a 30-second spot. He really is that good.
It stays on-brief with the original ads by showing ordinary people doing extraordinary things to get their hands on those flakes, but in a pleasant and amusing way.
In Bruce's case, he races through the breakfast news bulletin at breakneck speed so he can get his hands on his bowl, wheeled in off-camera by the tea lady (also played by Brydon.)
It's quite clear that Kellogg aims to use Brydon for a long run because, at the end of the spot, the ad promotes the Crunchy Nut Facebook page. There you can find more video clips and other content featuring Brydon in the guise of further characters from the fictional breakfast show. A cereal that become a, er, serial.
Perhaps he could stand in for Adrian Chiles on Daybreak. I'm not joking; many would watch.
Being the new face for this campaign was always going to be a tough nut to crack, but Brydon makes it look easy. I'm now looking forward to him doing his 'small man in a (Crunchy Nut) box' routine.
|Adwatch 26.1.11 - Ad recall league|
The Red Brick Road/
|6||(–)||Currys/PC World||M&C Saatchi/Walker Media||43|
Euro RSCG London/
|10||-6||Argos||CHI & Partners/Mindshare||38|
|12||-15||Waitrose||Dare/Manning Gottlieb OMD||36|
Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
|14||(11=)||Asda||Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat||34|
Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
|18||(–)||Lloyds TSB||RKCR Y&R/MEC||27|
Source: Adwatch research was conducted from 9-13 December 2010 by TNS as part of its twice-weekly OnLinBus omnibus among 1000 adults aged 16-64. For details of the survey, contact email@example.com (020 7160 5550). Advertisements were compiled by Xtreme information (020 7575 1800) and Mediaedge:cia UK (020 7803 2000).