An archaeological dig somewhere in rural England. A young bloke finds a priceless Roman vase, dusts it down and chucks it away. No, it's not an ad for Specsavers. It's part of a big price campaign from T-Mobile. The message is - see if you can find more minutes for £30. The assumption being, I guess, that you can't.
The strategy is clear. In a world where talk is no longer cheap, you'd better be talking to T-Mobile. The gag is well delivered and the ad is slickly produced. But there's a bit of a clunky moment when the endline comes in. Cheap minutes are an odd thing for a grown man to be looking for, and the connection with the offer could have been made clearer.
However, I'm sure some clients would have an even bigger beef. With belt-tightening now officially Britain's number-one hobby, why waste 25 precious seconds on old pots when you could be banging on about the precious 30 quid.
The difference is, this is the world of mobile phones. T-Mobile has spent an awful lot of its pocket money on this campaign. I have seen and heard these ads everywhere. So even if you don't get the message first time round, you will when you see ad number 47. Even if you don't like one execution, don't worry, there are plenty more queueing round the block outside.
Of course, money alone can't guarantee success, but it does mean you'll get noticed (see Adwatch table). But it's nice to see T-Mobile is putting its message across with wit. Even in tough times, I don't think it's good to try to bore someone into buying your product. With varying degrees of success, T-Mobile ads have always tried to entertain and for that it should be applauded.
The only people who should not be applauded are those who have stuck their legal oar in, in the form of the disclaimer that adorns the ad throughout.