Alistair McBride of Cultural Capital, who regularly corresponds with me off-blog, sent on the latest Sunday Times advert, which features Peter O'Toole and suggests that it's "clever and touching without being schmaltzy or sentimental." He also wonders aloud how it fits with the Sunday Times brand.
I agree with Alistair's take on the ad. I also think it sits well with the Sunday Times' branding overall.
News reporters in many shapes and forms set out to determine the significance of an event. Serious newspapers naturally aim to cover events of truly epic importance in the great scheme of things whilst the tabloids are often accused of inventing significance for minor happenings.
As Patrick Kavanagh observed, "Gods make their own importance", and the serious papers, thanks to their preoccupation with 'the facts', are often accused of being stuffy and boring.
Like its readers, the Sunday Times sees itself as a serious paper, and O'Toole's tongue-in-cheek attachment of epic importance to events in his own life is quite charming. Naturally this works because O'Toole is seen as a serious actor and there is a nice play between the dramas professionally acted out on stage and screen and those played out in his own mind and in his own life. Here is a god who is making his own importance and comes across as anything but stuffy and boring.
For me, this is very nicely done.