GO TO WORK ON A LEG!
Updated: Aug 18
Back last century, when I had my own ad agency, I was lucky enough to shoot a B.T. campaign with the fabulous film director Jean Pierre Jeunet.
I had to nip over to le gay Pareee for the shoot!
Now the French get a lot of stick over here, and we’re led to believe there’s some petty niggles going on between The Land of Garlic and Snails, and Grande Bretagne.
But the shoot was far from tense and we all had a right laugh, as well as a right royal result film-wise.
The French crew were a dead-friendly bunch, but what I didn’t understand was, they kept calling me and my (at the time) creative partner Chris Palmer, ‘Rosbif’.
They thought it was hilarious!
Now, I knew it was meant to be a jocular insult, but I genuinely didn’t understand it… ‘Rosbif’. Literally, ‘roast beef'???
It made my mouth water every time they said it.
HOW could the best meal the world has ever produced - roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, brussels, peas and gravy EVER be insulting?
‘Roast Beef’ = DÉLICIEUX!!!
‘But why are you going on and on about roast dinners Mark?’, I hear you ask.
Well. I’m sure you’ve heard of the relatively new, and increasingly popular, insult ‘GAMMON’, which I would say for me pretty much falls into the same category as, ‘ROAST BEEF’…
It don’t make me ‘angry, it it makes me ‘ungry!!!
Whenever I see it written it reminds me of my ol’ mum, she wasn’t a brilliant cook, but she certainly had a few winners in her arsenal.
One was gammon (or ‘boiled bacon’ as she called it) and pease puddin’.
Yummers, I loved it!!!
So recently I’ve been inspired to claim back ‘gammon’ in the form of a range of t-shirts, professing my love for this wondrous, nitrate-infused delicacy.
There’s six slogans in total, thunk up by yours truly and COY’s top designer Kate Henderson, along with an unexpected contribution from COY’s star copywriter Saskia Laroque Rothstein-Longaretti.
Sass is the genius behind, ‘Go To Work On A Leg!’ .
Ad historians will spot straight away that the slogan is based on the famous 1960’s line, ‘Go To Work On An Egg’.
But… she’s only just turned 30! - how does she know the ‘egg’ line!!!?
Anyway, I printed up a limited number to give away on commercials shoots. Guess what? - they’ve all run out.
Not because I’ve done so many shoots (boo), but because every time I wear it, there’s someone who wants one… young and old!!!
So now we’re printing a whole new batch!
And yes, we’re going to sell them - I don’t know where yet, but get in touch if you want one, and we’ll let you know when we know… (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anyway, anyone who knows me also knows I can't cook for toffee. But guess what? I bought myself a packet of split peas and looked up a recipe for pease pudding… who’s on for a nosh-up?
POSTER COPY READS: "Over here at COY! we’re simply rammo with gammo, and we’ve stuffed our closets with porcine delights. Are we too rogue for Vogue? When the steaks are high, don’t be glazed and confused, get your gammon face on!"
Execution: MDEsq., Kate Henderson, Saskia Laroque Rothstein-Longaretti
Poster Copy: Saskia Laroque Rothstein-Longaretti
Photography: Joe Giacomet (https://www.giacomet.co.uk)
Production Designer: Amelia Tavenner (https://www.instagram.com/ameliatavenner/?hl=en)
Wardrobe: Ali Gray (https://www.instagram.com/hippypoppins/?hl=en)
Hair (haha!) & Make-up: Anna Denton-Longaretti
Typography/Design: Kate Henderson