Saturday, 6 November 2010

You could put a bit of butter on the spuds there, Andre



It's Bonfire Night Weekend, and fireworks are exploding left right and centre outside as I type. J today posted on Facebook: '11 years in the UK and I've never been invited to a bonfire party. :( What am I doing wrong? Who does one have to sleep with for an invite? What happens at these secret, exclusive rituals?' I have never been invited to one either, and I've lived here 10 years. What is the story with these parties? J gets invited to things like the Oscars and celebrity weddings (really) but Bonfire Night remains beyond his social grasp.

In the absence of any Bonfire Night invitations I had people over for dinner. It ended up being 5 girls, none of whom knew each other particularly well, but who all got on like a house on fire. At the end of the evening people were swapping numbers and arranging to meet up and everything. It was lovely. I made sausages with honey and mustard (slightly overcharred), roast parsnips, carrots and potatoes, and I was shameless enough to serve Vienetta for dessert. F, who is Italian, said, 'You have this in England as well?'

So G and I had to tell her about the Kerrygold ads - a seminal series of ads that somehow associated butter with a saga of Franco-Irish sexual tension set against the backdrop of an old-moneyed rural household. That's harder than it looks. It also gave rise to countless catchphrases from the risque 'Zere is somesing I can elp?' to the cliff-hanging 'Who's taking the horse to France?' There's a whole series to enjoy but you might as well start here:

7 comments:

  1. Such sad nostalgia to see that ad again!

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  2. I know, I kind of secretly love it and wish I lived in the Kerrygold ad.

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  3. Those ads are so evocative of late 80s and early 90s. The ads get so much right, they show that Ireland does have a degree of food culture but get what it is missing, a suave ease with flirtation and sexuality. I think it is also significant that at the time the ad portrayed glamour and excitement as coming from continental Europe. I suspect that in the 50s 60s and possibly now, that glamour would have been seen as coming from the US but at that time in Ireland there was a really strong feeling that Europe was our future and the source of modernity and glamour. I too would love to live in the Kerrygold ad, especially in Miss Kennedy's school

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  4. thanks for the link, here are some more links on that topic

    http://atoast2toast.com/2009/03/05/german-suspicions-that-modernity-and-ireland-don%E2%80%99t-mix/

    current day german kerrygold ad

    http://www.kerrygold.de/ueberkerrygold/tvspot_090511_gross.swf

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  5. Wow. The Kerrygold ad, they have this in Germany too! I love your blog, great analysis of this ad and of general Irish phenomena.

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  6. R, yes, the ads are a testament to pre-Lisbon Irish Europhilia and ingenious in the way they used the allure of Europe and sex to sell Irish butter to Irish people (surely akin to selling sand to Arabs). Hard question: would you rather live in the Kerrygold ad or Cabot Cove?

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