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Brothers and Sisters uncorks a cracker for Pearl & Dean

Here’s another ‘unsung hero’ of the movie business forom Brothers and Sisters for cinema advertising contractor Pearl & Dean.

Pearl & Dean, with its iconic music, is still synonymous with the great age of cinema and B&S has produced an epic homage to that era, based on a rediscovered Warner Brothers documentary about the making of John Ford’s famous western The Searchers.

Like such films the ad is shot in 16mm and 35mm film even using vintage recording equipment, including microphones from the 1940s for the voiceover. The score was recorded by a real orchestra and the 1950s set workers were allowed to smoke on screen.

The two-minute film follows the “tumbleweed trainer” on the set of a western called Duel of Desire as she goes through the arduous and often solitary task of whipping her tumbleweeds into shape. She is described by the narrator as “a lady no self-respecting director could do without.”

The creatives were Manu Souto Diaz and Gonza Delgado and the directors thirtytwo (aka Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace) through Pulse Films. The campaign breaks in Pearl & Dean cinemas and online today.

B&S founder and ECD Andy Fowler says: “When we came across the story of the tumbleweed trainer we could scarcely believe such an important cinematic figure was so unknown. It’s with huge pleasure we are finally able to give her the credit she so richly deserves.”

It’s good to see advertising with real ambition outside the Christmas season and this isn’t the first time B&S has delivered. Its Thierry Henry ad for Sky last year won numerous plaudits (including here) and its most recent campaign for Center Parcs was another winner. The Keith Lemon online campaign for Carphone Warehouse is very different – more meat pie than fillet steak – but that works well too.

This one? MAA creative scale: 9.

Here’s The Searchers doc.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.


  1. The Pearl & Dean ad/short is a really good piece. A couple of years ago, I had dinner at a Bristol Cathedral School reunion with Richard Dean of Pearl & Dean and he gave the wittiest speech about the founding of the company and about the iconic music ‘Asteroids’. I’m sure he would like this work the agency has done very much. Richard left a bit earlier than me (he is 92!). Well done agency & production company. PS: the sound is clearer and frankly better than on most contemporary work – the old microphones, although of limited dynamic range, were specially ‘voiced’ for speech and were hand-swung mounted on Booms which is why you can hear every line in the movies of the 40’s & 50’s, whilst you often can’t hear a thing through extraneous noise & sound effects muddle picked up by hypersensitive radio-mikes!

  2. Erratum: I beg his pardon – he is Jack Dean not Richard. And he’s 94 not 92.

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