McCann’s banks on John Cleese for AA ad debut

Better safe than sorry they say and McCann-Erickson is certainly playing it safe by casting John Cleese (in his Clockwise rather than Fawlty Towers mode) for its first ad for UK breakdown service the AA (formerly Automobile Association). Clockwise was the film, scripted by Michael Frayn, in which he played a hapless headmaster trying and failing to drive to a conference.

Cleese has performed in commercials in the UK and abroad throughout his career going back to the late 1960s, mostly notably for watches firm Accurist for whom he made a rather limp return after 30 years last year. So he’s a seasoned trouper as you can see here:

Nice reference back to Fawlty Towers but it lacks something or other. Originality?

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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.

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