Cheil Worldwide’s Malcolm Poynton: my MAA blast from the past – Tango ‘Orangeman’

Tango HHCL 1992.

I can’t believe it’s almost 30 years since the orange man ran onto TV screens across Britain to slap a Tango drinker’s face.

It feels way more contemporary than that.

It turned everything on its head. Not because of the ‘look’ but because of the attitude. The ‘guerrilla’ audacity of it. And the fact that while it may look slap-stick, it’s meticulously crafted.

From the unforgettable Gil Scott-Heron sign-off, “you know when you’ve been Tango’d” juxtaposed with the distinctly British analytical, sports commentary of Ray Wilkins (Tony) and a dry-as-a-chip Hugh Dennis (Ralph) to the end line inscribed on the back of the bald orange bloke’s bonce.

Impossible to ignore, it appears slapstick but is actually meticulously crafted in its own ‘product demo’ way.

All of which flies in the face of the highly polished VFX-obsessed imagery of the the day; DHL’s red ribbons VFX’ing their way all over the globe, British Airways’ visual fantasies that saw face-like clouds blowing yachts across oceans while ice blocks thawed from women’s feet in Batchelor’s soup ads.

It truly was a slap in the face for ads as we knew ’em since Tango went far beyond tele screens to live in playgrounds, across the media and into memory bank of great British ads.

Malcolm Poynton is global CCO Cheil Worldwide.

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