Date: 9th November 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
Mr. Clarke rebrands a Scottish icon
It is the start of the campaign in the media for the Euros and Mr. Clarke, is in the hot seat…
Picture the scene…
The boffins at the TV ad place are talking brands and placings in the market and Mr. Clarke has his eyes clouded as they are talking worse than Malky McKay trying to explain the pyramid system to 6-year olds.
“So, Mr. Clarke,” says the blond man who has been witering on for absolute ages.
“No Tartan Army song this time, no embarrassing appearance on top of the Pops, no dreams, nae nightmares!” he laughs at his own jokes.
Mr. Clarke does not like people who laugh… even at their own jokes.
His face stays stern, the blonde one continues, “And we have teamed up with the people at Barrs for something just a little more exciting! I think it fits, we all think it fits, the focus groups think it fits and all we need is to make you fit.”
Mr. Clarke looks at him, “I am fit.” Then he qualifies it. “For ma age.”
That throws the blond one who comes back with, “Ah. No. Not quite… anyway… shall we take that as a yes?”
He looks round the room and the one in charge, who has organised this, a Mr Broadknuckles scrapes a smile and says, “Aye.”
“Right… erm… quaint.” The blond one does not like football. Feels it is rather uncouth and not worthy of all the attention it gets but has been saddled with this job and is damn well going to make it work or his name is not double barreled.
“Right we just need you to say what is on the card straight into the camera.”
Mr. Clarke looks up.
Mr. Clarke looks at the camera.
Mr. Clarke asks, “That camera there?”
“Yes, Mr. Clarke if you wouldn’t mind.”
Mr. Clarke asks, “How do I get into it?”
“How do I get straight into it?”
The blond one realizes that he may be dealing with a simpleton and tries hard not to show it in the tone of his voice as he tries to explain, “No, Mr. Clarke you will not get into it. You will just speak down the thing.”
Mr. Clarke is none the wiser. Mr. Clarke asks, “How do I get down it then?”
“You said I would get down the thing, but if I am not in it, how do I get down it?”
The blond one starts to mentally work out whether the job offer at Tesco’s was worth turning down, after all there was a 15% discount offer on their elite range to consider if he had taken it but calls up all his considerable prejudice for one last go at the thing, “Mr. Clarke all you need to do, is to look directly at the camera, say what is on the card and we shall do the rest.”
Mr. Clarke nods. “Just say what is on the card?”
The blond one thinking that this might end up as a case study for marketing students like the one they had with monkeys and tea, nods and smiles.
Mr. Broadknuckles notices and tries to smile but ends up looking like he is desperate for the toilet.
Mr. Clarke doesn’t smile. He starts reading from the card but is rudely interrupted.
“Sorry Mr. Clarke, not quite ready but we shall be shortly. A moment whilst we set up the camera properly for the shot.”
“If you change the camera shall I change what I have to do? Are you going to get a new camera?”
“Is that one not working? Is that why you need a change?”
The blond one tries hard not to sigh but smiles instead. “Oh no Mr. Clarke we haven’t broken it, your smile does not have that power!”
The blond one laughs at his own joke.
Mr. Clarke still doesn’t.
“We just need to set it up and hay presto, would you look at that – it is!”
The cameraman, sensing the mood in the room wasted no time in getting it ready.
The blond begins what could have bene a fatal mistake. “So to set the scene, just before we cut to you the brand…” Mr. Broadknuckles interjects, “Details.”
“We don’t need details and we do need Mr. Clarke away from here in ten minutes.”
The blond one sees sense and realizes how close he was to blowing it and asks, “Mr. Clarke just read the card.”
“Serbia are phenomenal.”
There is a silence.
Mr. Broadknuckles chuckles.
The blond one smiles crookedly.
He asks, “Mr. Clarke can we just say what is on the card please?”
Mr. Clarke looks again at the card. “Aw sorry, Serbia is phenomenal. Didn’t realise I was mistaking the country for a common noun when it should be treated as a group noun.”
The blond one starts to develop a nervous tick.
He responds, “Mr. Clarke I think you will find that there is only one word on the card.”
“Aye but when you think about the likes of Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Luka Jovic and as for the boy Mitrovic’s goal record for Serbia is well…”
Suddenly Mr. Clarke is taken with a hiccup and there is a pause. He continues, “Phenomenal”
Before anyone can say anything, the blonde one says, “Cut. That’s a wrap.”
He turns to Mr Broadknuckles. “We have all we need thanks. Time to wrap up and move on, thank you Mr. Clarke. It’s been emotional.”
Before he knows it, Mr. Clarke is ushered out the room and the blonde one sends for a double mocha cappuccino with extra almond milk; two sugars, in keeping with his working-class roots.
And so, the Irn Bru advert for the Euros is done. They just need to wait and see if it will ever be used…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as there is little or no evidence that Malky McKay has ever tried to explain the pyramid system to 6 year olds, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though some of the comments were spoken by Mr. Clarke.
During the week, in an interview before the Euro final Steven Clarke spoke about how phenomenal Serbia who stand between us and a major international competition, were. We all wish Mr. Clarke a happy ninth game undefeated in a row.
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