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The Legend of Ray Gardner
Tango - Come on then Sebastian!
Member Name: cpf1993
Tango - Come on then Sebastian!
Date: 22/05/01, updated on 22/05/01 (2354 review reads)
Advantages: Mind-blowingly funny!
Disadvantages: Could be seen as racist by some, does not make you think of Blackcurrant Tango.
Even to this day I am not sure exactly what it was about this advert that made it so popular among myself and my friends, but it is still an advert I look back at with great affection.
It was seemingly based within Tango headquarters, with a grainy picture of Mr Gardner reading a letter of complaint from a young French exchange student called Sebastian. The complaint? That Blackcurrant Tango was not as nice as the other Tango flavours.
Ray apologises in a seemingly normal manner, before beginning an epic riposte. He describes how passionately he feels about Blackcurrant Tango, and introduces Geoff, who has been working on Blackcurrant Tango for three years. Slowly a group is building around him, and music is faintly playing. It used to be only at this point that you would fully recognise the advert, and slowly smile as you knew what was going to follow.
Ray gradually gets more and more agitated, as he smoothly makes the transition from businessman to boxer. The scene changes smoothly too, as Ray first walks from a corporate business site and ends up marching and then jogging into a boxing ring beside some white cliffs (thought to be at Dover).
However it is not the smooth changes in clothing and scenery that made this advert memorable, it was the dialogue. Passionate and angry in his defence of Blackcurrant Tango, Gardner's words could be misinterpreted as anti-French racism. Personally I did not find anything especially funny in the famous "You're one dissenting voice in a billion Johnny French, you're that!" line, indeed that might have been the weakest line in the whole script.
However it was this effortless transformation from corporate representative to scowling madman which made the advert (and indeed a big impression upon impressionable young men such as myself). The rage and sheer political incorrectness of the call, "Come on France! Europe! The World! I'll take you all on!" bro
ke with convention and could not fail to raise a laugh, no matter how many times you saw it.
I do not know how much the advert cost to make. It appears cheap to begin with due to the poor picture quality, but that surely must have been balanced by the presence of two Harrier Jump Jets at the end? And how long did it take to make? It appears to be a "one-take" commercial, but again they surely must have taken an awful lot of time to show the magnificent aerial view of the scene at the end?
This is probably still my favourite advert of all-time. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and even to this day the jokes of "Come on then!" and "I'll take you all on!" are still heard occasionally. Here's to you, Ray Gardner. You truly are a legend, even if you failed to convert me (or indeed even make me think of) Blackcurrant Tango.