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11 September 2017

Brave new world.

by Jason Stone


Halo Top: “Robots” - 90s

The word 'brave' is bandied about by advertising people with such abandon that you could be forgiven for imagining that writing copy is considerably more dangerous than checking for roadside bombs in Afghanistan or working as a doctor in an Aleppo hospital.

Every now and then though, we'll see a piece of work where the adjective 'brave' - while still wildly inappropriate - doesn't seem quite as hyperbolic as it usually is... and this film for Halo Top ice cream is a perfect example of this rare beast.

It is genuinely unnerving. An elderly woman is force-fed ice cream by a calm but malevolent robot. The situation becomes increasingly fraught as she pushes back against the clinical insistence of her automaton carers and its comedy is very dark indeed.

Watching it for the first time and unsure where it was going, DAVID felt sure of only one thing: it absolutely could not be a commercial for ice cream. Maybe a trail for a new series of 'Black Mirror' but absolutely not an ad for ice cream. But we were wrong.

It feels like a mistake because it associates the products it is marketing with a discomforting display of authoritarianism, and no doubt some will see it that way.

But it's a brilliantly captivating piece of work and the chutzpah of using your own product as the object of torture feels inspired. If it were available to buy in the UK, then we'd buy some just to underline our support for this kind of 'bravery'.


David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.