Its current television advert shows a man who immediately evokes James Bond by wearing a bow tie and a white dinner jacket and raising his arm and hand as if holding a gun.
|From the latest Harpic Fresh Power 6 advert|
We return to the man in the dinner jacket, who blows across the top of his finger, as if blowing the smoke away from a gun that’s just been fired (symbolising, I imagine, the killing of germs and the power of the product), and he raises a satisfied smile and eyebrow.
The advert is short and sweet, but several traits or memes closely associated with James Bond are evident in the advert: the dinner suit (white in this case, presumably to convey the idea of cleanliness and freshness), the pose with the gun seen on many classic Bond posters, and the raised eyebrow commonly attributed to Roger Moore’s portrayal of Bond.
It’s not the first time that Bond memes have been used to sell cleaning products, and Harpic Fresh joins a long line of other products, among them Lenor fabric softener and Cillit Bang dirt remover.
The gunbarrel sequence is back! In the latest Cillit Bang advert #007 pic.twitter.com/Oa67bCg1JF— Edward Biddulph (@bondmemes) April 27, 2015
Why Bond is so attractive to the makers of cleaning products is a matter of debate. If the adverts are aimed at women, who might be perceived as the main users of the products, the creators of the adverts presumably hope that women will respond positively to an image of a strong, sophisticated manly figure like Bond. Or possibly the depiction of a Bond-like figure is a way of encouraging men to do more of the housework. Alternatively, the advert subverts the image of Bond by poking gentle fun at the character and placing him in unfamiliar situations.
But maybe we shouldn’t overanalyse the adverts. It could be that Bond is simply (and is still) a cool character and any manufacturer that attaches its products to him has the advantage among its competitors.
Whatever the case, I’m sure the Harpic Fresh advert won’t be the last cleaning product campaign to recruit James Bond.