Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

26 August 2013

A Television Commercial That's Bang Up-To-Date With The Times We Live In

Television commercials for four-wheel drive utility vehicles (utes) that, typically, have a cab with a high-sided tray behind are boring. No matter what brand: Ford, Holden, Isuzu etc. they invariably show the same sequence of events. They go through puddles, rivers, over rocks, up dry gulches and the sides of steep hills, through forests to arrive - very shiny - at the predictable end.

Well here's something different, and COMPLETELY IN TUNE WITH THE TIMES:

ISUZU D-Max 30sec TVC

Scene is an Isuzu D-Max ute, black, shiny, with unmarked impeccable tyres and a sparkling windscreen It's parked outside a high street florist's shop.

A man emerges from the shop carrying a large bunch of flowers - a bouquet no less. He is thirty-ish, well-built, bald headed, wears a black suit and floral tie with his shirt hanging out from his waistband - the height of male fashion.

He looks at the flowers, smiles, briefly glances into the distance and climbs into the Isuzu whose engine roars into life.

Next we see a series of shots, all quick cuts, loudly accompanied by background music: 'The Ride of The Valkyries'. The ute smashes through boulder-strewn rivers, up steep, rocky inclines, deep into and out of lakes, over desert dunes, across snowy terraces, into and out of forests where small shrubs and trees are mown down by its progress. Some scenes are in driving rain, others in blazing sun

We cut now and then to close-ups of the driver's face. He is laughing joyously, throwing his head back and staring with manic eyes through the windscreen. Close ups, also, of wheels rising and falling over large stones and outcrops, the suspension obviously being put to test. 

While the music rises in crescendo there distant shots from a helicopter showing the ute making its way up a tortuous river bed. As the laughter becomes madder we suddenly dissolve to a scene of the Isuzu turning into a suburban street of houses and gardens.

The ute is miraculously all shiny again.

The car stops, the driver gets out carrying the bouquet behind him and walks up a path to a front door. He knocks on the door. It opens and an identical man to the driver, dressed exactly the same, smiles at the driver who produces the flowers and hands them to the other man.

The driver goes down on one knee and says' Marry me!'

They kiss and hug. The Isuzu ute is seen in the background as the shot freezes.

The graphic caption comes up:

Yours and his through thick and thin.

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By Don Donovan

About Me

My photo

Don Donovan: Biography

I was born on 20 January 1933, nine days before Hitler came to power in Germany, I grew up in south London. Although evacuated during the phoney war and the quieter times I lived in and out of air raid shelters during the blitz and experienced both V1 and V2 attacks on London. Left grammar school in 1948 aged 15 substantially undereducated. I wanted to go to art school but because of family ‘poverty’ joined a commercial art studio in the West End. I was, thereafter, variously a messenger boy, commercial artist and typographer. I was in the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1953 when the only useful thing I did was to take part in King George VI’s funeral parade.

In 1955 I married Patricia O’Donnell, a RADA graduate, at that time playing opposite Derek Nimmo, they were juvenile leads in a touring repertory company. He went on to great success because he had a funny voice.

We came to New Zealand in 1960 where I worked in advertising. At length I became managing director of one of the companies of whose holding company (the largest domestic advertising complex in New Zealand) I was also a proprietor and shareholder. I left the industry in 1990 when my company was bought out by American interests. My timing was brilliant, at that point my first book had been published and the next was on its way.

We have two daughters and four grand-children.

Now, apart from writing, I function as a self-educated grumpy old man.

Books & Writings

‘New Zealand Odyssey’, with Euan Sarginson, Heinemann-Reed, 1989.

‘One Man’s Heart Attack’, New House, 1990. (A special edition of this book was purchased by CIBA-Geigy for distribution to NZ doctors).

‘Open 7 Days’, Random Century, October 1991.

‘The Good Old Kiwi Pub’ by Saint Publishing in 1995 followed by:
‘New Zealand House & Cottage’ in 1997. (Saint Publishing have also published calendars for the years 1994 to 2004 using my watercolour illustrations).

‘The Wastings’, my first novel was published in July 1999 by Hazard Press. Although an international subject it had very limited distribution, only in New Zealand, and the rights have reverted to me. (Colin Dexter read 'The Wastings' and wrote to me: 'I enjoyed and admired "The Wastings"... a beautifully written work... a splendid debut in crime fiction... More please!'.)

Also the texts of photographic books:
‘Colourful New Zealand’
‘New Zealand in Colour’
‘Top of the South’
‘Above Auckland’
‘Hauraki Gulf Destinations’
‘Bay of Plenty’
and a compilation of photographs and quotations titled ‘Anzac Memories’ 2004 all published by New Holland.

My written and illustrated book, ‘Country Churches of New Zealand’ was published in October 2002 by New Holland, who also published ‘Rural New Zealand’ 2004 (photographs and text), and a series of four humorous books of photographs and quotations in 2004 and 2005 titled ‘Woolly Wisdom’, ‘Chewing the Cud’, ‘Fowl Play’, and ‘Pig Tales’. My most recent book was published in August 2006 by New Holland, titled ‘Political Animals’.

Over the years I have written for NZ Herald, Heritage Magazine, Next Magazine and various local and overseas travel and general interest media.