John Cleese reprises Basil Fawlty for Specsavers ad

Specsavers has scored a coup for its latest ad, by persuading John Cleese to reincarnate Basil Fawlty as an older, but still irascible figure, who gets into an argument with his car’s automated voice control.

The spot – while based on a scene from Fawlty Towers – is in keeping with the brand’s long-running ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ campaign and features Cleese-as-Fawlty end the ad with a case of mistaken identity caused by poor eyesight.

Cleese apparently worked closely with the in-house team at Specsavers, including collaborating on the script, and while the central twist isn’t terribly strong (perhaps the ‘Should’ve…’ joke is becoming a little thin?) fans will no doubt be intrigued to see Fawlty return.

And that, along with the inevitable media coverage, is exactly what Specsavers are after, of course, as marketing director Richard Holmes acknowledges. “It is getting harder and harder to achieve real cut though in any media,” he says. “John Cleese is one of the towering figures of comedy and we are confident that bringing Basil Fawlty back to our screens will resonate hugely with our key audiences.”


Creative agency: Specsavers Creative
Creative director: Graham Daldry
Creative team: Graham Daldry, Simon Bougourd, Neil Brush, John Cleese
Agency producer: Sam Lock
Production company: Blink
Director: Tim Bullock
Production company producer: Ewen Brown
Post production: MPC
Editor: Mark Burnett, Whitehouse Post

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