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December 31, 2012 / Nick

Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles advert

Fairytale romance is the theme of this Rowntrees ad. It begins with an ordinary chap emerging from a corner shop with a pack of Fruit Pastilles only to be confronted by a gang on his way out.

Not a gang of feral youths with trackies and knives. No, a gang of medieval court entertainers with troubadours and knaves.

At the exact moment he puts a sweet into his trap, a goofy court herald informs us that a gentleman who can place a Fruit Pastille in his mouth without chewing on it will win a date with a fair princess. Sweets for a sweet. Sugar for a honey. It’s Hans Christian Anderson with gelatine substitutes. It’s clear that love is on the cards when their doughy-eyed grins meet (although the strangely similar-looking couple should consider researching their family histories first).

There are a few critical questions I have about this matchmaking technique. How long is the challenge meant to last? Does the bizarre street theatre group expect to stand around while the hero keeps a sweet on his tongue for the rest of time? Is he meant to prove himself a match by spitting a strawberry jelly into the gutter?

Realising that a date with an 11th century maiden is not worth falling into a paradox for, the suitor gives up and chews away. Hardly surprising given that most people purchase confectionery to eat it rather than just rest it in their gobs. If the Duchess is seeking a man who buys sweets but doesn’t actually consume them, she’ll probably be on the shelf for another 900-odd years. Maybe she should try going on Take Me Out or Sing Date. You just can’t have your cake and eat it, m’lady.

Review: If I paid for it, I can damn well chew it.



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