David Parkin tries to find a TV advert with impact

I DON’T know about you but I rarely view a television advertisement these days and enjoy it.

Perhaps I’m viewing the past with rose-tinted spectacles, but TV ads used to be impactful, exciting, engaging and fun.

It is no surprise that some of the great film directors like Alan Parker and Ridley and Tony Scott directed TV adverts early in their careers.

Michael Cimino, who went on to direct The Deer Hunter, did television commercials for American Airlines, Pepsi and Kodak before he went to Hollywood while Ridley Scott’s late brother Tony got the gig to direct 80s classic Top Gun after creating a popular advert for Swedish car maker Saab.

His brother did it the other way round.


The lad from South Shields who studied at West Hartlepool College of Art had already done some directing in TV when he launched his own film and commercial production company with his brother in 1968 and working alongside talents like Alan Parker, Ridley directed the famous Hovis bread commercial in 1973.

As an aside, the Hovis business is now owned by Leeds-based private equity firm Endless.

Ridley’s talents were clear and he went to Tinseltown to direct Alien and Blade Runner in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was hired by computer maker Apple to produce a memorable commercial in 1984.

You can understand why Hollywood studios would look to the New York and London advertising industry for talent: if you can create drama, humour, engagement and suspense in a 30 second advert then what can you deliver when given a couple of hours of screen time?

I went to the cinema the other evening to see Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci and now, aged 84, he still has that film-making magic.

Two-and-a-half hours rattled by in a flash with all the actors delivering a tour de force.

This tragi-comic tale of excess, ego and eccentricity was an entertaining way to spend a gloomy January evening.

When I got home I switched on the TV and actually watched an advert that made me smile.

No not one of those painful ones where two couples meet up and one tells the other how good their burglar alarm is and the other couple look at each other and say: “We should get one of those.”

Or even one where a celebrity like Philip Schofield or Rylan tries to either get me to sell my car or buy one.

It was a car advertisement but for vehicle leasing by Harrogate-based Synergy Automotive.

The premise is simple.

A couple are sitting in their bedroom with the chap looking at car leasing deals from Synergy on his iPad.

He says he can’t make his mind up on what vehicle to pick from all the offers he has looked at and a bloke from Synergy slides out from under the double bed – like a mechanic emerging from under a car – and suggests the best deal for him.

Simple but different and, importantly, fun.

You can watch it here: https://www.synergycarleasing.co.uk/#video

Those are the ads I remember – and they don’t need to be directed by a great Hollywood titan either.

Forget Ridley Scott, I’m claiming credit for this advert.

I’m currently on the second car I’ve leased from Synergy, which was founded 15 years ago by experienced motor industry professional Paul Parkinson and is based on Hornbeam Park in Harrogate.

When I was doing some work for Welcome to Yorkshire I introduced them to Synergy who agreed to provide some vehicles for the tourism organisation.

Rosie Fyfe, who was then partnerships manager at Welcome to Yorkshire, built a great relationship with Synergy and other firms who were part of the Y30 group of commercial sponsors.

Like many of the very talented people who worked at Welcome to Yorkshire, Rosie has since moved on to a new role and is now at Sky as a regional advertising sales manager where she has successfully renewed her connection with Synergy.

Don’t worry Rosie, I’m not claiming commission, just the satisfaction of helping make a successful introduction that is delivering benefits for both parties.

Synergy is one of those great Yorkshire success stories – a regional company which now operates nationally and which has grown by delivering great deals and exceptional customer service.

Don’t take my word for it – Synergy has a remarkable 4.9 out of 5 rating on the online customer review platform Feefo and last November Synergy was awarded Best Medium-Sized Leasing Broker and Best Medium-Sized Leasing Broker for Customer Service by the Leasing Broker Federation.

And last October Paul Parkinson was appointed chairman of the Leasing Broker Committee of the industry trade body the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

When I spoke to Paul recently, he said he believes the leasing broker sector is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing public confidence in making larger online transactions and the high degree of professionalism shown within the sector.

Another huge growth area is the move towards not just hybrid vehicles, but purely electric ones too.

Paul told me: “Synergy is seeing many of our clients who are business owner-managers and professionals move back into business leasing, taking advantage of low benefit in kind tax of purely electric vehicles – with many new models in the market place and higher mileage range making it a very attractive option for many people.”

Like his team, Paul is an enthusiast for what he does.

So much so that in the same way that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws made me nervous to dive in a swimming pool and Ridley Scott’s Alien made me cower behind the settee, Synergy’s new Sky TV ad has encouraged me to check under the bed just in case Paul Parkinson is going to slide from under it with a great leasing deal on an electric car.


IT was probably a step too far.

In a season where a mixed bag of veterans and youngsters are helping Derby County deliver some great results giving them an outside chance of avoiding relegation despite having 21 points deducted for going into administration and historical financial breaches of the rules, success in the FA Cup wasn’t a priority.

But I was hoping they had a chance of getting past Coventry City in the third round of the Cup last Saturday.

My team narrowly lost 1-0 but I enjoyed my first visit to the Coventry Building Society Stadium.

My godson, a masters student at Loughborough University, works as a part-time match analyst at Coventry City and it was his brother’s last opportunity to watch the Rams before he flies off to America tomorrow morning to take up a football scholarship and business degree at a US university.

So the result was not the most important thing – I was able to spend the day with old friends and their very talented offspring.

A bonus was that the catering at the stadium was excellent – a chicken burger was made for me while I waited with fresh lettuce and a bit of banter from the lady serving me.

I’d go so far as to say it was the best food I’ve had at a football ground since I was a guest in the President’s Suite at Elland Road.

And those invites have dried up since Leeds United reached the Premier League.

Anyway, as I was leaving the stadium I saw a statue at the front of the ground towering over departing supporters.

I took the photo above but for the life of me I can’t work out why Coventry City would have a statue of Bruce Forsyth outside their stadium.

I mean, it wasn’t even a good game, good game.

All right my love?

Have a great weekend.

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