The new Protect Your Bubble advert

'McEnroe looks like he's nipped out of the commentary booth for a wee and found himself trapped inside a Talking Heads song'

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Don't smirk, unless you can come up with a better name for a specialist gadget insurance provider. For what are smartphones and tablets if not personal haven-makers, portable ramparts to erect against the turbulence of the real world? Calling your company Protect Your Bubble is actually a fingerswipe of genius, appealing to a certain submerged national characteristic – an Englishman's homescreen is his castle – while simultaneously conveying a sense of almost unbearable fragility. For what is more vulnerable than a bubble? The spokesperson could easily have been Nanette Newman, the former Fairy angel reborn as tech sentinel. But instead we have a convincingly bemused John McEnroe, stumbling into a kitchen containing an animated mouse, a cartoon bubble and two Brit moppets who are inexplicably calling him "dad".

Mac looks like he's nipped out of the Wimbledon commentary booth for a wee and found himself trapped inside a Talking Heads song. To top it all off, his handset has been dunked into a pot of lentil soup during an energetic session of motion-controlled videogame tennis. "YOU CANNOT..." begins McEnroe, and for him, perhaps time seems to slow, neural pathways and vocal cords dropping into a well-worn, decades-old groove like a needle settling on favourite vinyl. "BE!" Is this anger now, or just an idea of anger? Part of him has forgotten. "SERIOUS!" He finishes strong: emphatic, resounding, persuasive. After all these years, Mac's mantra retains an almost elemental power. Or perhaps, in this instance, he was simply visualising his agent.


Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

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