While few people could recall it now, Preston Is My Paris was a textbook example of building a brand identity. Unlike Leonard Rossiter or those mashed potato hating robots, you will never find it on a Channel 5 ‘100 Greatest’ show, but that is all part of its appeal.
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Filmed within the north-west town, ‘Preston is my Paris’ gave a beautiful spin to this rather uninspiring part of the world. Before I get a raft of complaints from proud Prestonians, be honest, before seeing this ad, did you notice how Parisian that fountain in Avenham Park looks? Or just how striking the neo-classical Harris Museum is?
This advert speaks straight to those who look at the world with artist’s eyes, who see a strange beauty hidden in the urban mass, who see elements of style within their seemingly lifeless surroundings. Before you ask, no I’m not one of them.
Clark’s offered a stylish, quality product that, at the time, was worn by people not afraid to walk around in Parisian attire, when all those around them wore trackies. Notice the girls at the end?
As well as targeting this market with pinpoint accuracy, this piece of marketing genius helped it to grow. Clark’s helped recruit more people to the cause by having us look round our brutalist hometowns for this hidden chic. By having people believe that their town was more stylish than they though, surly it made people more conscious about how they looked when stepping out?
You cannot entirely credit Clark’s, but it is fair to say that we are more stylish now than the late 90s. Although the number of girls who still walk about in trackies would make you think otherwise.
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