Here’s the Most Pretentious, Insufferable Prick to Star in a Fashion Ad Yet

Still, you might not hate him by the end

Headshot of Patrick Coffee

He's a sculptor. He's an architect. He's an amateur filmmaker. He has a "passion for telling stories," and he wears "statement socks" while thumbing through an original copy of Decorative Eggs Throughout History. His studio is so massive that he navigates it on a Segway. And did we mention his posh London accent?

He is the most unbearably self-important man in the world, and he's promoting British designer outlet shopping centre Bicester Village in this new spot from U.K. digital film agency Just So.

Does he sound like someone you know?

Just So managing director Richard Ascot tells AdFreak that the purpose of this campaign is to make light of the luxury shopping experience, which might be a little intimidating to those who can't compete with our "polyman" when it comes to highbrow hobbies and impeccable posture.

"Bicester have built a business in understanding that all this can sometimes seem like too much effort," Ascot says, adding that the client "got [the concept] immediately. It was definitely a step change for them, but they wanted something that would resonate with their target audience and they trusted in the idea."

No one wants to be That Guy. This maxim even applies to the sort of fashion-focused men who might frequent the collections of Balenciaga, Givenchy and Mont Blanc (which were recently added to the Bicester lineup—hence the need for this campaign). As Ascot puts it, Just So created the spot to reach "all the men who know about Bicester but think it is too much effort, or those that go but just wait in the car while their wives and girlfriends shop."

But Ascot tells us that his agency wasn't poking fun at any particular man or type of man—not even the ridiculously fussy creative director archetype. "Rather than parodying a person, this was a gentle play against those men's fashion films we are all so familiar with that present an almost mythical man who leave us all feeling a bit inadequate," he says.

Would such a model play well in the U.S.? We think it might. Ascot says, "It would be fun to create an American version where the start point was an American cliché."

We can think of a few. First, he needs a nice black turtleneck…


Agency: Just So

Client: Bicester Village

Creative Director: Jonny Madderson / Jono Stevens   

Art Director: Jessie Williams   

Copywriter: Ben Partridge   

Director/ Production Co: Just So – Jonny Madderson / Jono Stevens  

Producer: Rosie Box   

Edito: Jonny Madderson / Ross Hallard   

Sound Design: SoundNode   

DoP: Charlie Goodger   

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.