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Mark Simpson On a New Billy Elliott-Flavored Ad With an Unexpected 'Twist'

Mark Simpson On a New Billy Elliott-Flavored Ad With an Unexpected 'Twist'

Mark Simpson On a New Billy Elliott-Flavored Ad With an Unexpected 'Twist'

Liverpool actor Michael Moran in the Pot Noodle advertisement that has become a sensation

Pot Noodle is an instant ramen-based snack pop­u­lar with UK kids, stu­dents, and oth­ers with lim­ited cook­ing facil­it­ies or skills — or, argu­ably, taste — that has a long tra­di­tion of jokey, slightly silly ads.

The latest one to air on UK TV ("You can make it") is prob­ably their fun­ni­est — and cer­tainly their sharpest. It begins with a teen­age work­ing class north­ern lad lying on his unmade bed in his untidy room (com­plete with used tis­sues on the floor next to the bed) gaz­ing up at his box­ing posters, telling us that ever since he was a little kid he has has ‘always wanted to make it’ and is ‘chas­ing his dream’.

Cue a mont­age of Rocky-esque shots of hard workouts in gritty gyms and early morn­ing jogs through rusty clichés of post-industrial land­scapes - and then the build-up to the Big Fight in Vegas: ‘They said I’d never make it. But ‘ere I am!’

When our kid steps into the ring, his fam­ily back home, includ­ing his appar­ently not-long-for-this-world Nan, go ber­serk: ‘THERE ‘E IS!!’

But the twist here isn’t in the shape of the noodles. It’s in the rev­el­a­tion that he’s not dream­ing the ‘gender appro­pri­ate’ dream for someone of his back­ground — to become a prize-fighter. Instead he’s more of a lover: he’s become a ring card boy — min­cing around in a shiny lime and lemon two-piece for the visual pleas­ure of the audi­ence between rounds. All of that hard train­ing was to get fit for that two-piece. And those box­ing posters in his bed­room were about the ring card girls not about the boxers.

But the ad doesn’t appear to be mock­ing him. He’s still the product’s hero. His fam­ily are clearly right behind him, while he’s deli­ri­ously happy. And so is the gen­tle­man in the audi­ence, who licks his lips appreciatively.

And the lad does have great pins.

The ad has gone viral — which of course was the aim. It’s vir­al­ity lies in the unex­pec­ted, "out­rageous" twist, of course — but also in the twist to the "uplift," which turns out to be more Billy Elliot than Rocky.

After all, the end­ing of the ad isn’t really so out­rageous or even so strange nowadays. We’re liv­ing in a world where mas­culin­ity has lost its tra­di­tional cer­tain­ties, open­ing up all kinds of pos­sib­il­it­ies. A world where mil­lions of young men dream of being pretty and ‘objectified’.

Though usu­ally their ring card dreams are aimed at the cover of Mens Health.

Watch the ad below:

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Pride Editor