MoneySupermarket's latest ad in its "Epic" series, which has previously featured He-Man and Skeletor in a "Dirty Dancing" pastiche, a breakdancing bodyguard and a businessman twerking in hotpants, breaks this weekend, this time starring Action Man dancing and stripping down to his underpants in an incredibly camp striptease.
While several previous ads in the series have gone viral, the spot is the last MoneySupermarket ad from Mother London, after the price comparison website decided to call a review of its advertising this week. A spokesperson for Mother confirms it is declining to repitch for the account, in a process that will be overseen by London intermediary the AAR.
Earlier this month, MoneySupermarket's shares crashed by 25% after the company warned its earnings growth would slow next year. The company hired a new CEO, Mark Lewis, previously retail director at John Lewis, last year, and his appointment combined with the stock price tumble is thought to have prompted the review.
While previous ads by Mother have included some of the most complained-about spots to the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority, the campaign was previously judged to have been successful due to its virality. 2015's "Epic Strut" had 25 million views, and figures from Millward Brown said the campaign scored in the top 2 per cent of fmost engaging ads ever recorded. The campaign trended on Twitter three times. Only a year ago, the company posted a 20 per cent rise in revenue for the final quarter of 2016.
The new ad, directed by MJZ's Tom Kuntz, is even more hilariously camp than some of the previous work. It opens on Action Man in military uniform in a mountainous terrain, talking on his walkie talkie about how he saved so much money with MoneySupermarket. He then starts dancing to '90s dancefloor classic "Finally" by CeCe Peniston and is joined by a host of gyrating Action Men figures in different costumes, including Action Man Astronaut, Action Man Cricketer and Action Man Polar Explorer. Finally, they all line up like a scene from "The Full Monty" and Action Man flings off his costume to reveal his blue underpants.
Hermeti Balarin, partner at Mother, says in a statement: "Every time one of these come out, they get talked about more than the programs they interrupt. That's why this campaign has been epic. We loved to have bowed out on a high."