Casting real people in ads remains hugely popular in 2017 as brands seek authenticity, but it can be a hit-or-miss affair. U.K. bagel brand The New York Bakery has struck comedy gold, though, by casting a genuine New York bagel seller, 82-year-old called Edna, in a funny new U.K. TV and social campaign for the brand.
While the main 60-second commercial, seen here, may seem like something of a New York cliche, it's in the social media clips that Edna really comes into her own: her views on juice diets, England, yoga and social media are utterly hilarious (or will be to Brits, who perhaps haven't come across someone like her in real life).
Agency Now cast Edna on location, and Thirtytwo at Pulse directed. Now's Executive Creative Director Remco Graham comments in a statement: "Hats off to the client to agree to a constantly swearing, gum-chewing 5ft 82 year old non-actress. I've never been so scared for my life on a shoot and loved every minute."
The campaign represents the biggest marketing effort for the brand since it was founded in the 1990s and includes digital, social and and PR activity.