Wednesday, August 1

New Car Day René

In the UK, until about 10 years ago, August 1st was new car day.

Each year on this day the next letter in the alphabet would be used at the start (and previously at the end) of the registration plate to denote which year the car purchased.

And it was estimated that 40% of annual car sales were done in August.

Especially on the first week of August we'd scan the road for new cars. Meanwhile the shopkeeper across from where I grew up would always buy a new car in July when prices and demand were at their lowest. Savvy, and not pretentious.

Here's a 'J' reg that came out in 1991.


My glittering career in advertising came to an end because of the vehicle lettering registration plate.

As a teenage copywriter at a shitty agency I came up with the dazzling headline of:
A new G, way better than a good F.

This killer line got me a warning despite my creative director signing off on the idea. 

In total I worked there for 6 weeks. But before I jumped ship for another design studio I also wrote a radio ad starring Gordon Kaye the likable (but never married) actor who played unlikely French wartime lothario René Artois in the BBC comedy 'Allo 'Allo.

Gordon was a true pro delivering my hammy lines to help sell some cheap French car.

Career highlight!


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