Scottish and Newcastle's new ad for its Strongbow Cider, which it released on YouTube, appears to be a hilarious and poignant populist parable for our time, one that celebrates the virtue of the working man while castigating the ruling class that has taken unfair advantage of him. We open on a field, at sunset. A blue-collar worker is rallying his grime-covered comrades after a long day's work. "Do we remember why we are here?" he exhorts the tired crowd. "Roofers!" he says, as heartwarming music swells in the background. "You provide shelters for our families. Gas-fitters! You bring us warmth to bathe, to eat." Eventually, he gets to a clutch of clean-suited, briefcase-carrying, smarmy-faced bankers. "Bankers!" he says. A look of confusion crosses his face. "Bankers. You um, you um, you um ... " The music snaps off, as the crowds begins shouting, "Sod off! Sod off!" One by one, the bankers stagger away from the crowd, and one old man in pinstripes, unrepentant till the end, even offers them the finger. Hahahaha, right? Sod off, bankers! Let's buy some cider, because clearly this is a company that understands the working class. Oh, except: Scottish and Newcastle was just recently purchased by Heineken, a public company, in a transaction supported by Credit Suisse, Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Fortis, HSBC, ING, and JPMorgan Chase. So actually, the joke's on the working class after all.
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