IF YOU’VE ever walked along Southsea seafront, then you’ll have seen the distinctive yellow and white seating shelters.
The ornate seafront shelters, owned by Portsmouth City Council, were installed around 1900 and they are listed for their historic interest.
Eagle-eyed television viewers may also have spotted the shelters making an appearance on the latest advert for insurance firm Beagle Street.
The ad introduces two new characters – Lenny Street played by Ricky Grover, an actor who has been in many films and TV shows including EastEnders (Andrew Cotton), Porridge and Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, and his Beagle puppy.
David Billing, chief creative officer at Above & Beyond, the agency that came up with the advert, said: ‘Beagle Street want to disrupt what's traditionally been a very staid category and we've sent an overemotional geezer and a tiny but stern puppy to do just that. This is just the beginning of Lenny and Beagle's adventures.’
The director is David Kerr, who made the latest Johnny English film and has also made TV programmes such as Fresh Meat and That Mitchell and Webb Look.
The advert was filmed in November and saw the crew close off part of the promenade for the day. Although it was a cold day, a rain machine was used to enhance the feeling of a typical out of season day at the British seaside.
The crew stayed at the Best Western Royal Beach the night before the shoot, and while out for dinner, they experienced the power cut that affected the area.
Amy Lindley, from Beagle Street, who was at the shoot, said: ‘Dinner by candlelight was quite exciting, but we were all relieved when the power came back on, so that we could get on and film the advert!’
Two Beagle puppies were used for filming; both were 12 weeks old and had been specially trained to yap on cue and hold their famous Beagle stare. They were accompanied by a personal vet, trainer and heated trailer – and wrapped up in blankets between takes.
Nicola Stubbs, head of marketing at Beagle Street, said: ‘We wanted to create something different with this campaign which stands out from traditional life insurance advertising. Life insurance is such an important product and as a brand we feel passionately that more families should be protected. We hope this campaign begins to wake people up to the importance of life insurance and gets it higher on their list of priorities.’