Homeowners take it a step too far in this series of debut TV ads for Farrow & Ball

Homeowners take it a step too far in this series of debut TV ads for Farrow & Ball

A campaign by BMB

BMB has created a new advertising campaign for paint and wallpaper brand Farrow & Ball’s Modern Emulsion. 

Relax, it’s Modern Emulsion’, a new international, multi-media campaign, heroes the stain resistance of Modern Emulsion and shows how Farrow & Ball paint is tough enough to meet the needs of life at home.

The work will run across video-on-demand, social media, digital out of home, and print from 14th September for four months – in the UK, US, and France.

Three commercials depict homeowners taking over-the-top measures to protect their newly painted walls from a range of guests, and their undue paranoia that their walls will be ruined by stains.

In “Protection” a couple are bemused when the friend whose house they call at the end of a dog walk wraps their muddy pet in a specially made canine version of the kind of suit usually reserved for crime scene investigators.

In “Contract” a small child arriving for a play date is asked to sign a lengthy legal contract, committing her to pay for the redecoration of the houses interior, should flicked ketchup, squeezy yoghurts or “general fluids” damage the paintwork over the course of the visit.

In “Vino” a couple who have had their home freshly decorated serve expensive red wine to their guests in spill-proof children’s sippy cups.

Each film then reveals the hosts actually had nothing to worry about - because when you use Farrow & Ball Modern Emulsion you can relax... stains, spills and scuffs can simply be wiped away. The films were directed by Bafta winning comedy director David Kerr through Hungry Man.

The new Modern Emulsion finish was created by a team of artisanal craftsmen and dedicated chemists at the brand’s Dorset factory, and combines beauty and durability the eco-friendly ethos that underpins the 100% water-based range.

The TV ads are supported by a social campaign “Wipe Away Negativity”, where comments from social media are used to dramatise the true benefits of the range. Each execution shows a product misconception being written onto a Farrow & Ball painted wall using an offending stain (felt tip pen, mud or ketchup) in beautiful typography designed by celebrated typographer Alison Carmichael, before being effortlessly wiped clean, to demonstrate the durable wipeability of the paint. Each film ends with a pristine wall, removed of stain and the title “Relax, it’s wipeable”.

In print media, humorous and relatable text conversations between couples reinforce the stain resistant durability of Farrow & Ball Modern Emulsion.

Anthony Davey, CEO at Farrow & Ball said, “We wanted to find a relatable and human way to dramatise the durability of Modern Emulsion. The light-hearted and humorous approach is underpinned by a deep understanding of the human emotion of the simple sense of pride we all feel when we have newly-painted walls.”

Matt Lever, CCO at BMB said, “Anyone who’s ever bought a property has walked the tightrope of excitement and trepidation that comes with inviting people into your newly painted pride and joy. Playing on that human truth to remind people of Modern Emulsion’s durability and hardiness has been a lot of fun.”

David Kerr, Director, Hungry Man said, “From the moment I read these scripts, I loved them. At their heart is a perfect paradox: if you have beautifully painted walls, you want your friends to admire them. But the very act of admiration - human contact - could mess up those lovely walls. It’s a really relatable idea, but the scripts give it a brilliantly absurd twist, showing the lengths house-proud homeowners will go to, to protect their precious walls.

“There’s a subtlety to the writing - not spoon feeding the audience. So I wanted the absurdity to be grounded in naturalistic performances, with the action unfolding in an observed way. I couldn’t have been happier with the cast. I’d worked with many of them before and I knew how well they help these surreal scenarios feel rooted in reality. As a crew we were shooting socially distanced and masked up. And it’s hard to see someone smiling when they’re wearing a mask...but it’s great to know that comedy is not incompatible with COVID safety.'' David concluded.


Brand Farrow & Ball
Campaign Modern Emulsion
Agency BMB
Chief Creative Officer Matt Lever
Head of Strategy Mel Arrow
Senior Creatives Will Marsden & Jordan Down
Account Director Matt Bonny
Account Manager Liv Myers
Head of Design Dom Grant
Designer Sam Hamer
TV Producer Kate Banks

Relax - Production
Director David Kerr
Production company producer Stephen Johnson
Production Company Hungry Man
Editors The Assembly Rooms
Post MPC
Sound Wave

Wipe Away Negativity - Production
Typographer Alison Carmichael @ Jelly
Production Company Producer Matt Posner
Production Company CYLNDR
Editors CYLNDR

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