THE new TV advert for Morrison’s was broadcast for the first time this evening during Coronation Street, a few weeks after it was filmed in Camden Town. Professional best mates PJ and Duncan hop off a milk float and stroll through a thriving market full of fresh produce sold by the supermarket’s different departments, marvelling big-eyed at various belly-fillers.
It’s all part of the company’s ‘Market Street’ campaign, emphasising how fresh everything is with the tag: Market freshness, market prices.
Cynics might wonder whether it was supermarket prices, supported by bulk contracts and a mechanical operation, that did for street stall markets in the first place. Perhaps, they might say everything a specialist trader tried was, over the years, overtaken and undercut by supermarkets until it wasn’t worth it any more.
When the camera zooms out on this happy place Ant and Dec have found, you can see the set is good old Inverness Street, possibly an example of how – in real life – markets have withered over the years and decades. True, it’s been many, many years since what might be considered its glory days as a market, but nevertheless… here is a film set where a supermarket is playing at being a street market in a street where they used to have a street market.
When you untangle that, it feels a little odd.
Who doesn’t find supermarkets the easiest, quickest and cheaper – if not the tastiest – way of buying food? And of course, it’s hard to justify tears for a long, lost market if you only ever used it once a year. Still, this sepia lament for not being able to buy fruit and veg at the Inverness Street fruit stall any more will be real for a lot of people, and for those foodies too, who find supermarket shelves less inspiring than Ant and Dec do.
In the immediate vicinity, the closest market stalls to Inverness Street do not sell fresh bready bloomers, carrots, flowers and fruit any more. They sell Keep Calm t-shirts and Take Me To Your Dealer alienface wacky-baccy tins, perhaps some furry handcuffs and a foamboard Banksy; not quite everyday buys for the people who live in Camden Town.