Unlikely Guitar Hero Set to Rock the Box During Britain’s Got Talent

by Scott Douglas

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Bowtie wearing amateur rocker gets the full PR in Scotland treatment thanks to TV adUnlikely rock god earns valuable PR in Scotland


AN UNLIKLEY guitar hero is making waves nationally after catching the eye during an open mic invite to find participants for a guitar shop’s TV advert.

But William Swales, 22, will make his TV debut during the latest showing of Britain’s Got Talent.

But he won’t be competing against Boyle – instead he’s making his rock star debut in an advert during the show, though just like Susan, he’s set to wow the internet with his rock god performance.

William is so good in the new Merchant City Music commercial, created by award winning Edinburgh company Plum Films that people are talking about him and not the real rock star in the advert – Bruce Watson from Big Country.

William was such a hit during filming that he has also been used as the face of the company for the music store’s print campaign.

The tounge-in-cheek video for the popular Glasgow guitar shop features William and Bruce amongst a wide range of people playing guitars and rocking out.

Even though the film was shot using the latest digital equipment, the project was delivered on a tight budget and on schedule by the Plum team.

Plum Co-founder Tina Foster said: “William might be a bit late for Britain’s Got Talent this year, but who knows – he might enter next year. The advert was a fantastic result for everyone involved.

“The basic idea behind the video was to create a campaign which would engage the target audience and make for memorable viewing.

“This ad is all about the universal appeal of guitar playing – there’s young and old, male and female in there and the one thing they all have in common is their love of the instrument.

“Director John Clayton spotted William’s ‘talent’ as soon as filming began and knew that he would become a key player in the advert.

“He looks like such an unlikely rock star, but that’s part of his appeal. When he was performing, he just went for it – he was a bit like Jack Black in School of Rock.

People watching William have been so entranced by his performance they’ve actually missed the existing Scottish celebrity in the advert – Bruce Watson from legendary Scottish rockers Big Country – and the advert also nearly had a Simple Mind as well.

Tina said: “One of the make-up artists we use at Plum is married to Derek Forbes of Simple Minds and Four Good Men fame. So we asked him if he wanted to come and join in the fun.

“Sadly, because of touring responsibilities Derek couldn’t join in, but he did set up Bruce coming along to take part and he was a good laugh, getting right into the spirit of things.”

Stow College music student William said: “It was good fun getting involved and I certainly didn’t expect to be on for as long as I was, but now that all my mates know I’m in it, they’re getting ready to spread it far and wide over the weekend once it’s aired on TV.”

The advert is showing first during the Britain’s Got Talent final (at 7.50pm) before being broadcast across the country over the coming weeks.

The advert can be found at:


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    Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

    Scott Douglas

    Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
    As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
    Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

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