These Offbeat British Ads Perfectly Capture the Annoyance of Overly Cautious Homeowners

Farrow & Ball paint pokes fun at its fussier customers

When your friends bring a dog to your freshly painted home, there's only one solution. Farrow & Ball

If you’ve just decorated your home—or are just particularly proud of your home–then this campaign by British high-end paint brand Farrow & Ball might be relatable. It’ll also be relatable if you have anal-retentive friends or family who wince when you go to put your coffee cup on their table without a coaster or puff up the couch just as soon as you’ve stood up.

The ad campaign, by agency BMB, gently parodies that type of homeowner in order to communicate that when walls are decorated with Farrow & Ball’s paint they can be wiped clean and are stain resistant.

Titled “Relax, it’s Modern Emulsion,” the campaign will run across TV, streaming video, social media, digital out of home and print starting today and will run for four months across the U.K, U.S and France.

A series of three TV spots show hosts taking over-the-top and absurd measures to protect their homes from guests, terrified their freshly painted walls will be ruined by stains.

In one video, a couple invites friends round for dinner only to serve them red wine in children’s sippy cups. In another, a host places their guest’s muddy dog in a hazmat suit. In the third, a mother makes her child’s play date sign a contract agreeing to cover the cost of any damage before she lets her enter the property.

The films were directed by Bafta-winning comedy director David Kerr through production company Hungry Man and are supported by a social campaign and a humorous print campaign, which shows relatable text conversations between couples.

“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,” said Matt Lever, chief creative officer at BMB. “Playing on that human truth to remind people of Modern Emulsion’s durability and hardiness has been a lot of fun.”

Director David Kerr added: “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.”


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
Director: David Kerr
Production company producer: Stephen Johnson
Production company: Hungry Man
Editors: The Assembly Rooms
Post: MPC
Sound: Wave
Typographer: Alison Carmichael @ Jelly
Production company producer: Matt Posner
Production company: CYLNDR
Editors: CYLNDR

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.