Helena Bonham Carter's Real Takeout Order Inspired This Fun Barclaycard Ad

Droga5 London's trip to Paradise

Last time we saw Helena Bonham Carter getting the paradise treatment was when she was on holiday with Roddy Llewellyn during Season 3 of The Crown. That didn't work out so well—but she has better luck in a new Barclaycard commercial, where she also takes a trip to Paradise.

That would be the Paradise restaurant in the Hampstead area of London. Bonham Carter once ordered a takeout meal from the Indian eatery, which was the inspiration for the Barclaycard spot, dreamed up by Droga5.

The spot also stars Wasel Ali, owner of Paradise, for whom Bonham Carter's visit looms large in his personal career retrospective. "It was the best moment of my professional life," he admits toward the end of the ad.

Was it as memorable for Helena?

Barclaycard | Paradise

The dreamlike slow-mo bits, followed by the deadpan rude awakening at the end, make for a nice little comic journey. The snapshot of Wasel and Helena at the end is an amusing touch, too—all in all, a fun twist on the celebrity endorsement.

"To me, the work is interesting because it's not a celebrity endorsement of Barclaycard, she's endorsing Paradise, the restaurant," says David Kolbusz, chief creative officer of Droga5 London, who also directed the spot. "Her endorsement of Barclaycard is implied but it's by proxy, folding in a little meta narrative to the mix."

Dan Morris and Charlene Chandrasekaran were creative directors on the spot; the creative team was Melina Philippidou and Philippa Baines.

Bonham Carter's other recent advertising outings have included this comical campaign for Bumble about dating during Covid and some inspired voiceover work on this Apple Watch spot.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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