chapter  10
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
ByDIANE NEGRA
Pages 15

In a Southern Comfort ad which appeared in cinemas in the UK in 2005, a group of young Americans is portrayed anxiously scanning the departure screen at a European train station, running to catch their train and then celebrating narrowly having caught it by breaking open a bottle of whiskey. As they lift their paper cups to toast their journey ‘To Prague’, a conductor enters the train and announces he is collecting tickets for Barcelona. With this, the bemused group improvises a new toast ‘To Barcelona’ and quaff their whiskey. This ad for a brand that positions itself as quintessentially American draws upon notions of Americanness as both disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings yet cheerfully adaptive, and it does so, strikingly, in order to sell an American product to European consumers. In condensed form, the ad recapitulates many of the stock elements of the European misadventure narrative that has intermittently played through the teen film genre.