If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam’s historic inner city – stag night or hen do, anyone? – you’ll know it’s a small miracle that cars are still allowed on the cobbled canal streets and narrow bridges.
So who on earth came up with the ridiculous concept of shooting an ambitious television advert here?
One in which a rock band lands in a helicopter, jumps into a red Mini to leap rather than drive across these constricted streets, being chased by fans on bicycles, only to end on a barge for an open-air concert (search ‘Mini Advert – Oppo’ on YouTube to see the whole thing).
Although the idea for a Mini commercial featuring a band came from British Leyland itself, it was director Dennis Abey who planned to move the location to central Amsterdam.
He had just made his first comedy film when BL approached him. Dennis, now 90, remembers it well: “Originally, they wanted to shoot it at the Royal Albert Hall, but I didn’t like that plan and suggested we go to Amsterdam instead.
“In those days they were wide open to any idea so I wasn’t surprised when they said yes.”