Ferrari may have got a snappy new livery thanks to Fernando Alonso bringing Santander to the Maranello party, but the Spanish bank has produced one of the very best television advertisements of recent years using McLaren star Lewis Hamilton as its excellent focal point.

The plot features a young lad dozing in the back of his father’s elderly Merc 300TE – a clever bit of vintage product placement here – as they sweep across a viaduct apparently made from Lego (don’t ask!).

As the boy daydreams one of the workman at the roadside nods in acknowledgment at him. It’s Lewis, and the kid has to pinch himself to believe that he’s actually seen his F1 hero!

Not quite up to the standard of ‘comparethemeercat.com’ but pretty close, in my view. Certainly streets ahead of the gut-wrenchingly crass and almost embarrassing ads currently offered by Santander’s high street rivals Barclays.

But don’t get me started on that. Take a short cut to a new way of raising my blood pressure!

Meanwhile, back to the new Ferrari. "This championship will be very important for us," said team principal Stefano Domenicali. "The last championship, for different reasons, was not very positive, that is why we are dealing with this one looking to be competitive - and this is what Ferrari deserves to have.”

I think McLaren, who are due to launch their MP4-25 at title sponsor Vodafone’s Newbury headquarters tomorrow are all determined to disappoint the amiable Domenicali.

And McLaren’s old pal Alonso.

Technorati Tags: , ,