• Morgan Fagg

Can you imagine an Irish Baywatch, I can.

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

I enjoyed far too much television as a child despite only having two Radió Telefís channels.

When I was young, Knightrider was still been shown on television just as Macgyver, Baywatch and Star Trek The Next Generation started to air.

Before Baywatch became New Baywatch and long before Baywatch became a Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson film, the original series and soundtrack were excellent.

With their tight red shorts and swimsuits, actors and actresses and the occasional Playboy model made American beaches look very glamorous compared to my Summer holidays in Co Kerry.

I was a young boy watching TV on a Saturday evening unless I had to go to mass. How I prayed not to have mass on a Saturday or I would miss Macgyver.

Richard Dean Anderson´s Macgyver inspired everyone to use the environment around them to help others. Macgyver´s Executive Producer was Henry Winkler from Happy Days and despite Angus Macgyver hating guns, Mr. Dean Anderson went onto star in the sci-fi series Star Gate SG1where he led a team of Air Force Special Forces soldiers as if he was Col Hannibal Smith from the A-Team.

After ten seasons and a few spin-off series, the USAF unbelievably made the Macgyver actor a general. An honorary general but an Air Force general all the same which is a very rare honour.

Macgyver has been rehashed for a new generation but I´m not sure that Knightrider is that exciting for children nowadays especially if their parents have either a Tesla car or Apple watch but Coche Fantastico as the Spanish call it, ruled the air before actor David Hasselhoff made waves in Baywatch and took to the airwaves in Berlin.

Just before his singing career took off in Germany and the Wall came crashing down in Berlin, Hasselhoff was a legend as lifeguard chief Mitch Buchanan. The Hoff, was pulling people out of the water, what more do I need to say?

The Hoffmeister was rescuing people, diving in, diving down to the depths, the classic breathing for someone under the water because they are trapped by a pipe, car, submarine, whatever. The kiss of life was on the silver screen every single Saturday.

Captain Kirk might have kissed green ladies and is credited as giving the world, its first interracial kiss but it was Hasselhoff kissing blue ladies back to a healthy pink.

Fast forward a few years of bad tv and I finished a marketing degree in AIT and later Public Relations in Dublin and found myself invited to take part in a Focus Group.

No, we weren’t looking for a car name to replace the Ford Escort, our Focus group focused on a TV commercial for a beer company. I won't say which company it was.

Sitting in a very fancy suite in Grafton Street, I found myself talking passionately about one of their proposed ads which really stood out.

Can you imagine an Irish Baywatch, I can and all while enjoying some complimentary cans of Budweiser too.

The group sat there listening to one proposal after another, most of which was uninspiring. The theme was, something to the effect of "some things don´t work as well over here as they do in America."

I was unimpressed with what I imagine some American hack had offered up as their suggestions. There were fairies, there was rush hour traffic with American trucks and sheep, it was terrible.

Then they suggested a script with lifeguards on a wet beach in Ireland and the words “hold my beer” were never more appropriate.

With the lyrics to Jimi Jamison´s ´I'm Always Here´

"Some people stand in the darkness, Afraid to step into the light

Some people need to help somebody, When the edge of surrenders in sight

Don't you worry, It's gonna be alright

Cause I'm always ready, I won't let you out of my sight"

To say, “I´ll be there” “whenever you call” was very true.

Running along the beach with my six pack, (and a pack of Taytos) it was time to take up the lifeguard can and save the day.

I argued that the other ads were atrocious and whether I convinced anyone or the idea worked on its own. People agreed and the script was approved. Yeah.

Beem me up Hasselhoff, I love it when a marketing campaign comes together.

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