You don’t necessarily have to like the product to appreciate the advert, but he fact that it is about Nespresso, an affordable way to have great coffee, makes its latest commercial all the more appealing. Have you ever had one? Of all the kitchen trinkets and gadgets that my family has accumulated over the years, the Nespresso machine is probably the only one that has been used more than twice. When those capsules have run out, it’s like the home is missing a key ingredient.

This new ad is a complete story with all the twists and turns of a classic Hollywood screwball comedy. It not only has an actual punchline, that most modern obscurantist advert writers seem to be allergic to, it has 6 or 7 structural beats that enhance the story and comedy. Once you think you’ve ‘got’ the ad, you’re being set up for the epic punch line. It’s delightful enough to make you forget what you were watching before the break.

It uses household name actors as a short cut to character development. Clooney plays ‘himself’, or the public persona of himself that he has skilfully fashioned over the years. He is the epitome of non-aggressive manliness; right balance between ruggedness and amiability. He’s young enough to be with it but old enough to be responsible. Basically, you’d be a fairly mad woman not to want him.

On the other side is Jean Dujardin. He’s a slick figure with a smile that makes rival men want to punch him. The obvious advantage he has over Clooney is the fact that he’s French. As smelly as he must be, he exudes sexiness. A worthy adversary.

The ad uses both of their image to propel the story. Clooney’s key character flaw is actually his greatest asset: he is amiable to a fault, and this will be his undoing in the end. Dujardin may not be as handsome as he, but he makes up for it in subtle wit.

It’s a brilliant constructed skit about the ups and downs of free exchange. Note the absence of currency in this world; how can we know economic value? Is a nice, smooth espresso really worth letting go a pair of fine Italian leather shoes? Perhaps it is, but you’ll be loathe to forgo a chance with a total babe to keep it. It compels the audience to engage with the two salesmen’s thought process.

It’s a face-off between two gentleman. Although they’re self-interested, all of their dealings are peaceful and conducted with good humour. When it seems as if Clooney has prevailed, an attractive woman turns up to spoil the party. The gentleman that he is, he hands over the coffee, only to find that Dujardin sent her over. Bastard! But in respect of his superior cunning Clooney nods. All in a day’s troubles for him.

It’s glorious escapism. Look where it’s set: a bourgeois paradise and place of stunning beauty. Perhaps when we are all rich, trifles over coffee, shoes and beautiful women will be our main occupations. And when it’s all over we’ll still be friends (I shall get that coffee next time, though).

A great ad like this comes once in a blue moon – one that gives us more than it takes.