Specsavers Fawlty Car with John Cleese

Specsavers has recruited John Cleese to appear in Specsavers Fawlty Car, a commercial recreating a classic scene from the Fawlty Towers series. Basil Fawlty gets into an argument with his car’s automated voice control and so decides to give it a ‘damned good thrashing’. But the classic sketch has an extra twist at the end and, of course, he should’ve gone to Specsavers. The campaign includes the #shouldve hashtag to gather all ‘Should’ve’ content in one place.

John Cleese in Fawlty Car Thrashing

The campaign includes a behind-the-scenes interview with John Cleese, hosted across Specsavers’ social channels. In the clip, Cleese talks about Fawlty Towers, the original car-thrashing scene and why he chose to work with Specsavers.

Specsavers Creative chose to develop the idea around Basil Fawlty because he’s an iconic British character who resonates deeply with the key target demographic, the over 60s, while also appealing widely to younger customers. The team worked closely with John Cleese throughout the entire project, including on script development.


The SpecSavers Fawlty Car campaign was developed at Specsavers Creative by marketing director Richard Holmes, creative director Graham Daldry, creatives Simon Bougourd, Neil Brush and John Cleese, and agency producer Sam Lock.

Media was handled at Manning Gottlieb OMD.

Filming was shot by director Tim Bullock via Blink Productions with producer Ewen Brown.

Editor was Mark Burnett at Whitehouse Post.

Post production was done at MPC.

Audio post production was done at Soho Square Studios by Simon Capes.