Classic advert: From posh to cockney – The water in Majorca …




The water in Majorca don’t taste like how it ought ta

This 80s advert is another one of those that seems to stick in our minds forever.

First and foremost, the advert has nothing to do with the taste of water in Majorca: it’s about pronunciation, perfecting the cockney language and of course Heineken, the beer that refreshes the parts that other beers cannot reach. Lets start-off by taking a look at the characters at the School of  Street Credibility …


The frustrated cockney and Del the assistant (unsung hero)

The frustrated cockney is persistent – even though his patience is being stretched to breaking point he’s not giving up. His facial expression has the look of ‘Why can’t you get a grasp of this!‘ and ‘It’s not that hard!’ He has the challenging task of transforming posh into cockney.

Del tells the struggling posh lady to get her ‘laughing gear around that‘ as he hands her a can of Heineken. Notice how quick Del is out with the refreshments immediately after his boss makes the request – efficient, no-nonsense service from Del.


The lady

The star of the advert. She’s trying her best but it’s just not good enough. You can’t fault her attentiveness and effort, but a bit like a hamster on a wheel, she’s stuck in the starting position and going nowhere. ‘Ohh golly!‘ is her surprised response after being handed a can of beer. Taking the first gulp in a rather unlady-like-fashion results in the massive shift away from posh to cockney. The second gulp ensures that any residue of poshness is thoroughly flushed away. She’s gone from ‘The water in Majorca doesn’t taste like what it ought to‘ to ‘The worter in Majorca don’t taste like how it ought ta’ – her pronunciation is bang-on and cor blimey she’s cracked it! Her next stop: maybe a ball and chalk to the battlecruiser to ‘ave a few pints and a laugh-n-a-joke.





Enjoyed da blog? Eastender Scott Manning talks about British Telecom, Busby and phonecards in the new nostalgic book Section N Underpass (available now). Brush up on your cockney rhyming slang, get da rundown here: 

new book


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