PRIVATE VIEW: Bruce Crouch, the creative director at Soul

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 26 July 2002 12:00AM

My old guv'nor of more than a decade, John Hegarty, used to caution against writing this column. "Why piss off all the people who vote for your work on juries? was his reasoning (if not his language). As usual he's probably right. So I approached the Campaign package feeling like a cross between a naughty schoolboy and a bomb disposal expert.

No need to worry. The first ads are Mother's for Sneak magazine. I have to declare an interest here. I love almost everything Mother does, so I passed on the review to Elaine and Sarah, two 15-years-olds at Soul on work experience.

Elaine: "I love these. The school one on telly's really funny."

Sarah: (laughs as girls "bursting with gossip explode into a splurge of pink paint).

Bruce: "Will you buy Sneak magazine then?"

Sarah: "No."

Aha, I thought until she continued: "No. Mum will."

Out of the mouths of babes.

Next, I'm afraid, the opposite end of the originality spectrum for Listerine.

Now if you are going to do something someone else has done before, at least wait until the body is cold, or in this case in an Electrolux fridge/freezer. The "bored staff routine as done by Bartle Bogle Hegarty made boredom funny.

This, I'm afraid, makes boredom, well, boring. There must be a Bermuda Triangle of all those great Listerine ads done by students somewhere.

I hope the client and agency stumble across it.

Now a nice change, two print campaigns. The first, for Birds Eye Potato Waffles, is from the same agency that does the fantastic "slag Pot Noodle campaign. Food as slapper seems a favourite strategy round there as these waffles "go with anything". The Sun headline thing feels a little familiar but hey, someone's having a go at something with a high degree of difficulty and at least there isn't a strange bearded man surrounded by young children in it.

I love the strategy on J2O. The cheek of it made me laugh. The posters, though, which I've seen on the underground are a little wordy. "Juice in its element is a bit unnecessary too. I just have this image of HHCL & Partners at the moment. It's of Ray Gardner on his stool having taken a bit of a battering ready to come out and land a haymaker of a knockout punch. These two campaigns are good body shots.

Make classical music funky. Not an easy brief but these BBC idents for the proms are nicely shot and have some energy as people spray-paint a sundial on Trafalgar Square. Not being classically trained, the "Perfect Moment theme loses me a bit. But then I like football.

Now to the talk of the town.

Mercedes has got round the perennial problem of making driving shots interesting by not thinking in a straight line and producing a trailer for a film called Lucky Star. Because creatively, London is the capital of cynical, I have already heard this labelled "pretentious and "indulgent".

I prefer brave, bold, confident and, most of all, clever. To create the film into which your product placement is inserted is inspired thinking.

Yes, Freud PR will have to work hard to bring people's attention to the brand and other media will have to be more hard-nosed, but it is everything the "glass half empty brigade will never be. Original.

BIRDS EYE
Project: "They'll go with anything"
Client: Robert Weston, brand manager
Brief: Remind people how versatile the great British waffle is
Agency: HHCL & Partners
Writer: Jayne Marar
Art director: Jo Webb
Photographer: John Renston
Exposure: National six-sheet posters and consumer press
BRITVIC
Project: Britvic J2O
Client: Adrian Troy, brands controller
Brief: Position and launch J2O
Agency: Barrett Cernis
Writers: Jonathan Eley and Tim Clark
Art directors: Ray Barrett and Tamsin Abecasis
Typographers: Tim Lewis and Brian Eagle
Photographer: Max Forsythe
Exposure: National posters
MERCEDES
Project: Lucky Star
Client: Richard Payne, communications manager
Brief: Use the launch of the SL 500 to make the brand feel special
Agency: Campbell Doyle Dye
Writer: Walter Campbell
Art director: Walter Campbell
Director: Michael Mann
Production company: Anonymous
Exposure: National TV and cinema
PFIZER
Project: Listerine
Client: Barbara Hodgson, category manager
Brief: Promote Listerine as the daily mouthwash, highlighting its
ability to combat gum disease
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Writer: Johnathan John
Art director: Nick Wootton
Director: Paul Gay
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV
BBC
Project: BBC Proms 2002
Client: Chris Travers, BBC radio marketing manager
Brief: Launch
Agency: DFGW
Writer: Paul Grubb
Art director: Dave Waters
Director: Michael Geoghegan
Production company: BBC Broadcast
Exposure: BBC1, 2 and 4
EMAP PERFORMANCE
Project: Sneak magazine
Client: Stephen Palmer, managing director, pop magazines
Brief: Let people know the content of Sneak magazine
Agency: Mother
Writer: Mother
Art director: Mother
Directors: Jake and Jim
Production company: Godman
Exposure: National TV

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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