PRIVATE VIEW: Rob Fletcher, the joint creative director of Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 February 2003 12:00AM

I've been given a bag full of stones, and told to go and sit in a nice big glasshouse.

French Connection has gone to the beach and its agency, after producing the most provocative campaign of the 90s, has gone on holiday with it.

I like advertising that shows me, or tells me, something new. I don't think anyone is shocked by the fcuk device now, and I've seen a million pictures of waves and surfers before. There's a definite change in direction here, but I just think the more colourful these ads become the more drab they appear.

Hamlet, like a lot of tobacco advertisers, is having one last drag before it quits. Because of regulations it has chosen the internet to show its last ever films. Great viral films spread across the world via e-mail because their content is never normally allowed to be seen on regulated broadcast media. The Hamlet films are safe and cosy, and would be just about acceptable at a WI meeting. The fluorescent luminous condom ad would have spread uncontrollably across the planet.

These won't.

British Airways is lovely, simple and confident. It has completely jettisoned the over-seen, over-indulgent imagery attached to business travel, the fancy napkins, the shadow cast by a glass of wine, the peaceful dawn light breaking over a weary traveller as he leans back and smiles at the stewardess. All gone. And thank God. Very confident to cut out all the finery and go for what a business traveller truly wants from a transatlantic flight. Sleep.

Impulse is teasing everyone at the moment with the question: "Where have all the young men gone?" Well, they've all been lured away by beautiful young Sirens. (Sorry for revealing the ending.) The ad's all right but like a lot of similar, very fashionable-looking ads, it feels so distant.

This idea is trying to engage because it asks an engaging question. But it's too far removed from reality, shot in strange town America. Why couldn't it have been shot in Britain where it would have had a toe-hold on reality, like the life-drawing model getting an erection did, or the gay guy having doubts?

The Wall's Balls ads are quite funny, which is good when you have a product as laughable as Wall's Balls. One of those horrendous products that get conjured up for children that don't really like food. They like balls though, so put them together and you're left with kids chasing and eating a bowling ball and a boy chasing and gnawing a ball like a dog. Simple, funny and made so much better by the Neil Stuke voiceover.

Brita. What is it about Brita water filters? They're always on the telly so they must be doing something right. Gone is that shameless advert couple, but now we have equally cliched shots showing us we all like water in different ways. You're telling me something I already know, using images I've already seen. It beats me, but a lot of people somewhere must be buying into all this. It's just not my cup of pure filtered tea.

Right, that's me done. Does anyone know a decent glazier?

FRENCH CONNECTION

Project: French Connection

Client: Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive

Brief: Fcuk - bringing the cool surf vibe to the high street

Agency: TBWA/London

Writers: Trevor Beattie and Julia Martens

Art director: Bil Bungay

Photographer: n/s

Typographer: n/s

Exposure: National press and poster

BRITISH AIRWAYS

Project: Times Square

Client: Abigail Comber, advertising and media manager

Brief: Remind flyers that BA has the world's only true flat beds in

business class

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Duncan Timms

Art director: Will Bates

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: National TV

KERRY FOODS

Project: Wall's Balls launch

Client: Toby Langton, marketing controller

Brief: Launch of Wall's Balls, an extension of the Wall's sausages brand

Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Mark Rowbotham

Art director: Nicky Hole

Directors: Jake & Jim

Production company: Godman

Exposure: National TV and cinema

LEVER FABERGE

Project: Impulse Siren

Client: Margaret Jobling, brand director

Brief: Launch the new cross range fragrance called Siren

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Rosie Arnold

Art director: Rosie Arnold

Director: Nick Gordon

Production company: Academy

Exposure: National TV

BRITA WATER FILTER SYSTEMS

Project: Brita water filters

Client: Charlotte Ward, marketing manager

Brief: Forge a stronger emotional bond with the consumer

Agency: Da Costa & Co

Writer: Nick da Costa

Art director: Nick da Costa

Directors: Tom and Charles Guard

Production company: Rogue Films

Exposure: National TV

GALLAHER

Project: Hamlet virals

Client: Mike Cox-Hill, brand manager cigars

Brief: Contemporise The Hamlet Moment in a viral form

Agency: cdp-travissully

Writers: Ruan Milborrow and Milo Campbell

Art directors: Ruan Milborrow and Tony Burke

Director: Henry Littlechild

Production company: The Viral Factory

Exposure: Viral

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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