THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best 118 ads
campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 16 December 2003 12:00AM
A spoof of the cult movie Rocky that proclaimed 118 118 as the champion in the fight for the title of best directory service. A brilliant spot that sent the public profile of the runners into orbit. Extremely cheeky to run a "victory" ad so early in the directory enquiries battle, but on the advertising front WCRS and 118 118 had already dealt their competitors a knock-out blow. Written by Gary Dawson and art directed by Tony Hardcastle
2. Cog spoof
Intended as a TV spot until blocked by Honda, this send up of the slick "cog" ad is a fine example of crafty tactical work that capitalised on the publicity around Honda's work. Clever thinking saw the spot reach the public virally. Written by Anson Harris and art directed by Per Kvalvaag
3. 192 retirement
While BT waited to launch its ad offensive, 118 118 ran amok. This ad attacked BT's venerable heritage, portraying BT as an aged runner who needed to be "retired". Written by Gary Dawson and art directed by Tony Hardcastle
The one that started it all. Press-ups in the snow, a lot of finger-pointing and hurdling. The public was bemused but the quirkiness of the moustachioed runners left viewers wondering what was next. It was the first time that the nation was exposed to "got your number". Written and art directed by Andy Dibb and Steve Little
5. Got your number x 3
The runners burst in on all sorts of situations - a bedroom, a couple snogging in the library - in their zeal to pronounce the arrival of a new directory enquiries service. Written and art directed by Andy Dibb and Steve Little
6. Straight through
The runners are seen tackling an absurd obstacle course to dramatise the dry subject of how 118 118 enquiry calls can be instantly connected. A difficult brief cleverly tackled. Written by Gary Dawson and art directed by Tony Hardcastle
7. BT launches 118 500 "make a note"
BT's launch campaign saw 100 million Post-it notes appear across the nation to remind consumers to use 118 500. A simple concept by St Luke's carried through with typical massive marketing muscle. Written by Matt James and art directed by Vic Polkinghorne
8. 118 118 Post-it notes
A swift tactical response to BT's launch saw the 118 runners appear covered in Post-it notes in a spoiling move. WCRS once again showed the versatility of its creation in being able to capitalise on almost any media opportunity. Written by Gary Dawson and art directed by Tony Hardcastle
9. BT "make a note"
The problem with waiting until the last minute to launch a campaign is that everyone else is at fever pitch pushing their number as well. To try to get stand out, St Luke's used giant-sized Post-it notes - some as large as the side of a building - to capture the attention of the public. Notes appeared in diverse places including Tate Britain.
10. Dancing gimps for Conduit
It could have been like this. As an observer was heard to comment on this ad by Partners BDDH: "There has to be more to advertising these services than people dancing around on stage in foam outfits." See numbers 1 through 9 above. Where are they now? Written by Eddie Kerr and art directed by Gary Purcell.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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