Private view

By JEREMY PEMBERTON, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 06 December 1996 12:00AM

So what has Santa Stefano sent me for Christmas? Please let it not be turkeys. In this season of goodwill let’s try to keep it jolly and generous.

So what has Santa Stefano sent me for Christmas? Please let it not be

turkeys. In this season of goodwill let’s try to keep it jolly and

generous.



First out of the sack comes a shiny Mercedes ad. It’s the launch double-

page spread for the SLK. For once it’s a launch ad that actually has an

idea in it as well as making the car look good. Although I did wonder

whether this was the most flattering angle, or whether it was shot from

bove to make the idea work. The darkness of the background really makes

the silver car stand out, and the result has a lot of style. When I

first saw this ad, in the press, the background was printed so dark I

failed to spot the tyre marks and lost the plot entirely.



Next comes a cinema and press campaign for Radio 1. I never get to

listen to the radio these days. My memories of Radio 1 are frozen around

the Tony Blackburn era. So there is a combination of identity crisis and

credibility gap when I play the cinema ad. I guess the intention is to

show that Radio 1 is in touch with what’s happening right now, and get

people to reappraise it. The visual/type mix is inventive and well

executed, and the sound design is dynamic, particularly for the Rap

Show. If it was for Kiss FM the fit would be fine. I just wonder whether

it isn’t a case of ‘he doth protest too much’ and it smacks of Del Boy

slipping into a crepe shirt and hipsters.



Radio 1 part 2. The print campaign. Now here’s a funny thing. After all

that state-of-the-art TV you would have expected a print campaign

designed by Tomato. Not so. This time the typography is straight out of

the 70s with eye-wateringly close letter spacing of stunning

illegibility. The idea of playing around with the DJs’

names/personalities is fine if you already know them. If not, it’s all a

bit confusing. And what on earth is ‘as it is’ all about?



Now let’s dip into Ambrosia. This features a bought-the-script-but-

couldn’t-actually-get-Chris Morris presenter doing a variation on The

Day Today sketch. It all works rather well, brings a smile to the face

and is creamily satisfying up until the point where a Japanese gentleman

crashes through the Devonian landscape yelling ‘Not chopsticks -

spoons’. Some of you have been eating too much Ambrosia.



Obviously people have been eating too much Marmite as well, because now

it’s come up with an ‘I hate Marmite’ ad to partner a ‘my mate Marmite’

execution. The casting and direction of both films is excellent although

the idea of sitting in a bath of Marmite is quite revolting. But quite

what it’s up to with ‘I hate Marmite’ I can’t work out. Let’s wait until

the next Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Effectiveness Awards

to find out.



The last present in Santa’s sack turns out to be a spot for Packard Bell

computers. I say ‘turns out to be’, because, to be honest, it’s all a

bit of a mystery for the first three-quarters of the film. It starts by

observing commuters in a bleak futuristic world you might experience if

you went to sleep having spent a week at the NFT then ate far too much

cheese. There are bits of Metropolis, Blade Runner, Brazil and Mad Max.

Even a hint of Dunlop ad. It’s beautifully done with the highest

production values and must have cost a bomb. It moves on to a Kafkaesque

bank interior where a pale and interesting young lady ages in front of

our eyes as she waits to be served. What can it all mean? We find out.

It’s all been a horrible dream and now we’re back in Disneyland. ‘Now

you can do it all from home’ we are informed. It is always hard to show

the positives of something like a computer, and it is easier to find

dramatic potential in demonstrating the negative before introducing the

product, but it’s hard bolting the two bits together successfully and

avoiding a let-down at the end. It’s interesting to remember Ridley

Scott’s classic Apple ad didn’t burst the bubble and worked all the

better for it.



So, a mixed bag from Santa, and a merry Christmas from me.



Jeremy Pemberton is the creative director of DMB&B



CPC (UK)



Project: Marmite

Client: Amanda Hawkins, marketing manager

Brief: Make Marmite relevant again to an audience for whom it has become

slightly distant and a bit too worthy

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Andy McLeod

Art director: Richard Flintham

Directors: Traktor

Production company: Partizan Midi Minuit

Exposure: National TV



CPC (UK)



Project: Ambrosia Rice Pudding

Client: Adrian Dent, marketing manager

Brief: Re-establish Ambrosia Rice as a contemporary eat-anywhere-anytime

snack

Agency: Delaney Fletcher Bozell

Writer: David Adamson

Art director: Richard Prentice

Directors: Terrence O’Conner, Marek Losey

Production company: Trademark Productions

Exposure: National TV



BBC Radio 1 (cinema)



Project: BBC Radio 1

Client: Sophie McLaughlin, marketing manager

Brief: Bring the audience to the station at the times most suited to

their needs

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Kola Ogundipe, Naresh Ramchandani

Art director: Dave Buonaguidi

Director: Earl Sebastian

Production company: Oil Factory

Exposure: National cinema



Packard Bell



Project: Packard Bell

Client: Peter Bromage, managing director, UK

Brief: Maximise Packard Bell’s leadership in home computing

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Judy D’Mello

Art director: Jean Batthany

Director: Samuel Bayer

Production company: not supplied

Exposure: National TV (not Scotland) and satellite



BBC Radio 1 (press)



Project: BBC Radio 1

Client: Sophie McLaughlin, marketing manager

Brief: Bring the audience to the station at the times most suited to

their needs

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Kola Ogundipe, Naresh Ramchandani

Art director: Dave Buonaguidi

Photographer: Robert Clifford

Typographer: Robbie Sparks

Exposure: National press and posters



Mercedes-Benz



Project: SLK

Client: Oliver Johnson, general manager, marketing

Brief: Launch the SLK two-seater sportster

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writer: Nick Bell

Art director: Mark Tutssel

Director: Russell Porcas

Typographer: Trevor Slabber

Exposure: National press



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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