Private View: James Lowther, the chairman at M&C Saatchi
campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 15 October 2004 12:00AM
One bonus of doing Private View is that it gives you a racetrack down which you can gallop your favourite hobbyhorse. Mine at the moment is "campaigns". And why there seem to be so few great new ones. Is it short-termism, caused by the rapid turnover of marketers in companies?
In this rapidly changing marketplace, do you actually need campaigns?
Or are they just too damn hard to do? My personal view is that a great campaign can develop a long-term relationship with your consumer which repays itself one hundredfold long after the memories of those one-night stand ads, however brilliant, have faded.
Inconveniently, the first commercial isn't part of a campaign and doesn't need to be.
It's a one-off ad for the Epson PictureMate printer. Its sound premise is that if you don't print your photos, you're effectively incarcerating all your loved ones in a digital dungeon. On this basis, I have had all my family and friends held hostage since Christmas 2000, not to mention the entire England rugby team. So I'll give this ad the ultimate compliment and buy the product this week, before George Bush sends the Marines in to rescue them.
The next ad, for Cadbury's Mini Rolls, is also about freeing things; this time your inner child. I'm not sure if it's meant to be the start of a campaign but it's a campaignable thought that could lead to some fine executions. I'm not sure it's quite hit its stride yet. Maybe this is because Jeff's inner child in the ad I saw sounded rather like Orville.
Talking of animals, here's Sid the Slug's print campaign for the Food Standards Agency, castigating the evils of salt. I was brought up thinking that salt, milk, eggs, butter, bread and nuts were good for you. Now, they're all apparently cholesterol-crazed killers on a par with Pol Pot.
So Sid's got his work cut out to convince me. Having said that, Sid is noticeable in a rather disgusting way, his connection with salt is clever and, as the maestro Webster proved, there's nothing like having a cuddly animal to create a brilliant campaign with legs. But then all his animals had legs too.
If the previous two ads show the difficulties of starting a great campaign, the next explores the perils of evolving a great one. While not being a one-line campaign, Batchelors Super Noodles has created a brilliant campaign/brand ethos by doing ads of dizzyingly high creativity and splendidly poor taste. This latest execution is respectable but in such mould-breaking company, it seems timid. Has PC-ness crept in? I hope not.
There is probably no more famous endline than: "Have a break. Have a Kit Kat." So to change it is a bit like farting in front of the Queen.
Maybe it has to be done but the penalty could be ferocious. Actually the old line, with some notable exceptions, was sometimes better than the executions that preceded it. With the new campaign, " Make the most of your break", it may be the reverse.
The line may not be so memorable but "librarian" and "clothes shop" are sharp, well-written and funny, and could be the beginning of a productive seam.
Another sacred cow being slaughtered this week is the fcuk campaign.
Like Batchelors, I've always thought it was marvellous, tasteless and successful in equal measure. (Like a thirtysomething courtesan.) However, maybe its sauciness has recently started to seem a little strained. The new ad cannibalises its own history by taking a self-satirical knock at ads that try to sell stuff to you with big offensive logos. Great photography, lovely sly voiceover. And then a big black end frame with nothing on it.
Brave, assumptive and classy. (Who knows where it's headed?) So why do I miss fcuk? Maybe it's just more memorable than fcuk all.
FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY
Project: Sid the Slug
Client: Neil Martinson, director of communications
Brief: Create public awareness of the dangers of eating too much salt
Agency: HHCL/Red Cell
Writers: Billy Faithful, Ross Neil
Art directors: Billy Faithful, Ross Neil
Photographer: Charlie Crane
Exposure: National outdoor and magazines
Project: Fcuk denim range
Client: Stephen Marks, chief executive, French Connection UK
Brief: Extend the fame of the fcuk brand
Writer: Trevor Beattie
Art director: Bil Bungay
Director: Bil Bungay
Production company: RSA
Exposure: National TV
Project: Mini Rolls inner child
Client: Kate Taylor, brand director
Brief: Make Cadbury's Mini Rolls the epitome of Cadbury's
irresistibility to the inner child in all of us
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Amber Logan
Art director: Graham Lang
Director: Jim Hoskin
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: National TV
Project: Batchelors Super Noodles To Go
Client: Annie Neil, marketing director, hot snacking category
Brief: Launch Batchelors Super Noodles To Go as the superest to go
Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
Writer: Malcolm Green
Art director: Gary Betts
Director: Tom Vaughan
Production company: HLA
Exposure: National TV
Project: Epson PictureMate
Clients: Barbara Kuhr, head of marketing communications, Europe; Maria
Eagling, European planning manager
Brief: Launch a new generation of personal printers across Europe
Agency: Burkitt DDB
Writer: Phil Webb
Art director: Chris Owens
Director: Barney Cokeliss
Production company: Godman
Exposure: National TV in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy
Project: Make the most of your break
Client: Mike O'Reilly, head of consumer communications, Nestle
Brief: Create famous popular advertising for Kit Kat
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Writer: Dave Shelton
Art director: Liz Whiston
Director: John Lloyd
Production company: Large
Exposure: National TV
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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