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

FCUK

Project: Fcuk denim range

Client: Stephen Marks, chief executive, French Connection UK

Brief: Extend the fame of the fcuk brand

Agency: TBWA\London

Writer: Trevor Beattie

Art director: Bil Bungay

Director: Bil Bungay

Production company: RSA

Exposure: National TV

CADBURY

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

BATCHELORS

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

EPSON

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

KIT KAT

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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