Private view

By PATRICK COLLISTER, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 20 September 1996 12:00AM

Perhaps Stefano Hatfield ought to consider the following for Campaign’s Phone Poll. Private View inspires the hostility of some pretty big hitters in the business: Frank Lowe is said to think the only people who ever write the column are creative minnows, who’ll either use it to take cheap shots at rival agencies or for self-promotion; John Hegarty believes the contributors are almost always depressingly ungenerous. What’s more, the effectiveness of the work is never taken into account. So, are they right? Should Private View be abolished?

Perhaps Stefano Hatfield ought to consider the following for Campaign’s

Phone Poll. Private View inspires the hostility of some pretty big

hitters in the business: Frank Lowe is said to think the only people who

ever write the column are creative minnows, who’ll either use it to take

cheap shots at rival agencies or for self-promotion; John Hegarty

believes the contributors are almost always depressingly ungenerous.

What’s more, the effectiveness of the work is never taken into account.

So, are they right? Should Private View be abolished?



Me, I’d phone the ‘no’ number. Not just because I’m an occasional

contributor. And yes, I do get a sneaky sort of pleasure from seeing my

name in print. I’d phone ‘no’ because it’s the first page I turn to as a

reader. Private View is a showcase of recent work. I believe it to be a

fair reflection of the good, the decent and the solidly professional

body of work the industry churns out each week. Only very, very rarely

is there ever a shocker of the gorgonzolian proportions that rates a

mere * on the Mellorsometer. (And, come on, Tim is hardly a creative

minnow now, is he?)



Half the fun of the page is in how it can reveal one’s peers as total

plonkers. For instance, at my last agency, Burkitt Weinreich Bryant

(RIP), Andy Lawson and Laurence Blume wrote a campaign for NEC fax

machines. Private View (and I won’t embarrass its author) was

contemptuous. Tony Kaye, on the other hand, thought the ads so

distinctive he wrote a note of congratulation which he hand delivered to

the agency. When, deservedly, the campaign won awards, TK’s creative

judgment was vindicated and Mr X’s shown to be as suspect as we’d

believed.



Let’s face it, advertising is not a great business to be in if you’re

thin-skinned. Absolutely everyone will have an opinion about your recent

work, from your bosses to your clients - and you should hear what the

consumers think. If you take any of it to heart, you simply won’t

survive. The real question is, is Private View important?



When I say that the new Levi’s film is admirable and enviable, a good

old-fashioned idea about the product, tellingly shot in black and white

with a great soundtrack, another award-winner that will also flog a lot

of denim, my opinion may be of interest to the lads at Bartle Bogle

Hegarty. But not of consequence.



Similarly, I happen to think the Woolmark commercial must have been a

terrific script before it became this rather disappointing film. Where

the narrative of the Levi’s spot doesn’t let up for a second, here a

similar theme of escape, from a loveless wedding, is buried beneath the

sort of filmic pyrotechnics that bring Richard Phillips out in spots.

But so what?



I think the Observer’s ‘rogue pudding’ is charming, clear and clever in

the way it sets about repositioning the brand as more friendly and less

polemic than we may hitherto have believed.



The commercial for the Department for Education and Employment hasn’t a

chance of an award. But I also think it could find thousands of

youngsters a future, and that is the only criterion by which it should

be judged.



The Austin Reed campaign will do what it’s been designed to do: shift

perceptions of it away from a shop that sells suits to a place offering

much more. I find the work uncluttered but exciting. And if I’m being

critical, I think the Holsten campaign is a bit arch, but absolutely in

keeping with the brand personality the agency has so skilfully and

successfully created.



And that’s the sum of it. Others may be less benign about the work on

show. The new creative director, the new marketing director, now these

are people whose opinions can seriously affect your career prospects.

And that’s why I would ring the ‘no’ number. Because what I have to say

doesn’t actually matter a mote. Even if Private View was written by

giants, by Lowe himself, it would remain essentially trivial.



Patrick Collister is executive creative director of Ogilvy and Mather



Levi Strauss



Project: Levi’s 501

Client: Martin Rippon, European marketing director

Brief: Levi’s 501s are the original and definitive jeans

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: John O’Keefe

Art director: Russell Ramsey

Director: Steve Ramser

Production company: The Artists Company

Exposure: Pan-Euro and satellite TV, cinema



International Wool Secretariat



Project: Woolmark

Client: David Connors, group manager, international marketing

Brief: Help force reappraisal of wool in major world markets

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Alfredo Marcantonio

Art director: Peter Gausis

Director: Marek Kanievska

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: International TV and cinema



The Observer



Project: Nigel Slater’s puddings Tiddler special

Client: Stephen Palmer, marketing director

Brief: Promote inclusion of puddings in Sunday’s Observer

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Alistair Campbell

Art director: Suzanne Hails

Director: Vadim Jean

Production company: Beechurst

Exposure: National TV



Holsten



Project: Holsten Pils

Client: Phil Plowman, marketing director

Brief: Announce the new, reformulated Holsten Pils

Agency: GGT

Writer: Alex Paton

Art director: Libby Brockoff

Photographer: Richard Mummery

Typographer: Ian Hutchinson

Exposure: National 48-sheet posters, style magazines and national press



Department for Education and Employment



Project: DfEE Modern Apprenticeships

Client: John Ross, deputy director of publicity

Brief: Position Modern Apprenticeships as a serious option for teenagers

looking to develop their skills at work

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Phil Rylance

Art director: Roger Holdsworth

Directors: Joe Public

Production company: Fat Fish Films

Exposure: National TV



Austin Reed



Project: Autumn campaign

Client: Julia Bowe, marketing manager

Brief: Make Austin Reed more accessible

Agency: Butler Lutos Sutton Wilkinson

Writer: Rupert Sutton

Art director: Liz Gilmore

Photographer: Cheryl Goralik

Typographer: Jeff Lewis

Exposure: 48-sheet posters



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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