PRIVATE VIEW

By TREVOR BEATTIE, creative director of TB, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 10 December 1999 12:00AM

I’m a sad and lonely earthworm. So sad and lonely and blue. Having said that, I’m probably the only slimy, hermaphrodite, dirt-gobbling, animatronic member of the Oligochaeta family capable of pulling off an even passable impersonation of Perry Como. Oh, and I’m starring in the best commercial on television. Life’s great after all. See MSN for details.

I’m a sad and lonely earthworm. So sad and lonely and blue. Having

said that, I’m probably the only slimy, hermaphrodite, dirt-gobbling,

animatronic member of the Oligochaeta family capable of pulling off an

even passable impersonation of Perry Como. Oh, and I’m starring in the

best commercial on television. Life’s great after all. See MSN for

details.



And discover a whole new meaning to the phrase ’my other half’.



A recent scientific survey concluded that men who were subjected to the

cruel and unusual punishment known as ’shopping with a woman’ suffered

identical stress levels to those of jet fighter pilots engaged in

air-to-air combat. This I can fully understand, so the fundamental

notion behind online shopping (ie sitting on your tush clicking away

your wages instead of standing gormlessly holding a handbag outside a

changing room with a glazed expression on your face and Steps pumping on

the stereo at six million decibels) I would heartily endorse.



But these UR Wired.com ads? A fat, bald bloke dressed as Lara Croft shot

poorly in your local park? Hmmm. It’s more double chin than double life

and I know that’s probably the intention, but I can’t help finding it

all so damned unpretty.



So, who would you most like to have an After Eight with? Well,

unfortunately for the superbly crafted fantasy dinner party commercial,

it’s those tried and over-tested dead famous advertising fall-backs:

Marilyn Monroe, Einstein and James Dean. (Elvis was presumably in the

kitchen frying himself up a mess of polk salad.) Pity, really, because

with Stephen Fry bringing up the rear for the uncroaked, this could

become a real step forward for the crusty old brand. I suppose, like any

party, it’s down to who you invite.



Last month, for example, I had a pair of tickets to see the one and only

Quentin Crisp (before the old boy took the signs at Terminal One too

literally).



I received the news of his sad passing via a po-faced BBC presenter

solemnly announcing: ’Police report no suspicious circumstances

surrounding Mr Crisp’s death.’ How disappointed he’d have been to hear

that. And what a fabulous dinner guest he’d have made. Dead or alive.

Wry Crisp and Fry, eh? Great after-dinner chat and not a grease mark on

the kitchen paper.



Headache? Tense, nervous headache? Not exactly, but the Beecham’s Flu

Plus commercial (apparently Plus is the new Ultra) does give me a

nagging twinge of deja vu. ’Always read the label,’ says a bold white

caption. Wise words, Bernard. Especially when the label says: ’Warning.

This idea was first (and more startlingly) executed for Nurofen by Tim &

Kate at GGT ten years ago. Repeat dose may cause drowsiness.’



Look, I’ve tried. God knows I’ve tried. But for the life of me I just

can’t fathom this Britax car seat ad. I’d be the first to admit that I

possess neither a driving licence nor a vomit-encrusted toddler. And

that drink-driving is one crime I will never find myself committing. But

I still cannot work out why a car crash involving a drink-driver should

be any more of a threat to your child than one involving a stone-cold

sober driver, a large articulated truck, a very steep hill and a patch

of black ice? Or, for that matter, why the first half of the headline is

in red? And why is it a question? And why have they art directed the

baby into the gutter? And does the Britax Empire produce a slightly less

safe version of the seat specifically for less dangerous,

non-drink-related accidents?



Dat Benjamin Zephania, ’im dub, ’im rap an’ ting. In poetry, ’im like a

Lennox: undisputed king. ’Im meck an ad far Morgan’s Spiced, it rock the

nation, see. But though ’im talkin’ liberation, some ting’s troublin’

me. Client, ’im call it ’product shot’, ’appreciation’, ’smart’. But as

I and I and I would say, methinks the ending’s clart. Big up.





MICROSOFT

Project: MSN

Client: Matt Wittingham, relationship marketing manager

Brief: Convey the benefits of the MSN portal site and drive traffic to

it

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Writer: Mark Wnek

Art director: Paul Shearer

Director: Doug Nichol

Production company: Serious Pictures

Exposure: National TV, cinema


NESTLE UK

Project: After Eight

Client: Liam Newton, category marketing manager

Brief: Reaffirm After Eight as the number one after-dinner mint

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Trevor De Silva

Art director: Paul White

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


SMITHKLINE BEECHAM

Project: Beecham’s Flu Plus

Client: Frances Crewdson, group brand manager

Brief: Position Beecham’s Flu Plus as offering relief from colds and flu

however you may suffer

Agency: Grey Advertising

Writer: Kevin Morris

Art director: Kevin Ferry

Director: Alex Turner

Production company: Godman

Exposure: National and satellite TV


BRITAX EXCELSIOR

Project: Britax car seats

Client: Peter Archer, managing director

Brief: Britax does all it can to keep your child safe on the road

Agency: BCD&P

Writer: Andy Imrie

Art director: Ray Barrett

Photographer: John Mac

Exposure: Parenting press


SEAGRAM UK

Project: Morgan’s Spiced

Client: Julie Page, marketing director

Brief: Position Morgan’s Spiced as a credible alternative to vodka for

mixing

Agency: Partners BDDH

Writer: David Fleetwood

Art director: Gary Monaghan

Director: Andrew Douglas

Production company: Douglas Jones Films

Exposure: Cinema


UR WIRED.COM

Project: Brand campaign

Client: Mattias Lamotte, managing director

Brief: Build awareness for UR Wired.com, the online games retail

specialist

Agency: Maher Bird Associates

Writer: Martin Pierson

Art director: Martin Pierson

Typographer: Andrew Purchase

Photographer: Jonathan Root

Exposure: Men’s style titles, computer/games press



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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