PRIVATE VIEW: This week, and for the first time, we present two Private Viewers, linked by nothing more than their classic status and the fact that the new editor thought it would be a bit of a wheeze ..

By TREVOR BEATTIE, the creative director a,, Friday, 25 August 2000 12:00AM



I met a girl the other day who wasn’t pregnant. Weirder still, she

didn’t have a pierced belly-button, a Palm Pilot, a bag strap stretched

diagonally across her chest, a bottle of (still or sparkling) mineral

water or a wheat allergy. She wasn’t slurping a tall, skinny

decaffeinated mocha latte, didn’t badger me for ten minutes over which

Premier League side I supported, used the word ’yes’ instead of

’absolutely’ and wasn’t riding a shiny metallic children’s scooter.

Gawd, I meet some nutters.

As laddism sinks slowly in the West, so faddism seems to have gripped

London firmly by the throat. And it won’t let go until every last drop

of individuality has been drained from our poor, lifeless indigo faces.

(Apparently it’s the new black.)

Luckily, advertising has never been directly responsible for such

vacuous fad fascism. We’re far too busy stealing from last year’s movies

and music to set trends of our own. But if you do happen to see a

bandwagon hurtling headlong out of control towards you, you can

guarantee that an adman’s been tinkering with its ABS.

Take the trend of brand diversification. Audi has just designed a new

phone box. The film is lovingly, beautifully shot, and there’s even a

car crash sequence thrown in for old times’ sake, but ... a PHONE BOX?

At a time when even my pet goldfish has his own mobile, isn’t a phone

box about as anachronistic as a thatched roof for an Audi TT? Still, if

the exterior design is anything to go by, the call-girl cards stuck up

inside must be spankin’ gorgeous.

I’ll wager those pesky young whipper-snappers @stlukes know a thing or

two about faddism. Oh yes. They’d probably even be able to explain to

you how, why and when the word SPORT managed to gain its extraneously

plural ’s’. That said, these Sky Sports commercials are bloody


Sure, they represent sport as some kind of convoluted post-Hornby,

quasi-religious multipurpose metaphysical emotional leaning post for the

working classes, but I can’t see David Beckham losing any sleep over

that. You wanna let the power of sport(s) into your wife, mate.

The Rimmel Exaggerate Lipstick commercial depicts a woman putting on her

Rimmel Exaggerate Lipstick. No exaggeration.

Red magazine decided to fly a comfy red sofa around the world and shoot

it in some lovely, sleepy settings. Your sofa awaits? My bed


Toffee Crisp offers up the chocolate-coated advertising chestnut of

’grumpy old punter undergoes dramatic character change on consumption of

our delicious product’. Do I buy it? Oh, go on then. The inspired choice

of Mutley guffawing over the endframe wins me over every time.

Clarks’ ’Act Your Shoe Size’ is one of the great brand repositioning

campaigns of recent years. This Bootleg Shoes commercial, however,

doesn’t seem to be cut from the same cloth. What’s on offer is an offer:

buy a pair of Bootlegs and you can get a personal radio for just pounds

4. So far, so good, until we see a group of scary teachers confiscating

said radios from school children and putting them to what can only be

described as highly improper, nay faddish use.

As if. You’ll be telling me next that you’ve seen grown men and women

pootling around in public on shiny silver children’s scooters oblivious

to the fact that they look like an embarrassing bunch of half-baked

gormless twats. Really.


Apparently only a handful of affluent, style-conscious young men

actually survived the first batch of Audi TTs. A marked tendency to

’snap over-steer’ prompted product recall and substantial re-engineering

of the rear suspension. So it’s no surprise then to hear that the design

team responsible have been ’invited’ to move on to designing telephone


As this spot ably demonstrates, their sleek, brushed aluminium creation

is built like a brick shit-haus. We even see it withstand the impact of

one of those TT jobbies careering out of control.

Whether it can accommodate a truly comprehensive range of tarts’ calling

cards is quite another matter as we don’t really get to see the


We are, however, invited to pop down to the Design Museum for a closer

look. OK, this is not as funny and knowing as ’yuppie’ or ’golf


It’s not as exciting as ’waveborder’. But, as you would expect from

Audi, this is a good looking, well made commercial. It is just that

design, like style, is something you’ve either got or you haven’t. The

more you talk about it, the less confident you appear.

There’s been plenty of talk about the new Rimmel work, albeit in the

pages of Campaign. ’These ads are so strikingly different from any other

cosmetic advertising in this category,’ an agency spokesperson said. ’We

wanted to really reflect the edginess, modernity and quirkiness of

London.’ Well, they aren’t and they don’t, but they do have a

sex-hot-bitch kind of a person with nice lips and a pouty-damp-spanky

kind of a person with unfeasibly long lashes which has got to be more

right than wrong. There has also been quite a lot of poncing around in

post-production which is quite effective.

Red magazine has one of those ads with a nice simple idea worn

threadbare by repetition. Open on red sofa in field, cut to red sofa in

city, cut to red sofa on beach ... well, yes, it does hold all the

interest of somebody else’s holiday snaps ... until eventually, after an

extended world tour, the sofa returns with a woman reading a magazine

sitting on it. I’m not sure we can make these sort of assumptions about

our viewers’ attention spans. Too often we see our work in showreel

isolation rather than clamouring for attention in the zapper-happy,

60-channel maelstrom that is the contemporary viewing experience. The

Red ten-second spots work well.

Clarks is so confident that kids will love its new Bootleg shoes that

it’s chucked in a cheap radio offer with every pair. Not that promising

a brief but the agency has responded manfully with a well-cast tale of

crusty old teachers confiscating pupils’ radios so they can make dicks

of themselves grooving around to the latest choons. Bo selecta! And so


Toffee Crisp has finally got some kind of creative grip on its ’lighten

up’ property with this fast-paced parody of a Detective Regan-style

tuff-guv who likes to chew his staff out until he chews a Toffee Crisp

and mellows out and is nice to everyone.

It’s fascinating to speculate (well, I think so anyway) what might have

been had this perfectly respectable but not mould-shattering ad been

shot in the gritty style of the Sky Sports series. These spots show how

pent up emotions can be released by ’letting a little sport into your


Some of them are a little too St Lukey for most stomachs (see also Ikea,

Fox’s etc.) but the Welsh father and jilted son are simply terrific.


Project: Bootleg radio promotion

Client: Hugh Croad, advertising director

Brief: Buy a pair of Bootleg shoes in the back-to-school period and get

a radio for free

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Andy Lockley

Art director: James Gillham

Director: Lucas Hamar

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: National TV


Project: Toffee Crisp

Client: Mike Tollan, category marketing manager

Brief: ’Lighten up’

Agency: Roose & Partners

Writer: Kate Ward

Art director: Andy Wyton

Director: Peter Richardson

Production company: Jack Strong

Exposure: National TV


Project: Rimmel Exaggerate range

Client: Paul Joosten, Coty vice-president, marketing

Brief: Position Rimmel as the brand that understands the emotional as

well as the functional benefit of make-up

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Kay Truelove

Art director: Robin Harvey

Director: Dawn Shadforth

Production company: RSA

Exposure: National TV


Project: Brand campaign, Audi range

Client: Rawden Glover, head of marketing

Brief: Dramatise the underlying creative design ethos that Audi applies

to all its cars

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Roger Beckett

Art director: Andy Smart

Director: Selby

Production company: Godman

Exposure: National TV


Project: Sport on Sky Digital

Client: Scott Menner, marketing director

Brief: Drive subscriptions by highlighting the benefits of Sky Digital’s

sports offer

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Nathan Cooper

Art director: James Howarth

Director: Rocky Morton

Production company: Partizan Midi Minuit

Exposure: National TV


Project: Red magazine

Client: Kerry Tasker, marketing director; Anne-Marie Levan, head of

marketing, women and youth

Brief: Reassert the brand values of Red magazine

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Writer: Richard Beesening

Art director: Martha Riley

Director: John Lynch

Production company: Union Commercials

Exposure: National TV

This article was first published on


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