Campaign Craft: Profile - Reliable team make the sensible move, of course

Fallon and Hudson relish the prospect of working at Saatchis, Jim Davies says.

Fallon and Hudson relish the prospect of working at Saatchis, Jim

Davies says.



Boxers never know when to hang up their gloves. Their vanity demands one

last fight, which inevitably ends in ignominious defeat. In less

physical careers, advertising for example, choosing the right time to

make a move can also be critical.



Of course, it’s best to go when your currency is high, but this is

easier said than done - people are usually too busy enjoying their

success and polishing the silverware to worry about consolidating a

career.



The creative pairing of Victoria Fallon and Steve Hudson, however, would

appear to be the exception to the rule. They are riding the crest of a

wave with award-winning press and television work for Levi’s, a highly

successful relaunch campaign for One-2-One and a quirky spot for

Electrolux - and yet, next month, they’re switching their allegiance

from Bartle Bogle Hegarty to Saatchi & Saatchi. Why?



Fallon explains: ’On a personal level, it’s good to change and to grow.’

Hudson adds: ’We want to experience other work environments, other

clients and other creative directors.’



Significantly, perhaps, Fallon and Hudson moved to BBH three years ago

after something of a purple patch at their previous agency, BMP DDB

Needham.



Their ’just divorced’ commercial for Volkswagen caused a stir in the

shires, brought folk-popsters, the Bluebells, out of retirement and put

Young at Heart at the top of the charts for four weeks. An ingenious

spot for Kingshield Power Breaker (a piece of spec work that won the

agency the business) picked up a gold lion at Cannes and a pair of

silvers at BTAA.



The pair were also nominated among Campaign’s ’faces to watch’ in 1994

and, consequently, were approached by Steve Lewis and Dennis Hooper, the

then creative heads of BBH.



Of this, Hudson says: ’We ummed and ahhed for four months before making

a decision. You never really know what a place is going to be like until

you get there.’ But clearly BBH’s creative culture allowed them to

flourish. Fallon and Hudson have a quiet determination that has earned

them the respect of their peers, and which has produced a disparate body

of work, from the understated Audi ’yuppie’ commercial, in which the

loathsome protagonist actually rejects the product, to the technically

complex Levi’s ’mermaids’ ad, shot by the French director, Michel

Gondry.



Hudson says: ’We’ve done everything from cars to milk to vacuum

cleaners.’ Fallon adds: ’It tends to be quite product focused.



In the Audi ad, the car is visible all the way through, for example.

It’s the same with the Levi’s commercial, which is basically a

demonstration ad for shrink-to-fit jeans.’



The duo, who are both aged 31, were brought together by an unusually

discerning headhunter eight years ago. Fallon had been on the

advertising course at Manchester Polytechnic, while Hudson studied

Visual Communication (’basically film and design’) in Suffolk. Their

first bona fide job was at Horner Collis and Kirvan, now part of Euro

RSCG Wnek Gosper, where they produced a memorable ad for the Peugeot

309, in which a car sneaks round the back of a ’school’ photograph so it

can appear twice - the almost inevitable endline reading ’the fastest

car in its class’. Their biggest break was undoubtedly the move to BMP

in 1990, where they became part of a formidable creative department

boasting the likes of John Webster, Frank Budgen, Mark Reddy and Tony

Cox.



Like many creative teams these days, Fallon and Hudson eschew the

traditional art director/copywriter roles, preferring to take joint

credits on all their output. They say their work is ideas rather than

technique driven and, as a result, will rarely use the same director

twice. A notable exception is the Paul Weiland Film Company’s Frank

Budgen, who directed both the Kingshield and Audi commercials.



By reputation, Hudson is the louder of the two although he allows Fallon

to do much of the talking during the interview. Both of them seem

remarkably centred and pragmatic; their responses are all eminently

sensible and, from time to time, they ask me to switch off the tape

recorder so they can reach consensus on a potentially controversial

question. So much for the image of wayward and wacky advertising

creative.



So what do they hope to achieve at Saatchis? ’We’re interested in

starting campaigns from scratch,’ Hudson says, pointing to their recent

BTAA silver-winning campaign for One-2-One, directed by Medhi Norowzian

and featuring a mixed bag of celebrities including Vic Reeves and Kate

Moss.



Fallon adds: ’We’d like to work on a beer campaign. There were great

beer accounts at BMP and BBH but it just never seemed to happen.’ And

what about taking on more responsibility? ’I don’t think we’re ready to

become group heads yet,’ Fallon says.



After polishing off one last press campaign at BBH, they’ll be taking a

month out to recharge their batteries before joining Saatchis.



Hudson recalls: ’When we left BMP for BBH, we just had the weekend off,

which wasn’t a good idea.’ They even learn from their mistakes.



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