CLOSE-UP: PERSPECTIVE; Time for agencies to make more ads for us consumers

Let’s talk about ads - it’s been too long since I really upset anyone. What on earth was going on behind the scenes in the new Bhs commercial? An obvious contender for Turkey of the Year, it is discussed in detail by Caroline Marshall this week (p51). It follows some very disappointing Visa Delta work featuring Mel Smith. Did Saatchi and Saatchi’s creative department take its eye off the ball during its recent upheaval?

Let’s talk about ads - it’s been too long since I really upset anyone.

What on earth was going on behind the scenes in the new Bhs commercial?

An obvious contender for Turkey of the Year, it is discussed in detail

by Caroline Marshall this week (p51). It follows some very disappointing

Visa Delta work featuring Mel Smith. Did Saatchi and Saatchi’s creative

department take its eye off the ball during its recent upheaval?



Equally strange is the new RAF recruitment work, which is either merely

in the depressing style of the Samaritans, or a parody. It’s hard to

justify either possibility. Still, at least it wasn’t in the fast-cut,

portentous voiceover style of so many recent ads, from Grolsch to Minx

to DNA. But was it aimed at the industry rather than the public? It’s a

feeling one has more and more, playing spot the technique in ads ranging

from Nestle desserts to AT&T and Inmarsat (or should it be count the

techniques in the latter?). What about the Guinness posters? Do you feel

uneasy whenever ads discuss advertising?



I’d exempt the new Rory McGrath BT scripts. The issue of who will

succeed Bob Hoskins has become tabloid fodder and the ads recognise

this. Is he the man for the job? Won’t many viewers be asking ‘Rory

who?’ Perhaps BT wants this. I still remember the meeting I attended in

which BT explained that Maureen Lipman was being dropped from Simons

Palmer Clemmow Johnson’s work because she was overshadowing the brand.

The need to move on from Bob becomes more urgent the more money BT

spends.



Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO will be wrestling with this issue over the use

of Nicholas Lyndhurst for W. H. Smith. What a contrast this is to the

MTV stuff. W. H. Smith could have gone that route too - there’s a

strategy about youth lurking behind the brand. But does every ad have to

take the youth tack? The industry will hate the ads. The device of

having Lyndhurst in all four family roles did dominate the first

executions, but we’ll get used to that, once the ponderous direction

livens up. It’s advertising aimed at consumers.



Pausing only to praise Lowe Howard-Spink’s new Stella Artois ‘red shoes’

ad because we often tend to overlook consistent excellence, my favourite

current campaign is Simons Palmer’s Goldfish launch. I know it is

classic British emotional, humorous stuff, relying on celebrity

performance and sparkling direction from John Lloyd, but amid the happy-

zappy deluge it’s fresh. It’s the appropriate use of a celebrity: former

wild ‘Big Yin’ is now a family man, but still cool, so you can use a

credit card which gives you money off gas bills without feeling like an

old fart. An interesting mass-market launch with a campaign that

explains what the product is, and speaks to its target consumers in a

tone they will enjoy. There’s a thing. I want one.



Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).