HHCL and Partners’ creative team, Chas Bayfield and Jim Bolton, firmly
believe in integration. So much so that they’ve dropped the traditional
distinction between copywriter and art director. ‘We try not to split it
up,’ Bayfield explains. ‘We concentrate on ideas rather than who’s good
at drawing... we’re both terrible, by the way.’
The pair met on the advertising course at Watford College, and joined
Howell Henry on placement in the summer of 1992. They never left. Their
main efforts have been spread across three accounts: Mercury, Still
Tango and the AA. But the variety of media they’ve used to promote these
clients is far more extensive.
The most obscure is probably a van covered in orange fur which circled
the M25. Or is it? When Still Tango was famously withdrawn two years
ago, they sent out 50,000 hand-written postcards purporting to show a
woman selling the stuff on a market stall in Marrakesh. They also
organised a strategic litter dump of empty cans at last year’s
Glastonbury Festival. ‘It wasn’t saying anything in particular,’
Bayfield admits, ‘we just wanted to get people talking about it, and
asking why on earth it was there.’
The team’s memorable sponsorship spots for The Word, directed by Walter
Stern, netted them a D&AD pencil, and their ‘Desiderata’ commercial for
the AA may use a conventional medium, but it throws formula out of the
Bayfield and Bolton cut their teeth on the Harry Enfield Mercury
campaign where they pioneered the use of tube tickets for advertising.
‘Everything was new to us,’ Bolton recalls, ‘but it wasn’t complicated.
You treat everything as a piece of communication.’
‘You don’t have to learn any new skills. We’ve used every conceivable
medium, and some that didn’t even exist until we used them. It just
makes advertising much more interesting,’ Bayfield adds.