Private View by Adam Kean

I was on the Campaign poster jury the other day, talking about why I liked a particular poster campaign. ’Interesting tone of voice ... blah blah ... unusual layout ... blah blah ... a big bold headline ...’. At which point, Paul Brazier, the esteemed Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO art director, turned to me and said: ’You know, that’s exactly what I don’t like about it.’ Now ain’t that the truth?

I was on the Campaign poster jury the other day, talking about why

I liked a particular poster campaign. ’Interesting tone of voice ...

blah blah ... unusual layout ... blah blah ... a big bold headline ...’.

At which point, Paul Brazier, the esteemed Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO art

director, turned to me and said: ’You know, that’s exactly what I don’t

like about it.’ Now ain’t that the truth?



And first up today is St Ivel Shape. I quite enjoyed this little

campaign of three commercials. Not particularly innovative or original

(’Ah, you see, that’s what I like about it ...’), but quite funny and

entertaining - no mean feat, let’s face it. The most persuasive was the

one about the wife waking up in the night, worried that she hadn’t eaten

the yoghurts before their sell-by date. The husband tells her not to

worry, there are nearly two weeks to go. She sneaks out to the fridge

anyway. He catches her in the act and escorts her back to bed. I don’t

know why, but obsessing about yoghurt sell-by dates rang a bell with

me.



The new Appletise campaign is interesting. A Roger Cook lookalike asks

the question to camera: ’Can we see the aroma of freshly cut apples?’

And before you can say ’Ask a stupid question, get a stupid ...’ we are

offered a documentary-style reconstruction of just such a paranormal

happening. It works best in the one where the man is walking his

dog.



We are told that dogs’ senses are more heightened than ours so, when the

bottle is opened and the dog jumps around, wildly pawing thin air, it

all seems strange but true. You can’t help feeling that the strategy is

a bit flavour of the month (the paranormal, the senses) but overall, to

borrow a compliment from the Australian Outback, it’s not a complete

bucket of pigshit.



Mellow Birds, on the other hand, is perhaps a mistake. A Gilbert and

Sullivan-style jingle, sung by a snooty butler serving an updated

Lorraine Chase in a crowded restaurant. No fancy teas for her, she

sings, she’d rather have a mug of Mellow Birds (I paraphrase, of

course). It’s true, you can’t beat a good jingle, but this just sounds

like a brief put to music. Not the same thing. (’Ah, but that’s what I

like about it ...’)



The Mazda press campaign has some wit and intelligence about it but, for

me, it doesn’t really work. Part of the problem is that the headline is

really an endline and the clever symbolism of some of the pictures (a

camel and a Budget case to symbolise fuel economy, for example) seems

hidden. There’s no real confidence to the ads. It’s all a bit half

hearted.



Reebok, on the other hand, is confident, single-minded and, in my humble

opinion, very funny. Of course , if you were a pedant, you could argue

that the ad is branded rather better for Calsberg than for Reebok. (’Eh,

who you calling poorly branded?’ ’Who you calling a pedant?’



’All right, calm down, calm down ...’)



And so to Guinness. This campaign has given me mixed feelings in the

past. I’ve never really been a fan of the strategy. I don’t really see

what it’s got to do with Guinness and I find the inherent double

negative irritating. Having said that, you can’t argue with the impact

or originality of the commercials as pieces of film (that fish on a

bicycle - wow!) and this one is no exception. Beautifully shot, with

charm and wit and, because of the cleverness of the quote they chose

from Vic Reeves, this ad is probably the most successful of the lot.

Nice touch at the end too. Having told you that men think about sex

every six seconds, they insert (is this the right word?) a flash frame

of a woman during the packshot.



By the way Paul, on reflection you may have a point about the poster

campaign.



Guinness GB

Project: Draught Guinness

Client: Andy Fennell, marketing controller

Brief: Continue to attract new drinkers to Guinness

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Writer: Jerry Gallaher

Art director: Clive Yaxley

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National TV, cable, Sky

Appletise

Project: Appletise

Client: Rob Abel, sales and marketing director

Brief: Relaunch Appletise into the adult soft drink market

Agency: Lansdown Conquest Writer: Dave Bell

Art director: Jim Bucktin

Director: David Hartley

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: National TV

Mazda Cars (UK)

Project: Mazda 626

Client: Chris Owens, marketing director

Brief: Position the Mazda 626 as a more intelligent and thoughtful 

choice within its segment

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: John Donnelly

Art director: Ken Grimshaw

Photographers: Geoff Senior, Jack Bankhead and Andy Conway

Exposure: National press and 48-sheet posters

Reebok

Project: Launch of the Liverpool away kit

Client: Steve Bracewell, marketing manager, football

Brief: The new Liverpool away kit is out now

Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink

Writer: Paul Silburn

Art directors: Simon Morris and Vince Squibb

Photographer: Rory Carnegie Exposure: Specialist football titles and 

men’s magazines

Kraft Jacobs Suchard

Project: Mellow Birds

Client: Stuart Wilson, marketing manager

Brief: Give Mellow

Birds a facelift

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Writer: Ian Hutton

Art director: Jonathan Isles

Director: Bob Brooks

Production company: James Garrett & Partners

Exposure: National TV except London

St Ivel

Project: St Ivel Shape

Yoghurts and Desserts

Client: Neil Robinson, strategic planning director

Brief: Encourage a reappraisal of Shape and develop a new personality 

for the brand with a new range

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Ira Joseph

Art director: Jackie Steers

Director: Declan Lowney Production company:

Lambie-Nairn Directors

Exposure: National TV



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