It's almost like all the ads I've been sent to Private View are specifically aimed at me this week. I read The Times. I drink Guinness. I have watched UKTV. My mortgage is with C&G. I have bought disastrous shirts from Harvey Nics. In my time I've even stuffed my fat face with more than one Big Tasty (usually when in the grip of a real shitty hangover, one of those hangovers that feels like there are two horrendously ugly people fucking inside your head). I'm a consumer, then, which should lend a certain relevance to my responses to these ads.
McDonald's first. Bleary-eyed bloke staggers/tumbles out of bed and off to work, wincing at every bright light that attacks him on the way, eventually making his way to the even brighter lights of McDonald's, where he tucks into an eggybaconyburgery thing, sinisterly masquerading as a breakfast. As an ad, it is fine. Blandly harmless, it slips past the eye easily and inoffensively enough. There just doesn't seem to be that wonderful insight and wit and empathy that McDonald's advertising once seduced me with, back in the halcyon Nick Bell days. Shame.
According to the latest UKTV advertising, I have had 11 jobs, fiddled £3,000 in expenses, been arrested once, had five sexual partners and consumed 12,800 pints of beer. None of these facts particularly fit my personal experience, and I don't see myself as the least-average Joe in the world, so I'm not exactly sure why they should persuade me to settle on UKTV as I flit between the channels on my Sky + box.
The Times is the biggest for sport, these posters reckon. So I guess if it's big sport you're after, The Times is the place to go.
After watching the new early-90s retro vignette adwank for C&G, I feel almost embarrassed that I signed away my financial life to them for 25 years. Fuck it. Maybe I should take my business somewhere more progressive and fashionable and pertinent. Somewhere with cooler ads. Such as the Halifax.
In the new Guinness spot, four twats get marooned in the jungle and for an interminable time follow some pissed-up moths who are on their way to a pub that sells Guinness, or something. It is a pointless, dull, uninspiring, dated bit of film for a pointed, exciting, inspirational brand, which is a rubbish, rubbish thing. It makes me feel unaccountably sad every time I see it.
HN On Earth. Now this is joyous advertising, Heaven on Earth just like the ads proclaim, a beautiful, Hieronymus Bosch vision of consumer heaven, gorgeously rendered for Harvey Nichols, dazzling the eye and sucking you in. Maybe not the hugest idea in the world, but such execution; if it weren't for the fabulous, heterosexual gravity pull of the Gemma in my life, I should wish to turn lady after seeing these ads, to slip on a pair of kitten heels and a Marc Jacobs vest and go sashaying round Knightsbridge with a smile and a dye job.
Project: "HN on Earth"
Client: Julia Bowe, marketing director
Brief: Bring the Harvey Nichols experience to life in a new brand
Agency: DDB London
Writer: Patrick McClelland
Art director: Grant Parker
Photographer: Tim Bret-Day
Typographer: Mary Lam Exposure: National press
Project: UKTV People and UKTV Documentary launch
Client: Lesley Henry, head of brand development, factual
Brief: Launch UKTV People and UKTV Documentary, two new factual channels
Writer: Naresh Ramchandani
Art director: Dan Norris
Director: Eidur Snorri
Production company: BBC Broadcast
Exposure: Satellite and terrestrial TV
Project: "Light breakfast"
Client: Tom Shelston, senior brand manager
Brief: McDonald's breakfast is a welcome source of comfort, both
physically and emotionally, in its customers' lives
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Paul Shearer, Jim Thornton
Art directors: Paul Shearer, Jim Thornton
Director: Colin Gregg
Production company: Large Corp
Exposure: National TV
Project: "Biggest for sport"
Client: Andy Mullins, marketing director
Brief: Promote the sports coverage in The Times, which has the largest
sports section of any daily newspaper
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: Richard McGrann
Art director: Andy Clough
Photographer: Nick Meek
Typographer: Lee Alridge
Exposure: London poster sites
Clients: Chris Steele, director of marketing and customer service; Ian
Whittaker, head of marketing
Brief: C&G, mortgages tailored to your needs
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Susie Henry
Art director: Judy Smith
Director: David Lodge
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV and cinema
Client: Nick Robinson, marketing director
Brief: Parallel the surge and settle of Guinness to a movement from
darkness into light
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Nick Worthington
Art director: Paul Brazier
Director: Walter Stern
Production company: Academy
Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV, cinema and on Guinness.com