PRIVATE VIEW: Robert Campbell is the executive creative director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

I loved the last commercial that St Luke's did for BT. Remember?

The one with the massive amphitheatre full of people.



I thought it was an inspired, simple, powerful metaphor for how the

internet works. One of my favourite ads for a long time.



What a pity these new ads for BT don't match up. Unlike the amphitheatre

ad, they use one of the oldest advertising constructions in the book:

dramatise the negative, then reveal the solution to be the product. Thus

we get a series of commercials that do no more than this.



Either you can get a wacky motivational guru to train your salesmen, or

you can build a super-duper website with BT's help. Either you can run

daft stress counselling lessons for your staff, or you can get

stress-free IT systems from BT.



Either you can give all your staff silly post-modern beanbags to sit on

(to make the office more like home), or you can buy some wonderful

homeworking IT solutions off guess who - yeah, you guessed it, BT.



Crazy, huh? Sadly, the advertising gives you no reason to believe that

BT is going to be any better than any other IT company. And in the

absence of a reason, there's no warm feeling down the trouser leg

either. But I'm being unfair. Actually, the ads aren't bad. They're just

not as good as that amphitheatre ad.



PlayStation 2. These press ads feature "legends" whose time is over.



They have been usurped by the "legendary" Jak and Daxter PlayStation 2

game. Hercules sulks, unloved. Robin Hood sits alone and forgotten, no

longer merry. This isn't the most original advertising idea I've ever

seen, but the ads are nicely art directed and well written. I wonder who

Jak and Dexter will usurp next? Harry Potter must be quaking in his

boots.



Next, some tube cards from GNER. It's a tough job advertising Britain's

railways. My advice would be to do it with wit, style and a little

humility.



While GNER should be applauded for having the courage to advertise at

all at the moment, I think these ads feel just a little mechanical in

their construction. They may win minds, but will they win hearts? Like

all three of the advertising ideas I've reviewed so far today, they feel

rather predictable.



And so, I'm afraid, does this commercial for Goodfella's pizza. Set in

the Goodfella's testing kitchen, it features a penny-pinching accountant

and an extravagant chef. The accountant wants to scrimp on the pizza's

ingredients; the chef wants to be generous. The chef wins the

argument.



My feeling about this commercial is that it could have been a whole lot

better if it had some dialogue. Perhaps the accountant didn't think that

a sound-man was necessary on the shoot.



From the predictable to the bewildering. If anyone sees this commercial

for Ame on telly, please feel free to drop me a note to tell me what

it's all about. After repeated viewings, I worked out that Ame is a

Japanese soft drink, but that's about it. It gives me the same mixed

feelings as studying Haiku poems did at school. Either it's genius, or

it's crap.



And lastly, a TV campaign for the Samaritans. The endline is: "We're

better at listening than raising money." The "comic" commercials feature

spoof "unsuccessful" fundraising activities by the Samaritans.



An ugly fat bloke is photographed naked for a fundraising calendar. And

two fundraisers fail to finish the marathon dressed as a big, wobbly

yellow telephone.



Sorry. I'm not sure that suicide is a laughing matter. The most powerful

advertisement I ever saw for the Samaritans was attached to Clifton

suspension bridge in Bristol. An infamous suicide spot. Positioned at

the point you walk on to the bridge, the sign read: "Despair, suicide,

who cares? The Samaritans." One of the most appropriate uses of media I

have ever seen.



SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT

Project: PS2 - Jak & Daxter

Client: Morven Telford, marketing manager

Brief: Make way for Jak & Daxter, the new legends of our time

Agency: TBWA/London

Writer: Tara Ford

Art director: David Dao

Illustrators: Aaron Murray, Andy Holmes

Exposure: UK national press

GREEN ISLE FOODS

Project: Goodfella's

Client: Andy Kinsella, marketing director

Brief: Position Goodfella's as the most generous frozen pizza

Agency: Partners BDDH

Writer: Steve Nicholls

Art director: Matthew Anderson

Director: Andy Morahan

Production company: Harry Nash

Exposure: UK and Ireland

BRITVIC

Project: Ame

Client: Adrian Troy, brands controller

Brief: Establish Ame's Japanese provenance

Agency: Barrett Cernis

Writer: Jonathan Eley

Art director: Ray Barrett

Director: Luke Losey

Production company: Serious Pictures

Exposure: Cinema

THE SAMARITANS

Project: Christmas campaign

Client: David Richards, director of marketing

Brief: Differentiate the Samaritans from other charities and create

cut-through in asking for donations

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Writer: Peter Reid

Art director: Carl Broadhurst

Director: Dominic Brigstocke

Production company: Union

Exposure: National TV

BT

Project: BT Business

Client: Catherine Kehoe, head of business communications

Brief: Communicate the benefit of BT's ICT offeringto businesses

Agency: St Luke's

Writer: Roderick Fenske

Art director: Steve McKenzie

Director: Daniel Kleinman

Production company: Spectre

Exposure: National TV

GNER

Project: GNER rail service for business

Clients: Sara Borland, marketing communications manager; Moray Shutt,

senior product manager, business

Brief: In a straight-to-the-point way, reaffirm how GNER adds real value

to your business

Agency: AMD Advertising

Writers: Sophie Hayes, Laurence Percival

Art directors: Nicholla Longley, Laurence Percival

Exposure: National 48-sheet posters and press



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