‘What does it feel like in the new Club World tilting cradle seat...?’ Well, funny you should ask me that, Bernard, because by some spooky twist of advertising fate, I am at this very moment writing this very column in that very seat in the lump on top of a British Airways jumbo, 45,000 feet above the Atlantic.

‘What does it feel like in the new Club World tilting cradle seat...?’

Well, funny you should ask me that, Bernard, because by some spooky

twist of advertising fate, I am at this very moment writing this very

column in that very seat in the lump on top of a British Airways jumbo,

45,000 feet above the Atlantic.

The fact that it’s Valentine’s day and I’m having to spend it all alone

save for the company of five fat company executives and an over-

attentive flight attendant who’s just called me Mr Batty for the tenth

time since take-off will not, I assure you, colour my judgment of the

following advertisements. Much.

Putting my tortured emotional state aside, I reckon this Club World

campaign will work brilliantly. I do, however, find it a little creepy.

The sight of said sad fat cats’ heads superimposed on the bodies of

small children reminds me of those unfortunate documentaries about

‘businessmen’ who dress up in nappies and pay prostitutes to play mummy

for them. Looking around this lonely grey World called Club, I can see

that the ads are bang on target.

It’s just a short Oedipal hop, skip and a jump from the self-important,

thumb-sucking executive to the man so uncertain of his own sexuality

that he drives a Porsche. I ask you. Would you leave your pets alone in

the same room as a Porsche driver? The Porsche isn’t a car. It’s the

word sad on wheels. I know we use it as an advertising tool, but as a

life-long non-driver I find the notion of car-as-virility-symbol utterly

hilarious. I agree with the creators of the Daihatsu mpv ads: only

virility is a virility symbol.

Unfortunately, while their tone is spot-on, the art direction’s a bit

clumpy, the driver’s a bit goofy and the van’s a bit dinky. Get hit by

one of these babies and you’d have to have it surgically removed.

There’s this girl, right. And she can’t talk to her boyfriend because

she’s got a gob-full of Rolo caramel egg. Hmmm. Time to switch my

tilting cradle seat full tilt towards the next advertisement.

Or the next 12 to be precise. Each one written, directed by and starring

the ’umble customers of Superdrug. Oi... No! I hear you cry. That’s our

job. You can’t have people doing other people’s jobs. Course you can,

Malcolm. Copywriters, schmopywriters. You can have anyone doing anything

provided they do it well. Was not the most famous advertising headline

of the decade (‘Hello Boys’) written by an art director, Monsieur Nigel

Rose...? If it feels good, do it, I say. And these films feel great.

I wouldn’t want to be in Adidas’s shoes, though. How do you compete with

a brand so omnipotent that it’s reduced its name to a simple white tick?

Leagas Delaney has chosen a worthy, wordy ‘it’s as good for you today as

it’s always been’ route. And Nike will leave it for dead in the blocks.

I heard an amazing Americanism for ‘loved one’ recently: arm candy.

Address the woman in the new Levi’s commercial as arm candy and you’d

find yourself wearing a nadger necklace. She’s a killer. If this girl

ran for president, she’d be Baberaham Lincoln.

OK, so it’s a thin storyline and we all guessed the cat in the shades

wasn’t really blind. And no, the soundtrack’s not as hot as Spaceman.

But there’s one fabulous moment of sexual tension in the film, where our

heroine thrusts her white-knickered tuppence in the ‘blind’ dude’s face

and, pouting, pops up the buttons of her jeans. It was this particular

scene that, for some reason, was repeating and repeating in slow-motion

on the U-matic player of my mind when a familiar female voice brought me

hurtling back to earth: ‘May I put you in the upright position for

landing, Mr Batty...?

There’s no answer to that.

British Airways

Project: British Airways Club World

Client: Derek Dear, general manager, communications and information

Brief: Dramatise how passengers feel about the new Club World

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writers: Jeremy Sinclair, Simon Dicketts

Art directors: Judy D’Mello, Jean Batthany

Director: Antony Easton

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: Regional TV


Project: Superdrug

Client: Nick Adderley, head of marketing services

Brief: Build Superdrug into the first choice health and beauty brand

Agency: Bates Dorland

Writer: David Prideaux

Art director: Nick Simons

Director: Martin Head

Production company: Daryll Tate Associates

Exposure: National TV


Project: Adidas

Client: Tom Noble, brand communication manager

Brief: Adidas has always been and always will be at the heart of the

Olympic games

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Tim Delaney

Art director: Warren Eakins

Directors: The Douglas Brothers

Production company: D-Films

Exposure: Global TV and cinema


Project: Levi’s 501s

Client: Roy Edmondson, marketing director

Brief: Promote Levi’s heritage and authentic product details

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Jo Moore

Art director: Simon Robinson

Director: Tarsem

Production company: Spots

Exposure: Cinema and MTV

Nestle Rowntree

Project: Rolo Caramel Egg

Client: Mike Tollan, marketing manager

Brief: You couldn’t share a Rolo Egg, even if you wanted to

Agency: Roose and Partners

Writer: Neil Chappell

Art director: Philip Gooch

Director: Simon Shore

Production company: Beechurst Films

Exposure: National and satellite TV

Daihatsu Cars UK

Project: Daihatsu Hijet mpv

Client: Rick De Leyser, marketing director

Brief: Introduce a new six-seater Hijet

Agency: Banks Hoggins O’Shea

Writer: Markham Smith

Art director: Richard Dennison

Photographer: Steve Cavalier

Typographer: Richard Lawson

Exposure: National press

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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).