PRIVATE VIEW

Football is like a beautiful woman. The closer men get, the more they abandon any real critical faculty or rational thought. Mere proximity to the Beautiful Game can turn grown men into dribbling schoolboys. Even the so-called hard men of British advertising, guys who’ve done a stretch or two in Lowe’s notorious Park wing, men who show their book to Tim Delaney ’just for a larf’, men who say yes to a ’swift half’ with Rooney Carruthers, are prone to swooning fits in the company of any Giggsy, Incey, Wrightie or Becksie. I know a writer who once made a senior account planner eat her own arm in sheer frustration, reduced to wetting himself at the prospect of meeting his soccer hero at a shoot.

Football is like a beautiful woman. The closer men get, the more

they abandon any real critical faculty or rational thought. Mere

proximity to the Beautiful Game can turn grown men into dribbling

schoolboys. Even the so-called hard men of British advertising, guys

who’ve done a stretch or two in Lowe’s notorious Park wing, men who show

their book to Tim Delaney ’just for a larf’, men who say yes to a ’swift

half’ with Rooney Carruthers, are prone to swooning fits in the company

of any Giggsy, Incey, Wrightie or Becksie. I know a writer who once made

a senior account planner eat her own arm in sheer frustration, reduced

to wetting himself at the prospect of meeting his soccer hero at a

shoot.



It’s no wonder, then, that traditionally soccer-based ads are a patchy

affair. Objective and focused creativity is often submerged under great,

gushy hot-flushes of hero-worship. So this is a particularly

destabilising time for star-struck creatives.



Just as soccer (or, more accurately, the Premiership) is reaching its

zenith as the new rock’n’roll/stand-up/sex/food/gardening, along comes a

World Cup within reasonable proximity for which our national side has

actually qualified. For marketers and their advertising agents, for the

players and their agents, it’s a monster feeding frenzy; a sort of

client/cup/cash clusterfuck.



For me, the advertising World Cup has already been decided. Nike is the

effortless winner with its Brazil vs Gatwick Baggage Handlers XI,

followed by Comet with its affectionate parody of the same. Third place

is close, but McDonald’s intelligent use of Alan Shearer just shades

it.



Of the efforts I’ve been given to review, Walkers might lay claim to a

quarter-final place. Sickly-sweet Cinema Paradiso kid and music set us

up for big hairy arse shocker as Romario subs Lineker as the man who’ll

do anything to get his hands on your crisps. There has been industry

speculation as to whether the Brazilian was using his own arse or

whether this is another example of the ’bum double’ being used. I was

taken in by the Citroen Schiffer phoney feet fiasco and I’d hate to call

it wrong over a pair of stunt buttocks at this stage. From the same

agency comes a series of amusing posters tenuously linked to Sony’s Wega

Widescreen TVs. If you recall Littlewoods’ brilliant TV bumpers, these

are the stills.



One of the advantages of using footballers in these difficult times is

that they don’t, as a rule, carry Equity cards. The reason for this is

cruelly demonstrated in a BBC-made spot for their own World Cup French

language course. In this case, the locker-room Larry Oliviers are Les

Ferdinand, Ally McCoist, Martin Keown (there’s only one) and Graham Le

Saux. The lads get mixed up in a madcap tale of broken windows and

fractured French, only to be rescued by smarty pants, Le Saux. He’s smug

and he knows he is.



The giveaway Times continues its in-depth, X-ray sporting campaign with

a penalty shoot-out scenario. It’s tense, it’s topical and, unlike most

newspaper ads, tightly branded. Mrs Beardsley’s boy, Peter, continues to

be the butt of jokes based on his appearance. This time it’s Snickers

(or should that be ’Sniggers’) which draws our attention to his

resemblance to a burglar’s dog. Ironic, isn’t it, that as ’Quasi’ enters

the twilight of his football career, his face might yet be his

fortune?



Lastly, a long love-letter to David Beckham sponsored by Adidas. Boys

love David, girls love David, Mums love David, the camera loves David

and David loves Man U. But here, mannered direction and a clunking

script make David’s rise from schoolboy to superstar seem like it’s

happening in real time. This ’destiny’ route can be done with wit and

relevance as demonstrated by Reebok with its alternative career

scenarios for Giggs, Bergkamp and Schmeichel. By the time you read this,

the World Cup circus will have started, and let’s hope it’s Victoria

Concordia Crescit, as we say in Highbury.





NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Project: The Times

Client: Toby Constantine, marketing director

Brief: Create a campaign that demonstrates the Times’ insightful World

Cup coverage at its new consistent price point of 30p

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe

Writer: Phil Cockrel

Art director: Graham Storey

Director: Malcolm Venville

Production company: Malcolm Venville

Exposure: National TV

SONY CONSUMER PRODUCTS GROUP

Project: Sony Trinitron Widescreen TVs

Client: Geoff Muge, group marketing communications manager

Brief: Promote Sony Widescreen TVs to World Cup fans

Agency: BMP DDB

Writers: Mark Reddy, Mike Hannett, Dave Buchanan

Art director: Mark Reddy

Photographer: Dodd Miller

Exposure: National posters

MARS CONFECTIONERY

Project: Snickers

Client: Not supplied

Brief: Target young men who are interested in football with

the Snickers message in a humorous way

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: David Sullivan

Art director: Simon McQueen

Photographer: Malcolm Venville

Exposure: Football and men’s lifestyle magazines

FRITO-LAY EUROPE

Project: Walkers Crisps

Client: Martin Glenn, vice-president, commercial

Brief: Continue ’no more Mr Nice Guy’ irresistability campaign with a

World Cup theme

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer and art director: John Webster

Director: Gregory Rood

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National and European TV

BBC

Project: BBC Education

Client: Fiona Pitcher, executive editor

Brief: Promote BBC Education’s World Cup French campaign

Agency: In-house

Creative team: Edel Erickson and Sarah Caddy

Director: Pete Salmi

Production company: Joy Films

Exposure: BBC 1 and BBC 2

ADIDAS UK

Project: Adidas

Client: Andy Towne, head of communication

Brief: Demonstrate that with single-mindedness and hard work, it’s

possible to realise your childhood dreams

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Rob Burleigh

Art director: Dave Beverley

Director: Stuart Douglas

Production company: D Films

Exposure: National and satellite TV



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