PRIVATE VIEW

I wrote my very own ad the other day. An ad I had to pay money for rather than got paid money for. It’s something every advertising writer should do at least once. Something strange happens when you find yourself paying for your own advertising. Something strange like the ad you write is shit. There’s never been a better reason to keep advertising copy brief than when every single word costs you money. My ad was the longest car ad that week in Autocar. Brimming with superfluous description beating the reader about the head with adjectives, it failed to command a single response. Should I have made the phone number bigger, or in colour, or preceded it by the word LOOK! in bold?

I wrote my very own ad the other day. An ad I had to pay money for

rather than got paid money for. It’s something every advertising writer

should do at least once. Something strange happens when you find

yourself paying for your own advertising. Something strange like the ad

you write is shit. There’s never been a better reason to keep

advertising copy brief than when every single word costs you money. My

ad was the longest car ad that week in Autocar. Brimming with

superfluous description beating the reader about the head with

adjectives, it failed to command a single response. Should I have made

the phone number bigger, or in colour, or preceded it by the word LOOK!

in bold?



It’s with this crisis of confidence that I pressed play on AMV’s Walkers

ad. It’s a little gem. Watch it once and you have to show it to

someone.



So much love and care has gone into a shorter than usual,

on-pack-promotion brief, the sort of brief others would have ranked ’low

opportunity’. You really do make your own luck.



The McDonald’s ad came as a very welcome respite in the centre break of

the greatest, most gripping TV show this year (and it’s still only

January), Who Wants to be a Millionaire.



Like McDonald’s advertising at its best, its latest doesn’t feel like an

ad despite an overt price story in extreme close-up smack bang in the

middle of 30 seconds. No, it feels like a bit of real drama - the nation

at ease with the nation’s fast food. It only works when you hold back on

the gimmick promotions, hold your budget promises and hold your

nerve.



You want reality? I’ll give you reality. Bloke jumps into waiting car

illegally parked outside McDonald’s. Big Mac and fries are devoured in

under two minutes and in the same action paper bag and ’styrene box are

tossed wayward, landing in the gutter and blowing off down the

street.



A scene the Tidy Britain Group knows only too well. A scene that makes

me livid. These posters are so far from reality and consequently a long

way from eliciting a response other than: 1) pretty pictures. 2) Haven’t

I seen that headline technique used for Sony recently?



The latest press work for the HEA makes me sick it’s so good. Not since

AMV’s BT press campaign featuring children of the future have I seen

such a fresh presentation of what in anyone else’s hands would make

predictable and dreary advertising. They’ll probably appear in women’s

press and work brilliantly. They should also be cross-tracks and in

every GP’s waiting room. Hell, they could even make great TV spots using

the same stills and a well-chosen FVO.



Carlsberg bludgeoned me throughout a particularly poor Christmas TV

offering with this dour commercial. If your lager ad isn’t funny, clever

or both, what chance have you got with ’1883 yeast’? Pleeease.



Having offered myself up for pillory with my steadfast support of the

Gap’s advertising, I’ll go one stage further by proclaiming my support

and enthusiasm for the Millennium Dome.



It’s going to be brilliant. The nation’s best 3D brains are on the case

and rest assured we’ll all want to go. The nation’s best advertising

brains have been hard at work whipping up a Millennium fever. Mark

Reddy, Martin Lambie-Nairn, Malcolm Venville, Dave Stewart and Jeremy

Irons are behind a rather beautiful film telling a story I first heard

told, and rather better, by Friends of the Earth.



It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this ad, I just question what

conventional advertising like this can do when up against all the other

channels of communication at our disposal. To grip the people’s

imagination convincingly, you may need a new, more ambitious, way.



Back in the real world - 42,000 mile K-reg Range Rover For Sale.

Vgc.



Offers to tashton@big-top.com



Health Education Authority

Project: Anti-smoking

Client: Charles Gallichan, head of advertising

Brief: Put quitting smoking on young women’s agendas in a relevant way

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers

BBDO Writer: Mary Wear

Art director: Damon Collins

Photographer: Kevin Summers

Typographer: Neil Craddock

Exposure: Women’s press

The New Millennium Experience Company

Project: The millennium experience

Client: Sholto Douglas-Home, marketing director

Brief: Make people appreciate the significance of 1,000 years

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Simon Dicketts

Art director: Simon Dicketts

Director: Malcolm Venville

Production company: Malcolm Venville Films

Exposure: National TV

McDonald’s

Project: Brand film

Client: John Hawkes, senior vice-president and communications officer

Brief: n/s

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writer: Mark Thompson

Art director: Paul Taylor

Director: Kirk Jones

Production company: Tomboy Films

Exposure: National TV

Tidy Britain Group

Project: Keep Britain Tidy

Client: Amanda Booth, marketing director

Brief: Make people think twice about destroying our surroundings by

littering

Agency: Poulter Partners

Writer: Graham Doran Art director: Paul Moran

Photographer: David Chalmers

Typographer: Peter Ward

Exposure: Adshels and 4-sheet posters

Walkers

Project: All brands

Client: Neil Campbell, vice-president of marketing

Brief: Support the Walkers free books for schools promotion

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Tony Strong

Art director: Mike Durban

Director: Paul Weiland

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV

Carlsberg-Tetley

Project: Carlsberg lager

Client: Doug Clydesdale, marketing director

Brief: Re-establish Carlsberg as the original lager

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Adam Kean

Art director: Alexandra Taylor

Director: Mike Stephenson

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV



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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).