Private View

Although it was well over a year after I’d had any close involvement with the Rover business, and although I felt desperately sorry for all the people who’d worked so hard and conscientiously at Ammirati Puris Lintas, I still felt a slight frisson of satisfaction when I heard the account was up for review. It was partly because the pitch would teach at least three other London agencies just how difficult it was as a piece of business. It was also because I knew that whoever won it was on a hiding to nothing. Well, M&C Saatchi won it and they all deserve our sympathy.

Although it was well over a year after I’d had any close

involvement with the Rover business, and although I felt desperately

sorry for all the people who’d worked so hard and conscientiously at

Ammirati Puris Lintas, I still felt a slight frisson of satisfaction

when I heard the account was up for review. It was partly because the

pitch would teach at least three other London agencies just how

difficult it was as a piece of business. It was also because I knew that

whoever won it was on a hiding to nothing. Well, M&C Saatchi won it and

they all deserve our sympathy.



For an unexplained reason, probably because it’s inexplicable, a Rover

hurtles around a pinball machine intercut with close-ups of mysterious

people looking mysteriously like out-takes from the Rover ’Cool

Britannia’ commercials. Those at least had relevance and a point. Would

you say a voiceover intoning ’safe, responsive, in control’ amounts to a

point?



It’s depressing to see that Campaign’s agency of the year has no more of

an idea what to do with its famous win-at-the-last-gasp than any of the

countless dedicated people, both client and agency, broken on the wheel

of Rover before.



’Friday afternoon job’ used to be an expression in the motor trade to

describe a faulty car, indicating that it had been produced on a

production line filled with pre-weekend euphoria.



Microsoft’s ads look like a Friday afternoon job.



Having had the interesting idea of giving people various animal features

to suggest a higher form of evolution, everyone connected with it seems

to have lost interest and not taken the idea much further. It’s running

in computer magazines and one of the ads tells us that e-commerce is

frightfully important. See what I mean?



The strategy for a cinema commercial for the National Film and

Television School results in finger shadow puppets and a plea saying

that without properly trained directors, all films would be this low

budget and crude.



But actually they would not, they’d just be badly directed. And wouldn’t

demonstrating how a badly directed film could turn out be a more

interesting creative route for a film for an informed audience? Or you

could just rerun Pretty Woman.



BAA, on the other hand, has something very direct and urgent to say:

duty-free is still around and at an airport near you. So why doesn’t it

say it directly and urgently, without yet more fluffy perfume and

jewellery advertising?



All great print campaigns have copy that takes over where the picture

leaves off, the two complementing each other to the point you wish to

make. Barnardo’s does this in showing social misfits as the highly

vulnerable, innocent children they once were. It is a great campaign and

should not be underestimated because it’s for a charity.



Take one unpromising, unphotogenic, outdated cube of powder, mixed over

17 years with one of the country’s most-loved campaigns, immerse in the

pressure of the most voyeuristic and vitriolic of businesses (see the

rest of this column)and try and produce a new Oxo campaign. Could you

have done as well?



I won’t try to describe it, you should see it for yourself. In its

contemporising of Oxo, some will say it’s a bit sub-Mother, but they

manage to be entertaining, inventive and credible without throwing the

food all over each other, the walls, the furniture or the dog.



Every other product in this week’s selection has been more

promising.



None has been executed with such skill.



Barnardo’s

Project: Barnardo’s

Client: Andrew Nebel, director of marketing and communications

Brief: Raise awareness of the contemporary nature of Barnardo’s in

today’s society

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writer: Alex Grieve

Art director: Adrian Rossi

Typographer: Andy Bird

Photographer: Nick Georghiou

Exposure: National and regional press


BAA

Project: Tax and duty-free shopping

Client: Anna Haynes, director of marketing

Brief: n/s

Agency: Claydon Heeley Jones Mason

Writer: Rob Scott

Art director: Rob Scott Photographer: Christophe Richet

Exposure: Outdoor, national press, trains,Underground


Van den Bergh Foods

Project: Oxo

Client: Chris Springford, marketing controller

Brief: Make Oxo relevant to a younger audience by highlighting the more

modern dishes they would cook

Agency: J. Walter Thompson Writer: Geoff Cousins

Art director: Jon Iles

Director: Dominic Savage Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


Microsoft

Project: Microsoft

Client: Barbara Watkins, relationship marketing manager

Brief: Dramatise the need for today’s businesses to respond swiftly and

evolve to survive

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Writers: Peter Hardy, Chris Herring Art directors: Nick Klinkert, Paul

Shearer Typographer: Mark Cakebread

Photogapher: Daniel Lee

Exposure: IT magazines

National Film Television School

Project: NFTS foundation Client: Verity Haines, foundation director

Brief: Raise the profile of the NFTS and increase the level of funding

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writer: Brian Cooper

Art director: Jason Stewart

Director: Kevin Thomas Production companies: Blink, The Mill,

Framestore, Angel Sound

Exposure: National TV and cinema


Rover Group

Project: Rover 45

Client: John Sanders, director of marketing

Brief: Launch the Rover 45 and promote its excellent ride and handling

qualities

Agency: M&C Saatchi Writer: Mark Goodwin

Art director: Tiger Savage

Director: Vaughan Arnell

Production company: Godman

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).