PRIVATE VIEW

Whatever happened to press advertising? There isn’t any in the Private View bag this week. And, to be honest, I haven’t seen many great press ads for quite a while. Posters are booming. TV is certainly booming. Press is just fading away. Is this a sign of the times? Is print dead? Is it too slow a medium in an age where the consumer demands instant visual gratification? Is it something to do with David Abbott having retired? Or is it that the industry is too lazy - or moving too fast - to hone the skills that it takes to make a great press ad? I predict that this is an issue that will bubble up once again when it comes to D&AD time. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at these TV ads.

Whatever happened to press advertising? There isn’t any in the

Private View bag this week. And, to be honest, I haven’t seen many great

press ads for quite a while. Posters are booming. TV is certainly

booming. Press is just fading away. Is this a sign of the times? Is

print dead? Is it too slow a medium in an age where the consumer demands

instant visual gratification? Is it something to do with David Abbott

having retired? Or is it that the industry is too lazy - or moving too

fast - to hone the skills that it takes to make a great press ad? I

predict that this is an issue that will bubble up once again when it

comes to D&AD time. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at these TV ads.



Birds Eye peas. Endline: ’Give your VIPs the Birds Eye VIPea treatment.’

This campaign is set in a home where mum’s idea of cheering up the

family when they’re feeling really down is to, guess what, feed them

peas. If you’re pissed off in this household, it’s peas, peas, peas!

Without so much as a side helping of irony. I bet there’s quite a queue

for the toilet in the mornings.



Capital Radio’s Birthday Bonanza. Three witty spots show punters

transfixed by the radio as they listen to Chris Tarrant, asking

competition questions and giving away money. Er, nothing wrong with

that.



Heinz Salad Cream. Now this is an interesting one. I was brought up in a

household where salad cream was dispensed as liberally as peas are in

the Birds Eye ads. But, thanks to mayonnaise, no-one under 50 buys the

stuff any more.



Consequently Heinz is advertising at the last chance saloon. It needs to

do something radical. The first commercial shows a guy rescuing a bit of

stale pizza from under his bed sheets and eating it with salad

cream.



In the second, a husband tucks into a salad cream sandwich made with a

cucumber that his wife has been using for the most unhygienic of

purposes. (Calm down. She wasn’t doing that with it.) The endline is:

’Any food tastes supreme with Heinz Salad Cream.’ The ads are being

shown heavyweight on MTV.



Appetite appeal? Nil points. Shit or bust bravery on the part of Heinz?

A straight ten.



Celebrations are mini-versions of all your favourite chocolate bars.

Mars, Bounty, Galaxy, etc. They come in a box. The ad features a load of

policemen getting dressed up in women’s clothes and talking very

earnestly about their undergarments. Gosh. Outrageous. When a young

constable asks them what they are celebrating, they reply: ’It’s our

last day undercover.’ Cut to endline: ’Any excuse for a Celebration.’

But the policemen are not celebrating. They’re talking very earnestly

about getting dressed up in drag. The two things should not be confused.

I guess it brings a new meaning to the phrase ’the Queen’s police’,

though.



Goodyear. This ad for environmentally friendly tyres is a curious

cultural melting pot. Baz Luhrmann meets a Wrigley commercial meets

Desiderata meets a charity commercial. Somehow it reminds me of an ad

from yesteryear by the same agency. Remember? The one with the infamous

line in it: ’Swim with the dolphins.’ I always had a sneaking respect

for that commercial. However, many cruel people ripped the piss out of

it. (On a separate note, have you seen the Anthony Hopkins-fronted

Barclays commercial? Again from the same agency, it is up there with the

Guinness ’surfer’ ad.)



Volkswagen Bora. The campaign that’s taken the hardest brief in car

advertising (driveability) and risen to the challenge magnificently. If

only everything in life was as reliable as VW advertising. Thanks go to

Bill Bernbach, BMP DDB, VW and the man who invented VW, Adolf

Hitler.



UNILEVER

Project: Birds Eye peas

Client: Chris Pomfret, business director

Brief: Communicate the quality and family appeal of Birds Eye peas

through the ’Vitamin in peas’ guarantee, in a fresh contemporary way

Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Mike Court

Art director: Mike Court

Director: Martin Brierley

Production company: TTO2

Exposure: National and satellite TV

GOODYEAR

Project: Goodyear brand

Client: Rainer Keinath, director of advertising, Europe

Brief: Explore with Goodyear

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Ros Sinclair

Art director: Sean Thompson

Director: Doug Liman

Production company: Serious Pictures

Exposure: Pan-European TV

VOLKSWAGEN

Project: Volkswagen Bora

Client: Bernard Bradley, communications manager

Brief: You’ll use any excuse to drive the VW Bora

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Tim Cordell

Art director: Alex Bamford

Director: Ed Sayers

Production company: Godman

Exposure: National TV

CAPITAL RADIO

Project: Birthday Bonanza

Client: Vijay Solanki, head of marketing

Brief: Establish the Birthday Bonanza as the radio quiz that everyone

can participate in

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: David Sullivan

Art director: Tom Ewart

Director: Morag McKinnon

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: Three weeks ITV (London)

MARS

Project: Celebrations

Clients: Graham Hunter, franchise brand manager, Vanessa Andrews, brand

manager

Brief: Celebrations helps turn any occasion into a little celebration

Agencies: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and BBDO New York

Writer: Susan Credle

Art director: Steve Rutter

Director: Joe Public

Production company: Partizan

Exposure: National TV for four weeks

HEINZ

Project: Heinz Salad Cream

Client: Clodagh Ward, general manager, European condiments

Brief: Make Heinz Salad Cream the number one table sauce in the UK

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writer: Jack Stephens

Art director: Rob Nielsen

Director: Chris Dada

Production company: Academy

Exposure: National TV