PRIVATE VIEW

Last week I went to see two films in one day. David Bailey’s first feature, Intruder, a low-budget thriller shot in Canada, and Stanley Kubrick’s much trumpeted Eyes Wide Shut. One was a flatulent, pretentious load of twaddle made by a man whose sexual fantasy did not extend much beyond Playboy, the other a taut, well acted piece of modern mystery, with good but invisible direction. Both cinemas had a house of about 20. The difference was that was how many people Bailey had invited.

Last week I went to see two films in one day. David Bailey’s first

feature, Intruder, a low-budget thriller shot in Canada, and Stanley

Kubrick’s much trumpeted Eyes Wide Shut. One was a flatulent,

pretentious load of twaddle made by a man whose sexual fantasy did not

extend much beyond Playboy, the other a taut, well acted piece of modern

mystery, with good but invisible direction. Both cinemas had a house of

about 20. The difference was that was how many people Bailey had

invited.



I was reminded of this polarity between over-abundance and leanness when

I looked at this week’s crop of ads.



Helicopter shots, foreign locations, innumerable extras and a track by

David Bowie, CGU probably wouldn’t have seen much change out of a budget

the size of Bailey’s. Cartoon Network on the other hand probably got

change out of a fiver.



The finance industry spends more money than any other sector, usually

saying nothing elegantly - and to be accurate CGU has achieved that in

spades. But slide this 60-second extravaganza up against the

parsimoniously spare but ingeniously rich 30-second cartoon spot and you

can’t help but wonder who felt the most job satisfaction.



The Cartoon Network ads rely on the deliciously simple insight that

cartoon is a lot more entertaining and impactful than reality. So

Sylvester crashing into a wall and leaving his shape on it is repeatedly

watchable while real men vs real wall is well ... sad.



The sad thing about the CGU spot is the tenuous use of one of Bowie’s

greatest tracks, Heroes. Who exactly are the heroes we are singing about

here? I heard this track sung at a convention of 3,000 people recovering

from addiction. It was the year Bowie himself cleaned up and to hear

this sung by a vast crowd of heroes who believed in staying clean and

sober ’just for one day’ was unforgettable.



Of course it’s knife-edge stuff, this teetering between spiritual and

schmaltz. One financial institution, the Co-operative Bank, has been

pulling off the balancing act for a few years now. But the new

commercials?



You can’t fault the idea. A studenty looking girl tells us she’s wearing

a chain ’to make a statement’ against third world debt. Without lashing

out money on lavish production, this black-and -white ad works well

until the tattooist putting the chain into her navel says ’This may hurt

a bit’ and she replies ’Not as much as the debt is hurting them.’ Oh no.

Stop.



Halt. Refrain. Desist. Why blow a nicely acted bit of film with such a

clunkingly ill-chosen line? I’m not being smart or over-critical, it

just rankled.



And finally on TV, wait for it ... ching! yes another bit of financial

advertising.



This time Mastercard. Nobody ever got fired for making a nice commercial

about a nice mum and her two nice children, unfortunately nobody ever

got fired up by it either. (Now I think I am being a touch unfair; I

just wrote that last bit to give the editor a slick line for the picture

caption.) Here’s the fairer version. A neat little observation, warmly

told, about how money can’t buy the experience of being freed from

mumdom for a night on the town. (So let’s see which one the editor

chooses.)



Press on to press and the first campaign for Brook Street since Paul

Arden and I did the ’sloppy girl’ vs Brook Street girl ads in the 80s

and boy, have times changed. As one tube card says, ’The job for life is

dead’ and ’The 9-5 job has been replaced by 5-9 jobs in a lifetime’.



I like ’em. Punchy layouts, snappy copy and an irreverent tone. A good

job from Brook Street.



If there were a company that made vegetable sauces called ’The

Interesting Art Direction and Witty Line Company’ I would be now

complimenting the Five Brothers’ ads on their excellent branding.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), the company is called Five Brothers.

Call me old fashioned, but I’d make a bit more of that.





CO-OPERATIVE BANK

Project: Film for Christian Aid supporting the cancellation

of third world debt which Co-operative Bank supports

Clients: Jack Middleton, customer communications manager, Co-op Bank,

Kate Phillips, external relations director, Christian Aid

Brief: Get people to wear the ’debt chain’ showing they want third world

debt cancelled

Agency: Partners BDDH

Writer: Derek Day

Art director: Simon Green

Director: Simon Green



Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: Cinemas in London and Manchester

CARTOON NETWORK

Project: Cartoon Network

Client: James Greville, creative director

Brief: It’s better in cartoon

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Writer: Tony Barry

Art director: Anthony Sperduti

Director: Ringan Ledwidge



Production company: The End

Exposure: ITV, Channel 5, national cinema

VAN DEN BERGH FOODS

Project: Five Brothers launch

Clients: Martin Milewski, senior brand manager, Roland Palmer, brand

manager

Brief: Tastes so good you’d think it was homemade

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Writers: Roland Hafenricher, John McLaughlin

Art directors: Nils Andersson, Mark Orbine

Photographer: Tessa Traegar

Exposure: Women’s press and weekend supplements

MASTERCARD

Project: Mastercard

Client: Rita Broe, head of marketing

Brief: Raise brand awareness and increase usage

Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Mike Court

Art director: Nick Scott

Director: Sandra Goldbacher

Production company: Spectre

Exposure: National TV and cinema

CGU

Project: CGU brand launch

Clients: Graham Berville, development director, CGU Life, Nick Hall,

director of strategic and product marketing, CGU Insurance

Brief: Develop brand-building advertising to encompass all aspects of

CGU’s business

Agency: McCann-Erickson London

Writer: Jerry Green

Art director: Roger Akerman

Director: Stuart Douglas



Production company: Four Hundred Films

Exposure: National TV

Manpower

Project: Brook Street

Client: Mark Cahill, managing director

Brief: Position Brook Street as the employment experts

Agency: Team Saatchi

Writer: Graham Pugh

Art director: Chris Walker

Typographer: Chris Walker

Photographer: Ian Bilbey

Exposure: Tube cards and cross-tracks on London Underground, shop

windows nationally



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