PRIVATE VIEW

’There are no really bad ads anymore,’ someone said to me recently. ’We’ve all become far too professional and clients are now far too savvy to produce the nasty, smelly stuff that often used to pass for advertising.’ I disagreed, as you might expect, pointing out several prime examples of ads that would be better off spread on the roses than broadcast on national TV. But, on this week’s evidence, my friend had a point: most of these ads wouldn’t worry you too much if you trod on one unexpectedly, and some you’d positively want to dab behind the ears.

’There are no really bad ads anymore,’ someone said to me recently.

’We’ve all become far too professional and clients are now far too savvy

to produce the nasty, smelly stuff that often used to pass for

advertising.’ I disagreed, as you might expect, pointing out several

prime examples of ads that would be better off spread on the roses than

broadcast on national TV. But, on this week’s evidence, my friend had a

point: most of these ads wouldn’t worry you too much if you trod on one

unexpectedly, and some you’d positively want to dab behind the ears.



Take the press ads for thingamy. Even though I couldn’t at first work

out who the advertiser was, I still quite liked them. The campaign

features lots of potentially nasty situations thoroughly enjoyed by a

smiling idiot with a box of popcorn and a fizzy drink. ’There are some

truly unpleasant, callous, devious people in this world. Exactly the

sort of people we’re looking for,’ says the copy beneath a photo of said

idiot relishing a nice bit of open-heart surgery or a funeral or a road

accident. A close inspection (and I mean close) revealed the work is for

a computer games company called Westwood.com. The ’oh so cool’ category

explains the dearth of branding but slows the communication down to a

crawl. Pity.



No such reticence for Quorn which has gone and invented a whole town for

itself, Quornville. It stars a smiling 50s US sitcom family who proceed

to crack a series of truly excruciating ’quorny’ gags. Since it’s all a

spoof we are not really meant to find them funny and the canned laughter

is deliberately over the top. It’s more arch than a gay archbishop but

at least it’s an idea - something you don’t often get in food

advertising.



One small niggle, the Quorn food looked pretty bland - is that because

it is?



Hyundai has a problem in that it has a perfectly acceptable and yet

somewhat dull-looking hatchback to sell. There isn’t anything

particularly distinguishing or differentiating to say about the Amica

other than that it’s an enjoyable car to drive and available for a good

price. The solution is to use the dull but acceptable former Bros star

Matt Goss (or is it Luke?) to tell us that ’you don’t have to be rich

and famous to enjoy yourself’. It’s mildly entertaining and inoffensive.

Rather like Luke Goss (or is it Matt?).



The ad for Millennium Volunteers took a bit of decoding. It is aimed

squarely at young people and attempts to persuade them to help other

less fortunate young people. Getting a young and black DJ volunteer to

talk about his preconceptions before he started volunteering was a

sensible, if not an inspired, idea but the film is well put together and

pacey. I would have liked a bit more about the good things they

presumably do and the real difference they could make to someone’s life.

But then, I’m picky.



The new campaign for Hula Hoops features a glove puppet called Hoopy

McHula who, to the consternation of his owner, gets off with the most

attractive girl on the dancefloor. In another ad he scores a

Maradona-like ’glove puppet of God’ goal. It’s a hugely silly and

wonderfully surreal idea which should prove very successful. This glove

puppet definitely has legs.



When Levi’s does a new campaign, the world watches with interest. Will

it be as good as those classic Levi’s ads we know and love so well? The

new ’twisted original’ campaign is both twisted and original. I

particularly liked the ad with the male and female blow-up dolls in

jeans which fall in love but are tragically separated when he is blown

on to a barbed wire fence. She tearfully brings him a thorny rose. Big

mistake. She disappears with both a bang and a whimper. Now that’s how

to get your ad noticed, sell the product and come up smelling of

roses.





LEVI STRAUSS

Project: Levi’s(R) Engineered Jeans(TM)

Client: Fredrik Carling, brand manager for Levi’s(R) Engineered

Jeans(TM)

Brief: Launch Levi’s(R) Engineered Jeans(TM) with twisted side seam

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Creative team: Adam Scholes, Adam Chiappe, Shawn Preston, Matthew Saunby

Director: Dante Ariola

Production company: Propaganda

Exposure: National TV


MARLOW FOODS

Project: Quorn brand relaunch

Client: David Wilson, marketing director

Brief: Reposition Quorn as a naturally good food

for everyday life

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Writer: Pip Bishop

Art director: Chris Hodgkiss

Director: Rob Sanders

Production company: HLA

Exposure: National TV


WESTWOOD.COM

Project: Nox

Client: Rosmarie Dalton, marketing manager of Electronic Arts

Brief: n/s

Agency: Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB

Writer: Iain Pearson

Art director: Bruce Watt

Exposure: Games press


DfEE

Project: Millennium Volunteers

Clients: Christine Nestor, Angela Friend, publicity division

Brief: Encourage 16- to 24-year-olds to volunteer in their local

communities

Agency: D’Arcy

Writer: Roger Holdsworth

Art director: Phil Chitty

Director: Jack Price

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: Cinema


HYUNDAI

Project: Hyundai Amica launch

Client: Jonathan Spence, marketing director

Brief: You don’t need to be rich to have fun

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Will Farquhar

Art director: Ian Ducker

Director: Graham Rose

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV


KP

Project: Hula Hoops

Client: Julie Gallacher, marketing controller

Brief: Shift the centre of gravity of the brand from the 12- to

13-year-olds to 15- to 16-year-olds, encouraging reappraisal as teen

brand

Agency: Publicis

Writer: Rob Janowski

Art director: Keith Courtney

Director: Evan Bernard

Production company: Partizan

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).