Private View: Trevor Robinson, the creative director at QuietStorm

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 06 August 2004 12:00AM

Sometimes when I read Private View, I get the strong impression that it was written by some bullied, embittered ad fella using it as an opportunity to get out his angst and his lack of Pencil frustration.

And, ultimately, to prove to his peers that he is, in fact, a gifted, witty creative by humiliating and ripping to shreds any work that he has been asked to review.

Why, indeed, should I be any different? I am just as bitter, twisted and up myself as the rest of adland. So, onwards and upwards, let's raise it up the flag pole, get up to speed with this and start singing from the same hymn sheet.

Unfortunately, this anti-smoking campaign from the Department of Health proved to be quite annoyingly difficult to pick holes in. First, it is brilliantly and sensitively directed. The subject matter itself is powerful, as you would expect in this campaign, but it has a heart-rending twist at the end of the piece when we are allowed to find out that two weeks after filming Mr Hicks died. No doubt this will have powerful results (it even made me pause for a second and ponder the fact that I may well indeed be killing myself every time I smoke. I promptly lit up).

The Inland Revenue campaign successfully uses sporting analogies to get across the idea that filing your tax online could be fast and even amusing by using a playful, chubby professor type to narrate and sell the concept.

Who am I to criticise any execution that makes a tax form even mildly titillating? I for one can't wait for mine to arrive so I can join the fun.

Through this TV execution, NatWest demonstrates that the banking community has little or no understanding of the youth market. By offering their target audience something that they would want, ie. a railcard, they are demonstrating that they themselves are "down with the kids". On paper, the script does this very well and maybe it's just me, but the final ad has ended up a bit cringey and unfunny.

This Clarks campaign appears to be using charm and the "aaah" factor.

The work is well cast and well directed. Some ads can survive on charm and craft alone if executed exceptionally well, but this one to me is left wanting and ultimately it falls a bit flat. However, if the appeal of these ads is not lost on the general public (as it was on my cynical self), it could prove to be a profitable autumn for Clarks.

The "Britain needs champions" campaign for PlayStation is art directed in a similar style to the British Heart Foundation posters, which is a wartime propaganda approach. They feel playful, which is a refreshing departure from the normal dark and slightly cryptic PlayStation work.

There seems no reason why anyone should have a real problem with this McDonald's McFlurry ad other than the odd very literal consumer who feels that in purchasing the said McFlurry they may risk attack by large strawberries and other ingredients like our poor bikini-clad heroine. The music feels refreshingly jaunty. Keep up the good work.

So on that note I pop my gleaming hatchet back into its holster and skip smugly back to my desk.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Project: Testimonial anti-smoking campaign, Anthony Hicks

Client: Claire Everett, chief publicity officer

Brief: Continue the use of testimonials to broaden awareness of diseases

caused by smoking with new focus on head and neck cancer

Agency: AMV BBDO

Writer: Diane Leaver

Art director: Simon Rice

Director: Dominic Savage

Production company: Large Corp

Exposure: National TV

MCDONALD'S

Project: McFlurry, strawberries and Cadbury Dream

Client: Rebecca Payne, brand manager

Brief: Announce the return of the limited edition McFlurry flavour for

the summer

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writers: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris

Art directors: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris

Director: Kate Dawkins

Production company: Intro

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV

CLARKS

Project: "For every kid there's a shoe that fits"

Client: Ted Hart, marketing manager

Brief: n/s

Agency: St Luke's

Writers: Tim Collins, Mike Hughes

Art directors: Tim Collins, Mike Hughes

Director: Dougal Wilson

Production company: Blink

Exposure: Terrestrial and cable TV

INLAND REVENUE

Project: Self-assessment online

Client: Elizabeth Johnson, deputy head of customer communications

Brief: Demonstrate that you can file your tax return online in more than

one session

Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy

Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw

Director: David Lodge

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV

SONY PLAYSTATION

Project: Summer of sports

Client: Alan Duncan, marketing director

Brief: Incite winning fervour into the damp squibs and letdowns of

Britain's usual sporting behaviour

Agency: TBWA\London

Writers: John Allison, Chris Bovill

Art directors: John Allison, Chris Bovill

Photographer: Spiros Politis

Typographer: Dave Lidster

Exposure: National press

NATWEST

Project: NatWest student railcard

Client: Stephen Day, head of brand strategy

Brief: Promote offer of a free student railcard when you open a student

account

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Paul Hodgkinson

Art director: Paul Hodgkinson

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company: Large Corp

Exposure: Cinema

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

X

You must log in to use Clip & Save

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Additional Information

Campaign Jobs