Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has this week unleashed a mammoth campaign
for W. H. Smith, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst as the four members of the
Smith family and introducing two members of the band, Status Quo.
A total of 21 executions have been created, and will run in the four
weeks leading up to Christmas. They all focus on individual products or
offers in a mixture of 20- and 30-second spots, and all feature
Status Quo appear in a commercial in which Mrs Smith is seen buying the
combo’s latest CD. Outside the shop, she hands her change to two
scruffy, forlorn-looking buskers - who turn out to be Francis Rossi and
Rick Parfitt from the band, playing their hit, Rockin’ All Over the
World. As Mrs Smith walks away, muttering ’Ah, bless!’, Rossi comments:
’Funny-looking woman.’ Parfitt replies: ’Nice legs, though.’
A 30-second spots focuses on the Goosebumps series of children’s books;
another offers customers 40 per cent off best-selling products.
In the Goosebumps ad, the older sister, Sasha, is scathing of her
younger brother’s Goosebumps CD-Rom, casting doubt on its spine-tingling
potential. As she sneakily tries it out, however, the ghastliness of it
shocks her so much her hair stands on end.
In the special offer spot, Mrs Smith is so pleased at the money she has
saved, she puts her change into a charity box in the shape of a dog
outside a clothes store. The dog shuffles along the pavement to end up
outside W. H. Smith and smiles as other money-saving customers make
In other executions, Lyndhurst dresses up as Batgirl, Princess Leia from
Star Wars, and - in a costume comprising binliner and motorcycle helmet
- Darth Vader.
The ads were written by Malcolm Duffy, art directed by Paul Briginshaw
and directed by Sid Roberson at Roberson Films. Media for the national
four-week push was handled by Motive.