Fallon and Hudson relish the prospect of working at Saatchis, Jim
Boxers never know when to hang up their gloves. Their vanity demands one
last fight, which inevitably ends in ignominious defeat. In less
physical careers, advertising for example, choosing the right time to
make a move can also be critical.
Of course, it’s best to go when your currency is high, but this is
easier said than done - people are usually too busy enjoying their
success and polishing the silverware to worry about consolidating a
The creative pairing of Victoria Fallon and Steve Hudson, however, would
appear to be the exception to the rule. They are riding the crest of a
wave with award-winning press and television work for Levi’s, a highly
successful relaunch campaign for One-2-One and a quirky spot for
Electrolux - and yet, next month, they’re switching their allegiance
from Bartle Bogle Hegarty to Saatchi & Saatchi. Why?
Fallon explains: ’On a personal level, it’s good to change and to grow.’
Hudson adds: ’We want to experience other work environments, other
clients and other creative directors.’
Significantly, perhaps, Fallon and Hudson moved to BBH three years ago
after something of a purple patch at their previous agency, BMP DDB
Their ’just divorced’ commercial for Volkswagen caused a stir in the
shires, brought folk-popsters, the Bluebells, out of retirement and put
Young at Heart at the top of the charts for four weeks. An ingenious
spot for Kingshield Power Breaker (a piece of spec work that won the
agency the business) picked up a gold lion at Cannes and a pair of
silvers at BTAA.
The pair were also nominated among Campaign’s ’faces to watch’ in 1994
and, consequently, were approached by Steve Lewis and Dennis Hooper, the
then creative heads of BBH.
Of this, Hudson says: ’We ummed and ahhed for four months before making
a decision. You never really know what a place is going to be like until
you get there.’ But clearly BBH’s creative culture allowed them to
flourish. Fallon and Hudson have a quiet determination that has earned
them the respect of their peers, and which has produced a disparate body
of work, from the understated Audi ’yuppie’ commercial, in which the
loathsome protagonist actually rejects the product, to the technically
complex Levi’s ’mermaids’ ad, shot by the French director, Michel
Hudson says: ’We’ve done everything from cars to milk to vacuum
cleaners.’ Fallon adds: ’It tends to be quite product focused.
In the Audi ad, the car is visible all the way through, for example.
It’s the same with the Levi’s commercial, which is basically a
demonstration ad for shrink-to-fit jeans.’
The duo, who are both aged 31, were brought together by an unusually
discerning headhunter eight years ago. Fallon had been on the
advertising course at Manchester Polytechnic, while Hudson studied
Visual Communication (’basically film and design’) in Suffolk. Their
first bona fide job was at Horner Collis and Kirvan, now part of Euro
RSCG Wnek Gosper, where they produced a memorable ad for the Peugeot
309, in which a car sneaks round the back of a ’school’ photograph so it
can appear twice - the almost inevitable endline reading ’the fastest
car in its class’. Their biggest break was undoubtedly the move to BMP
in 1990, where they became part of a formidable creative department
boasting the likes of John Webster, Frank Budgen, Mark Reddy and Tony
Like many creative teams these days, Fallon and Hudson eschew the
traditional art director/copywriter roles, preferring to take joint
credits on all their output. They say their work is ideas rather than
technique driven and, as a result, will rarely use the same director
twice. A notable exception is the Paul Weiland Film Company’s Frank
Budgen, who directed both the Kingshield and Audi commercials.
By reputation, Hudson is the louder of the two although he allows Fallon
to do much of the talking during the interview. Both of them seem
remarkably centred and pragmatic; their responses are all eminently
sensible and, from time to time, they ask me to switch off the tape
recorder so they can reach consensus on a potentially controversial
question. So much for the image of wayward and wacky advertising
So what do they hope to achieve at Saatchis? ’We’re interested in
starting campaigns from scratch,’ Hudson says, pointing to their recent
BTAA silver-winning campaign for One-2-One, directed by Medhi Norowzian
and featuring a mixed bag of celebrities including Vic Reeves and Kate
Fallon adds: ’We’d like to work on a beer campaign. There were great
beer accounts at BMP and BBH but it just never seemed to happen.’ And
what about taking on more responsibility? ’I don’t think we’re ready to
become group heads yet,’ Fallon says.
After polishing off one last press campaign at BBH, they’ll be taking a
month out to recharge their batteries before joining Saatchis.
Hudson recalls: ’When we left BMP for BBH, we just had the weekend off,
which wasn’t a good idea.’ They even learn from their mistakes.