January, and a chill wind has ushered in the new year, blowing away
the beery scents of Christmas excess.
Everywhere, sheepish young account executives don serious frowns in the
hope that once again they can be assessed for their earnest endeavours -
and that the memory of their downing eight pints of Olde Scrotum while
sporting their trousers cranially has faded quickly from the minds of
And yet, before these ghosts of Christmas pass, it is worth noting the
parallels between creative work and the people you meet at yuletide
Like an interesting person, a good product message should attract your
attention, tell you something fascinating, then leave you with the
feeling that you’d like to know more.
That said, let us introduce the motley group assembled for this
First up, the Independent. Open this promotional mailing and we
encounter an actual-size Indie page with a message from the editor and
12 reduced-price coupons. The Indie’s a strange young fogey. A lonely
account manager, desperate to make friends. He tried on a few outfits
before going out but the tweeds and the pinstripes didn’t quite gel, so
he’s pitched up today in a rather avant-garde suit. And it’s worked -
he’s got our attention.
But attention is only potential yet to be fulfilled and, sadly, further
investigation confirms our worst fears - there really is nothing much to
him and the little there is turns out to be pompous and
In marketing, as at parties, it pays to observe the first rule of social
engagement: talk to me about me and I’m interested, talk to me about you
and I’m bored.
Next, there’s a dealer pack for the new VW Golf Mark IV.
It contains five freebie chocolates, each illustrating little details
such as a ’special cluster’ of headlamps and ’coffee cup’ holders front
and rear. The Golf is that nice gal from planning you’ve known for
years. Her demeanour is refreshingly confident and witty. And
enticingly, having said little - and said it rather well - she leaves,
after slipping you her phone number.
Then there’s a DRTV commercial to raise funds for the Cancer Research
Campaign. CRC is the company secretary, a nice old guy you only ever see
at this time of year. His work is invaluable and, if anyone deserves a
pay rise, he does.
He’s telling a story about someone he helped. It’s a nice story - and it
needs to be - because you don’t always want to listen to tales like this
at a party. Unfortunately, someone is playing the Now Collection of
Corporate Video Soundtracks in the background. It distracts and
ultimately damages the pathos of his story, leaving you wondering why it
is that the good guys never get the breaks they deserve.
Finally, an ugly squawk announces the presence of the junior team:
Touchpoint from BT. We don’t know what they’re on, but they’re all over
the place. These enthusiastic young blades seem to be saying a lot of
things about BT’s new Internet entertainment service but, even with the
aid of many fingers, they find it almost impossible to make a point
Like all old farts, we smile fondly, remembering Christmas parties of
yesteryear and the well-hidden skeletons in our own closet, before we
slip off home for a nice cup of cocoa.
Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel
Brief: Encourage trial and long-term readership of the relaunched
Art director: Andy Maxwell
Copywriter: Chris Lorie
Agency: Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray
Brief: Generate excitement about the new Golf Mark IV and encourage
dealers to attend a ’ride and drive’ event at Donnington
Art director: Tooky de Vall
Copywriter: Charlie Smith
Cancer Research Campaign
Brief: Advertise for funds on television for the first time. Make people
aware that the CRC relies on donations in order to
carry out its work
Creative team: Paul Walton and Shaun Moran
Creative director: Steve Aldridge
BT Touchpoint Kiosks
Agency: Partners BDDH
Brief: Generate awareness and interest in Touchpoint multimedia kiosks
Art director: Yann Jones
Copywriter: David Fleetwood