A year ago, people in our creative department compiled a list of words women use, but men don’t. Regretfully, I’ve lost the complete ranking, though I remember ’hectic’, ’pelmet’, ’hob’, ’slingback’ and ’ruche’ made it comfortably into the top 30.

A year ago, people in our creative department compiled a list of

words women use, but men don’t. Regretfully, I’ve lost the complete

ranking, though I remember ’hectic’, ’pelmet’, ’hob’, ’slingback’ and

’ruche’ made it comfortably into the top 30.

Similarly, there are words account people use which creatives don’t.

’Deliverable’, ’timescale’, ’deadline’, that sort of thing, usually

prefixed with the word ’key’. That’s why I hate the word ’integration’

so much.

It sounds like an account person’s word. As if all it needs is the right

procedures, guidelines and gant-charts. Not so.

For real brand integration, you first need what creatives call a ’big’

’campaignable’ ’brand’ ’idea’. A fourth-emergency-service-if-only-

everything-in-life-was-pure-genius idea. A thought that can transcend

not only media but marketing disciplines.

Then you need faith in that idea.

Recently, the biggest of these big ideas has been BT’s ’It’s good to

talk’ strategy. Behind this beguilingly naive endline is a massive

thought. Yet it hasn’t so far led to the ’integrated’ campaign it

deserves. Why? Well BT’s early faith in the idea was yanked out of them.

And it still hasn’t fully returned.

The product strategy, granted, is spot on brand. BT, true to its

beliefs, has created an entry-level product: an incoming-calls-only line

for pounds 9.25 a quarter. The monochrome execution conveys this fairly

well. But, in an evident loss of faith, someone has chosen to test

another execution, featuring a gratuitous rabbit.

I’m all for testing, but this? For my money (and, with BT, I suppose it

is my money) I’d try an on-brand, letter-only version instead.

Similar lack of faith befell the two Norwich Union spots. A clear idea,

showing how people spent money saved on their premiums, is stymied in

execution. Why cram three testimonials in? And why shoehorn in the line,

’But he still enjoys the benefit of excellent protection and a friendly

service’, presumably in deference to some spurious mandatory?

Have faith, Norwich Union: I trust your cover and, as for friendliness,

I don’t expect to call 0800 888 999 only to be told to piss off. Adding

this sentence raises more doubts than it banishes - like saying a

product contains no cyanide or something.

Next a series promoting the internet service provider, VirginNet, a

brand which suffers from too much self-belief rather than too little.

The non-USPs are clearly conveyed, and the work sits well within a

campaign. Yet ultimately this product is exploiting a brand, not

building one. Deep down, VirginNet thrives on having a monolithic

competitor - or at least a mission.

And where the Virgin brand is the sole differentiator (cola, clothing)

it doesn’t work so well.

Finally, a letter from one Rupert Longmire, who clearly seeks to become

the Johnnie Boden of cufflinks. He’s halfway there, displaying an

engaging faith in his offering. It’s an approach which Boden and J

Peterman have made work in their own niches, communicating a quirky,

faintly obsessive interest in the product. One caveat, though - to

successfully convey this feeling, you must spurn marketingese in your

copy. At times Mr Longmire has too much of the aspirant copywriter to

convince. For me, too, ’a token of our sincere thanks’ comes into the

same category as ’hectic’.



Brief: Demonstrate telephone accessibility for everyone

Agency: Cramm Francis Woolf

Copywriter: Mike Ide

Art director: Gary Shacklady


Brief: Generate maximum response from target audience while being

sympathetic to the brand image

Agency: Space City

Copywriter/Art director: Victor van Amerongen


Brief: Demonstrate that VirginNet provides the simplest way to get the

most out of the internet

Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton

Copywriter: Matt Morley-Brown

Art director: Steve Stretton


Brief: Generate high-value sales for luxury goods

Agency: Spirit DPM

Copywriter: n/s

Art director: n/s


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