My campaign: 'Orange man', 1991
A view from Trevor Robinson

My campaign: 'Orange man', 1991

Avoiding the dole proved a powerful incentive for Trevor Robinson and Al Young to give the ad industry a slap in the face with the Tango 'Orange man' campaign. Bringing it to fruition turned out to be a walk in the park. Literally.

Matt Forrest, the director, had just become involved with Orange Tango. He’s a fun, jovial Scotsman and, at this point, was being very patient with Al Young and me, running around him as the excitable creatives. There was a lot riding on the job – we knew we needed to make a name for ourselves and secure our jobs. We hadn’t done anything that "out there" yet and knew this was our chance. We had to do something standout and memorable to make sure we didn’t find ourselves back on the dole.

We’d worked with a few directors before who hadn’t really cared about guarding the creative. At that time directors were a bit ashamed of doing ads, so we were all over the shop trying to double-guess everything and make sure it was perfect.

In the end, Matt said: "Listen guys, you’ve got all these ideas – here’s a camera, take yourselves to the park and go and shoot it." He was obviously just trying to keep us quiet but it did the trick and we spent a couple of days on Clapham Common doing these silly test shots.

They wouldn't let us do a kick up the arse

Not surprisingly, the advertising authority (the BACC) wouldn’t let us do a kick up the arse – the original idea – so we’d settled for a Morecambe and Wise slap. But when we started shooting this in the park, it looked really weak.

After messing around for hours, we realised the "Orange man"’s slap needed his arms outstretched wide with his head tipped back. This for me was a turning point.

If Matt hadn’t sent us off to the park, I don’t think I would have realised how much I wanted to shoot my own stuff . Not only did it improve the ad and create something that kids everywhere would be banned from doing, it solidified for me the desire to create and direct from then on.

Trevor Robinson was a creative at Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury and the founder of Quiet Storm