DIARY: Just as you’ve always suspected: ad folk are a load of comedians

Never work with animals or small children, the old cliche goes.

Never work with animals or small children, the old cliche goes.

But they are very good reasons why the two promotional videos for NABS

week might never have been shot had it been left to your typical


Fortunately, Steve Harrison, the creative partner of HPT Brand Response

(NABS’s agency of record) is built of sterner stuff. Which is why 23 of

the top brass in advertising and direct marketing agreed to each tell a

line of a joke in two industry-specific films to promote the highlight

of this year’s NABS week - an event entitled Stand Up for NABS.

Weaker men would sooner shoot the latest McDonald’s spot starring a bevy

of babies than plan a schedule which involved rounding up a stellar

line-up including the likes of Rupert Howell, Stephen Carter and Shaun

McIlrath (with two jolly famous mystery star guests) and making them do

as they were told. But the plucky Harrison donned his visor and

megaphone (and his juggling balls) and ruthlessly whipped them into


Over two days last week, Harrison, with the help of the production

company Bazooka, whisked from agency to agency to piece together the

joke. ’They were so well-behaved!’ he gushed rather unconvincingly,

although he later conceded that Howell had been a little ’peevish’.

Stand Up for NABS will take place during NABS week (5-9 June) and will

encourage people to either take to the mike to do a turn or stick a

tenner in a bucket if they’re not feeling so brave. The promotional

films will be distributed through NABS reps over the coming weeks.

Apart from the Oscar-winning performances from Gary Duckworth, Andrew

Cracknell and Terry Hunt (and the two mystery guests), the highlight of

the film has to be the witty and happy-go-lucky Carter delivering the

punchline. But there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?

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