Barclays. A pounds 10 million sponsorship deal with British Cinema is a great idea; it should bring a burst of energy into the relatively dry world of high street banking.

Barclays. A pounds 10 million sponsorship deal with British Cinema

is a great idea; it should bring a burst of energy into the relatively

dry world of high street banking.

Admittedly, I didn’t get to see the broadcast work (three short films to

be shown on trailer wheels). But the tone of the print work disappointed

me - it could have been more enthusiastic, less sober and bankerly. It’s

a pity, because the idea has the potential to be really talked


Incidentally, the competition prize is a chance to appear as an extra in

the follow-up to Four Weddings and a Funeral. My hairdresser appeared as

an extra in the original film, because he knew the producer. Gave me the

shock of my life when he popped up in a pew during the funeral


So, if you win this and you know me personally, please warn me so that I

don’t choke on my popcorn again.

Direct Line Insurance. The bleeping phone on wheels has probably annoyed

more people than even Nanette Newman and her queue of boy scouts -

although it’s undoubtedly worked brilliantly. In fact, one of the

reasons it’s so annoying is because you know it does work so well. (But

just because something works doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better, I

always say ...)

This is a very professional ad, exuding reassurance from every pore and

managing to answer a lot of pertinent questions. And the woman in the

circle who talks us through the sales bunny is a lot more interesting

than that bleeding phone on wheels. Sorry - that should read ’bleeping’.

Or, then again, maybe not.

Guinness. A very laudable attempt to encourage people to celebrate St

Patrick’s Day. (As if anybody I know needed any further encouragement.)

The ads are striking - I love the music - but a bit wearying on repeated

viewing. When I rang the phoneline, I found myself in a surreal snake

race entitled the Two Thousand Guinea Pigs. I still don’t know why.

No Smoking Day. A fabulous brief - I’ve given up several times


But getting the right tone of voice is incredibly difficult. Looking at

the grumpy fag wandering down the road with his suitcase (above the

not-very-witty legend ’send it packing’) makes me want to start again as

soon as possible. I remember A. N. Wilson writing once about how he only

smoked once a year - on No Smoking Day. I’m afraid I have the same

reaction to these vestiges of Nanny State lecturing.

I won’t, though. Because I’m tough.

And it occurs to me that I may be being a bit harsh. It’s quite possible

that the cartoon figure is designed to work via young children - the

’pester power’ of young kids is a very potent approach in this area.

’Smoking’s bad for you, Daddy’, coming from a seven-year-old, is a tough

one to answer.

Which is why, when I burrowed into the leaflets they sent through, I was

very grateful to find lots of helpful stuff.

Steve Henry is a creative partner of HHCL and Partners


Agency: J. Walter Thompson Client: Barclays

Objective: Raise awareness of Barclays among under 25s

Account handling: Harry MacAuslan, Sabine Richards, Claudine Spong

Copywriter: Andrew Singleton

Art director: Jono Wardle

Creative director: Jaspar Shelbourne


Agency: Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan

Client: Direct Line

Objective: Tell people about the Direct Line service

Account handling: Tim Mortimer

Copywriter: John O’Sullivan

Art director: Chris Whittaker


Agency: Brann

Client: Guinness

Objective: Ensure Guinness’s ownership of

St Patrick’s Day

Account handling: Jo Jones, Paul Becque

Copywriter: Mark Beeching

Art director: Mark Beeching

Creative director: Mark Beeching


Agency: Zero 2 Design Client: Health Education Authority

Objective: Provide encouragement, help and support to smokers who

want to quit

Account handling: Josh Waldhorn, Paul Price

Copywriters: Josh Waldhorn, Paul Price

Art directors: Josh Waldhorn, Paul Price

Creative director: Josh Waldhorn

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