Graham Kerr and Tony Hill have been working together at Maher Bird
Associates for two years. Kerr, who is 35, was Maher Bird’s first
creative signing when he moved over from Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, and he
was given free rein to appoint the partner of his choice. He took a
chance on Hill, 28, who was working in the production department at
Leagas Delaney, and gave him his first copywriting job. Kerr says: ‘I
wanted someone who hadn’t been through the mill at a big agency.’
And the pairing has worked well, most famously on the News of the
World’s ‘total domination’ trade press campaign, but also on work for
Next, Mobil and others.
For Next Interiors, they have created the ‘great indoors’ campaign,
which sets items of furniture against vast landscapes. Mobil ads also
use stunning photography and work around the central character of an
oil-rig worker in hard hat and overalls.
The pair maintain that integrated briefs give them the freedom to work
through different ideas, and they are developing executions using media
ranging from eggs to toilet seats.
A new corporate video for the News of the World builds on the ‘read by
the world and his wife’ theme by showing a parade of unusual characters
in bed on a Sunday morning. Kerr says: ‘We treated the video as a three-
minute commercial - there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be as good as a
Hill and Kerr also get involved with new-business pitches, which they
approach in appropriately novel ways. In an attempt to get on the
Football Association list, they sent out a piece of turf and wrote:
‘Give us a chance to show you the rest of the pitch.’
For both, the onus is on big ideas and having fun. When Clive Milner,
the general manager of News Group Newspapers and their client at the
News of the World, said he would love to have their job for a week, they
took it as the ultimate compliment.