Private View: Al Young, the creative director at Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB

Like the slothful schoolboy who has left his homework until the last minute, I have put off doing this Private View until uncomfortably near the deadline. It's needed tomorrow morning, in fact. And as I write, my G Shock is telling me that it's 8.16pm.

So my views will necessarily be a bit knee-jerk. But perhaps that's no bad thing. Mr and Mrs Consumer give ads nanoseconds of thought before gesturing thumbs up or down.

First are three nicely directed Daily Telegraph spots. Footballer stays in dressing room to read Telegraph. University students study Telegraph in lecture. Michael Madsen and sidekick sell the film of the paper to movie mogul. It's a newspaper that's like a book, a best-selling one at that and I bet these sell The Daily Telegraph.

Now a lovely looking commercial for John Lewis. It asks me questions such as "New blinds?", "New shoes?" and "New bed?" before telling me that "Spring is here". John Lewis is a fantastic place - a unique retailing institution. For me, pretty though it is, this work doesn't quite do it justice or capture what's so special about the store.

Next, some ads for APACS that promote the new "chip and pin" credit card initiative. Selling certainty, security and peace of mind should be a gilt-edged creative opportunity. But sadly these ads are sterile and merely state the bleedin' obvious. I began to ask myself why they didn't think about...but I gave up instead.

In the next ad, O2 is flogging a digital music player. We see sunflowers and icebergs and things "bass-vibrate" like 4,000MW speaker diaphragms. It's well put together, well focused and the music pushes my button. A good ad, boys.

Next, some 48-sheets for Castrol. In one, a tangled mass of metal bridgework resolves itself into the Forth Road Bridge. This is accompanied by two words: "Fluid Motion." These posters defy understanding. So I didn't even try to.

Finally, two spots for Walkers Squares. The ads tell us that said savoury snack "'Tis not normal" (and very possibly the work of Beelzebub to boot).

And just in case you don't believe it, a 17th-century religious zealot explains this to people who would eat a bag of the four-cornered crisps.

There are some funny lines in these and a cracking gag about a two-headed dog with two bodies. But alas and alack, I fear when all's said and done that the advertising, like the product, 'tis quite normal really.

Apologies that this review wasn't a little more concise, but as I explained up front, I didn't have the time to write a short one.


Project: Pan-European unification

Client: Andrew Jeffrey, marketing manager, Europe

Brief: Reinforce the Castrol brand as the category leader by taking a

high-ground position and leveraging the brand's strong heritage to

increase its relevance to a contemporary audience

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Writer: Sue Higgs

Art director: Brian Connolly

Photographer: Ernst Fischer

Typographer: Dave Robinson

Exposure: Press and 48-sheets


Project: "Chip and pin"

Client: Steve Sinclair, communications director,

chip and pin programme

Brief: Motivate people to want to use chip and pin

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Joel Bradley

Art director: Phil Clarke

Photographer: Alan Mahon

Typographer: Tim Quest

Exposure: National and regional press


Project: Bestseller

Client: Mark Dixon, marketing director

Brief: Use The Daily Telegraph's best-selling credentials to help

modernise the brand image

Agency: Clemmow Hornby Inge

Writer: Brian Turner

Art director: Micky Tudor

Director: David Lodge

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV


Project: Walkers Squares

Client: Andrew Hartshorn, senior brand manager

Brief: Find an original way of demonstrating Squares' distinctiveness

from the norm

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Andy McAnaney

Art director: Christian Sewell

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: O2 digital music player

Client: Susie Moore, head of brand and marketing communications

Brief: With O2's digital music player you can download music whenever,


Agency: Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest

Writer: John McLaughlin

Art director: Mark Orbine

Director: Ivan Bird

Production company: Serious

Exposure: National TV


Project: Spring brand

Client: Evelyn Strouts, head of branch marketing

Brief: John Lewis is relevant to you right now

Agency: Burkitt DDB

Writer: Jon Leney

Art director: Richard Donovan

Director: Joe Roman

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV

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