Private View: Al Young, the creative director at FCB London

Always save the best for last. That's what my mum says. And that's what I'm going to do with this work. I'll end with the best, which is bloody fantastic, and start with the weakest, which is anything but.

In fact, the latest RAC commercial is bland beyond belief. A huge glowing orange hand descends from the heavens to locate broken-down cars and give them a sort of comforting stroke. I have no idea whether this sort of thing works, but it feels like the agency has simply been taking dictation from the client.

Second is Clearasil Shave Gel, which helps to prevent spots, apparently. A male centrefold is used to nail the proposition that no spots and no stubble means no girl can resist you. Fair enough, nothing wrong with this idea. Mind you, I can think of quite a few girls who can resist, but that's nit-picking.

Sometimes, informing matters more than entertaining; I learnt that years ago working on the COI Communications Aids awareness account. Which is why this next commercial from HM Government is spot on. It's preparing us for a booklet we'll soon be receiving about the terrorist threat. It points out that warning signs aren't necessarily panic signs. It's a smartly observed, smartly executed response to a very tricky brief.

Next is a commercial promising some free spy gadgets when you buy a pair of Clarks shoes. To dramatise the offer, we see two spy kids being dropped off at school in an Apache attack helicopter instead of the more normal Volvo estate.

Promotional briefs are often a creative graveyard, but this one has been done with wit and commendable ambition. For me, it's not up to the standard of the Clarks brand work, which I absolutely love, but it's not bad at all, nipper.

Next are two nice ads for something called Flash Mark & Stain Eraser.

They make their point simply and elegantly. What's more, given that my daughter Maisie has just discovered the joy of felt-tipped pens, these ads have all but persuaded me to go out and buy some.

Now to the last, and easily the best, ad. It's for Nik Naks and spoofs THAT legendary scene in Alien. Only this time it's a knobbly savoury snack that bursts out through the unsuspecting guy's chest.

Spoofs are hardly the height of advertising originality, but this has been done beautifully. And the ending is 24 carat. To the strains of Le Freak by Chic, a voiceover tells us that Nik Naks are "monstrous, deformed and available in four stupid flavours", before asking us to "eat the freak".

Huge and sincere respect to all those involved. It made me laugh. It made me want to watch it again and again. And it made me very jealous.

Roll on the new footie season.


Project: Nice chest

Client: Rob Morgan, marketing director

Brief: Dramatise the freakish nature of the Nik Naks product and its

unique proposition in the snack market

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writers: Serge Pennings, Stephen Clarke

Art directors: Serge Pennings, Stephen Clarke

Director: Rocky Morton

Production company: MJZ

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV


Project: Bootleg

Client: Ted Hart, marketing manager

Brief: Promote the Bootleg spy kit pencil case, available for £5

when you buy a pair of Clarks Bootleg shoes

Agency: St Luke's

Writer: Andy Drugan

Art directors: Simon Friedberg, Adam Arber

Directors: Jake & Jim

Production company: Exposure

Exposure: National TV


Project: Mark & Stain Eraser

Client: Michael Gillane, brand manager

Brief: Flash Eraser removes tough marks and stains, even those you

thought impossible

Agency: Grey London

Writer: Ben Stilitz

Art director: Colin Booth

Photographer: Jenny van Sommers

Exposure: Women's national titles


Project: Preparing for emergencies

Client: Nick Lindop, senior advertising manager

Brief: Design a public information booklet and develop a supporting

advertising campaign

Agency: WCRS

Writer: David Cornmell

Art director: Jane Briers

Director: Stuart Parr

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV


Project: Consumer services

Client: Gary Elliott, head of brand

Brief: Announce that the RAC has won the JD Power Award for being the

leading provider of breakdown services in the UK

Agency: Windmill Partnership

Writer: Phil Wiggins

Art director: Sam Hurford

Director: Sam Hurford

Production companies: Windmill Partnership, James Bretherton

Exposure: National TV


Project: Centrefold

Client: Beccy Duncan, marketing manager

Brief: Launch Clearasil for Men as the new range of high-performance

male grooming products with the added bonus of spot prevention

Agency: McCann Erickson

Writer: Simon Welsh

Art director: Darren McKay

Photographer: Tim O'Sullivan

Typographer: Gary Todd

Exposure: Men's magazines

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