Private view: Al Young, executive creative director of St Luke's

Whether it's getting you noticed in your own agency or attracting wider acclaim, a good TV commercial is probably still the most immediate way for a team to accelerate a new career or revive a flagging one. Trouble is, you don't get to make a lot of them. In my first job at DMB&B (RIP), a team in their millionth year in advertising held a Champagne reception to celebrate the production of their second-ever telly ad.

Even in today's world of rolling promotional activity, a team's doing pretty well to make two TV campaigns a year - so you have to make them count. Have our colleagues made their mark with these seven?

Sainsbury's half-price stationery for children. Not the greatest brief and just 20 seconds to express it. They've got the low-tech doodle special effects, they've got the theme tune to Grange Hill; it may not turbo-charge their careers but at the very least it should earn them more TV briefs.

A better brief seems to be to launch Cut, the new weekly lads' mag. These two 30-second ads follow that "celebrate your inner moron" strategy that we've seen rather a lot of. Here's the pitch: the first tells us that blokes only want to see birds with big tits; the second, that blokes would only bother to learn another language to order lager. If this is the case, why doesn't Cut's audience save their pocket money and order a four-pack of Kestrel and a nice copy of Razzle?

To be fair, the guys have cast them well and executed them competently and, if they're youngsters, it's not a bad effort.

A 30-second newspaper football promotion - News of the World's Score.

This one looks like it has had some resource thrown at it. Sir Bobby Robson as Billy Graham leading the faithful to prayer. It's got nice touches and good on them for pushing the boat out, even if does try a tad hard for my tastes.

The Guardian. Another 30-second ad promoting a Continental football special.

Here we see an anonymous side on the training field, honing their diving and injury-feigning skills. I don't know how long the team had to write and prep this but I do know newspaper commercials have notoriously short lead times. The team has been very smart keeping this one to a few wide, hand-held set-ups and focusing the energy on exquisite choreography. It's funny and, at the very least, these people deserve a special mention in agency dispatches and a slot on the house reel.

As do the people behind the new Sony Ericsson 60-second spot. A mirror-image, post-production technique slickly showcases the parallel journeys of two individuals to demonstrate the dual functionality of the phone.

It may sound tricky but this is very easy on the eye. If nothing else, it puts the ad for the T610, its predecessor, in the shade.

For me, the closest thing to excellent this week must be the BBC 1Xtra trail. It's a 60-second ad and, even if it isn't as strong as Nick Gordon's earlier film, I'd still have been happy if it were longer because it fully exploits its medium. It plays with visual and audio echoes - shapes and sounds of speakers and mixing decks are mixed and reflected by the shapes and sounds of the city. It distorts time and uses subtle special effects such as lines to suggest vinyl grooves overlaid over the image.

It makes crap bits of the city look nothing short of aspirational. The people behind this made their mark.


Project: Cut magazine

Client: David Goodchild, managing director

Brief: Launch Cut magazine

Agency: Mustoes

Writers: Neame Ingram, Paul Westmoreland

Art directors: Neame Ingram, Paul Westmoreland

Director: John Hardwick

Production company: HLA

Exposure: National TV


Project: Search

Client: Stefan Streit, head of marketing

Brief: Cement Sony Ericsson's position as the leader in imaging phones

and showcase the first true dual-fronted camera phone

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Nick O'Bryan-Tear

Art director: Alasdair Welsh

Director: Ne-o

Production company: Stink

Exposure: National TV


Project: Score

Client: Ben Hughes, marketing manager

Brief: The Score pullout is the authority on all of Saturday's football


Agency: TBWA\London

Writer: Sam Cockayne

Art director: James Gillham

Director: Matthew Judd

Production company: 76

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV


Project: 1Xtra

Client: James Wood, marketing manager

Brief: Street music

Agency: Fallon

Writer: Andy McLeod

Art director: Richard Flintham

Director: Ed Holdsworth

Production company: Passion Pictures

Exposure: National TV


Project: Back to school

Client: Jeremy Schwartz, director for brand marketing

Brief: Promote Sainsbury's half-price offer on its stylish children's

stationery range

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Laurence Quinn

Art director: Mark Norcutt

Directors: Ian Cross, Stuart Hilton

Production company: Picasso Pictures

Exposure: National TV


Project: Divers

Client: Marc Sands, marketing director

Brief: Support The Guardian's football coverage

Agency: DDB London

Writer: Matt Lee

Art director: Peter Heyes

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV

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