PRIVATE VIEW: Dave Alexander, the creative director at Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB

Sir Martin Sorrell reckons this recession is going to be bath-shaped. Although, at the time of writing, the people at Cordiant will probably be concentrating more specifically on the plughole.

First D'Arcy and now, in all likelihood, Bates. With this in mind, it is utterly irrelevant whether I like any of the ads here or not. It matters only that they work.

The current Halifax campaign is an undoubted success and for that the agency must be applauded. Personally, I find it toe-curling, but that's beside the point. These are popular with a great many people (particularly the production company, I'd imagine) and there's no reason to think this ad won't continue to do the business. More colour, dancing and the limited presence of that little twat Howard means this is the best so far. But while Halifax it may be, Chicago it ain't.

I thought the Tories were dead. But Unison thinks they're undead. And the recent local elections proved them right, though not in the same way.

Maybe cheap gags aren't the wisest use of their funds. It's a shame that political advertising can't drag itself out of the rut it sank into with "demon eyes". Agencies used to do work that forged their reputations.

The D&AD annuals are littered with ads that are known throughout the world as examples of the genre. I can't see this one joining them.

Nor will Evian. People singing in childlike voices with an endline that says Evian makes you feel young. It's notoriously hard to do good work for products like this. This ad might help get Evian front of mind for a while, but it's not enough to keep it there.

A tasty looking girl in an open-topped car flashes her tits at a young guy on a bus. His mate, who was fast asleep, wakes up to find he's missed it all. The point being with Kenco Rappor you can live now and sleep later.

This may sound ballsy but it isn't. The claim is generic and it looks and feels timid, as if the people making it were embarrassed by the naughtiness of their own joke.

Consequently, Kenco Rappor comes away owning nothing. Not my cup of tea.

Two now from the unstoppable Mother. They both have a similar feel to them but, whereas one has its work cut out, the other is already a proven success. An irrepressible upper-class twit tells us that people plus summer means it's "Pimm's o'clock". And the summer he's talking about is the one from the Starbucks posters, all pissing rain and high winds. Will Pimm's broaden its audience by lampooning its existing one? Someone must think so, because this isn't the first time Hooray Harry has been on telly.

Egg, on the other hand, knows exactly who it's talking to. Brilliant Industries were good, not just because they were funny, but because they were true. Think about "fingers la-la-la". And then think about that pile of unopened bank statements at home. These new ads are equally perceptive.

How many times have you been ripped off, but accepted it to avoid the confrontation? What you needed was to listen to The Sock. And some sock it is. It shouts and rants and tells dodgy plumbers where to go. It's the little voice inside you that screams with rage at your own gutlessness.

The casting is bang on, the dialogue pin sharp and there's even unfashionable things like information about Egg cards.

The big question, though, is whether there is any correlation between what's good and what works. I like to say that there is, but then there are those sodding Halifax ads.


Project: Sock launch

Client: Richard Taylor, head of brand communications

Brief: Ask consumers to question the value of their current finances

Agency: Mother

Writers: Sam Walker and Joe Desouza

Art director: Sam Walker

Director: Alan Coulter

Production company: Hungry Man

Exposure: National and satellite TV


Project: Kenco Rappor

Client: Martin Hall, marketing manager

Brief: Make Kenco Rappor the most appealing coffee for 18- to


Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Trevor De Silva

Art director: Paul White

Director: Martin Granger

Production company: Bikini Films

Exposure: National cinema


Project: Range of loans

Client: Chris Mawson, head of marketing communications

Brief: Communicate that Halifax offers a range of personal loans from as

low as 5.6 per cent

Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners

Writer: Jayne Marar

Art director: Jo Webb

Director: Tarsem

Production company:

Exposure: National TV


Project: Harry's summer 2003

Client: Candice Burton, senior brand manager

Brief: Take Pimm's from a sunshine brand to a summer brand

Agency: Mother

Writer: Mother

Art director: Mother

Director: Jim Jenkins

Production company: Hungry Man

Exposure: National TV


Project: Voices

Client: David Graham, UK marketing director

Brief: Emphasise the rejuvenating properties and origin of Evian

Agency: BETC Euro RSCG

Writer: Luc Rouzier

Art director: Eric Astorgue

Director: Pedro Romhanyi

Production company: Bandit Productions

Exposure: National TV


Project: Protecting the NHS

Client: Rod Robertson, national organiser for industrial organisation

Brief: Defend much-needed funding for the NHS in the face of opposition

from the Conservatives

Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners

Writer: Keith Bickle

Art director: Carlos Anuncibay

Typographer: Ruth Rowland

Photographer: Alan Mahon

Exposure: The Sun and The Morning Star