PRIVATE VIEW: Greg Delaney

"Mankind cannot stand too much reality," said the poet. He could

have added: "Particularly in their advertising."

Take the new BT commercial, for example. Shot in gritty real-life

documentary style, it features a bunch of pretty unattractive lowlifes

who are so hooked on the football that they won't even accompany Mrs

Lowlife to the hospital to have her baby. I couldn't help thinking that

a brand like BT might have been better off selling the fantasy of

football, rather than the somewhat less attractive results of addiction

to it.

A better understanding of the mentality of football fans is to be found

in the new Barclaycard campaign. A bunch of well-known football

personalities - though "personality" is a bit of an exaggeration in most

cases - are seen buying stuff with their credit card of choice. So David

Seaman gets a bunch of hair-care products, Bobby Robson gets his wife

some roller skates, Mr Nasty Referee gets a nice new notebook and Angus

Deayton gets a filthy look from Roy Keane for ordering a prawn sandwich.

To non-football aficionados this is all gobbledegook but to real fans it

shamelessly flatters their knowledge of the game. I liked Ron Manager as

the voiceover delivering a classic endline: "Oo football. Barclaycard.

Marvellous. Isn't it?" Reality 0, Entertainment 6.

On the subject of footie, there was a cartoon in last week's Private Eye

with a fish scoring a goal for "Surreal Madrid". It was funnier than

this week's other homage to the spirit of Dali - the new ad for Sunny

Delight. Here, a disembodied mouth is lying on a sun-bed, when it is

overcome with desire for a bottle of the yellow stuff. In a series of

bouncy mouth steps it then flings itself upon the face of a somewhat

surprised (and who can blame him?) Sunny D drinker. "Makes your mouth go

mental," says the voiceover, by way of explanation. I discern the long

shadow of Tango here. But Tango ads, at their best, always used to

manage to be believably fantastic, whereas this is simply


There was a time when washing powder commercials were all about "real

lives" - usually entailing endless interviews with dull-looking

housewives comparing one shirt with another. So I'm still pathetically

impressed when a soap powder ad has an idea in it - however small. The

latest ad, for Persil Non-Bio, continues the renaissance of the genre.

It takes as its start point the fact that many babies look like Winston

Churchill - well it's better than them looking like Hitler - and

proceeds to deliver an enjoyable romp through the usual Churchillian

cliches - cigars, painting, pompous speeches, etc.

Babies as adults is an old trick, but it's effective when handled

deftly, as it is here.

Using animals in ads is another useful tool when trying to stretch the

reality boundaries. Currently the most visible dog ad is the Smirnoff

piano player/raconteur who I keep expecting to run into the cat from the

Bacardi Breezer ad. Now that would be surreal.

By way of contrast, the dog in the BMW ad only has to be a dog, though

he is cleverly choreographed to parallel the roadholding abilities of

the new BMW Compact with rear wheel drive. It all takes place in that

beautifully designed world that all BMW drivers aspire to, where even

your dog has been beautifully polished.

The Natural History Museum ads are fine as far as they go, but they

don't go far enough. I'd have loved them to explore the theme they touch

on here: the fear of being hunted, the paranoia of the prey. That is a

real live horror movie, played out on the African plains everyday.

That's reality, with teeth.


Project: Launch of the BMW Compact

Client: Phil Horton, marketing director

Brief: The new BMW Compact is every inch a BMW

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Jo Moore

Art director: Simon Robinson

Director: Tarsem

Production company:

Exposure: National TV


Project: Persil Non-Bio

Client: Becky Routley, European marketing manager

Brief: Persil Non-Bio is the nation's favourite non-bio

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Alistair Wood

Art director: Alistair Wood

Director: Mike Stephenson

Production company: Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: FA Barclaycard Premiership

Client: Jerry Finch, advertising manager

Brief: Barclaycard is the sponsor of the FA Premiership

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Dave Buchanan

Art director: Mike Hannett

Director: Paul Gay

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV


Project: Sunny Delight

Client: Dietger Dickmann, marketing director

Brief: Remind teens of the intense taste experience of Sunny Delight

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Dan Cole

Art director: Jo Smetham

Director: Trevor Robinson

Production company: PI Quiet Storm

Exposure: National TV


Project: BT "bringing people together" campaign -entertainment packages

Client: Katrina Lowes, head of consumer communications

Brief: Build awareness of BT's digital TV offers with ITV Digital and


Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writers: Laurence Quinn, Mike Nicholson

Art directors: Mike Norcutt, Daryl Corps

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: Predators exhibition

Client: Catherine Holden, head of communications and marketing

Brief: Raise awareness of the new family exhibition that explains the

terrifying battle between predators and prey

Agency: Burkitt DDB

Writer: Jon Leney

Art director: Richard Donovan

Typographer: Alison Wills

Exposure: London Underground and national press