PRIVATE VIEW: Larry Barker

Here's a thing.

I see more brilliant ideas coming through this one office in a single

day than I'll see in a month of watching TV and reading the papers.

I'm sure it's the same in every creative department. From the way they

are treated you'd think ideas were cheap currency.

Yet, by the time it gets to publication/airtime, they are rarer than

hen's teeth.

What happens? Who's to blame? I think we all know. Still makes you cross

though, doesn't it?

One thing's for sure. Full marks for getting in there every day and

fighting the good fight for half-decent ideas. Because if you

don't ...

The Fiat Doblo Cargo is a small van aimed at the small businessman. So,

obviously, one's first port of call is the Karma Sutra. Exactly. The

connection is tortuous to say the least.

The writer, henceforth known as "The Man with the Golden Pun", has

really gone to town with the copy. I counted ten bits of word play on

the whole "flexible" theme. Go on my son.

BBC News Online tells us how up-to-the-minute it is with some

ten-year-old news. The "one minute is a long time in news" sketch is

fair enough, I suppose. I just feel that the Wall is a bit overdone

these days. It's well filmed and all that but, in the end, it's really

just a 60-second press ad.

Tropicana is an odd one on several levels.

First, bottled fruit juice quite patently isn't the antidote to


You then take a duff premise and cloud the issue with some jokes about


I think the execution of these needed to be subtler if they are to win

the "cool" vote. The backpacks are overdone; you didn't need the wired

business types and the loony on the train.

Three TV spots from BT. The sad thing about the recent slanging match in

these very pages over my last review is that the team who did the

"football commentary" execution won't know whether I'm just being smarmy

when I say I think it's a good idea and very well executed. But I do,

and they'll just have to take my word for it. They have a real

"feel-good" quality like the best BT work has always had.

I don't much like the other two, by the way. So, as you see, I'm not all


Dulux is a brilliant campaign. I'm insanely jealous of it. And the idea

behind this one is as strong, if not stronger.

But why the music, why the "fake sultry ad" bit?

This campaign was always marked by its purity, its reality. It doesn't

need all the filmic add-ons that, I'm afraid, weigh this execution


I think it's a shame.

Finally, Renault Clio. Here's a confession. I secretly liked the ads

with sexy French piece chucking stuff around.

I was even willing to put up with the pathetic knob gags. The one bit I

found a tad cheesy was the "Va Va Voom". Which was the one bit they

decided to carry over to this latest campaign. Hmm.

Where once we had a posh foreign bird showing off her legs, we now have

a bloke making the bed.

The only female representation we have is a rather gnarled hand (I'm

sorry, but you take a look next time) sticking a pink flashing light on

top of said motor.

We then follow what now looks like a gay police car round the

beautifully lit streets of some nameless city. And then it ends.

Tell me it's a teaser. Tell me the driver is, in fact, the lovely


Tell me she has Nicole in the back and Papa's gone down the shops and

won't be back for a couple of hours.

Go on. A chap can dream, can't he?


Project: Tropicana

Client: Bruno Gruwez, marketing manager

Brief: Make Tropicana handy-sized bottles an essential part of the

London worker's daily life

Agency: Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB

Writer: Bryn Attewell

Art director: Mark Robinson

Typographer: Mark Robinson

Photographer: Dean Marsh

Exposure: Posters and press


Project: Updated every minute

Client: Zoe Moore, head of marketing

Brief: Raise awareness among 25- to 44-year-old online users

Agency: AMV BBDO

Writer: Mike Nicholson

Art director: Daryl Corps

Director: Walter Stern at Academy

Production company: BBC Creative Services

Exposure: BBC TV


Project: You find the colour. We'll match it

Client: Kerris Bright, marketing director

Brief: Demonstrate the breadth of Dulux's colour offering

Agency: AMV BBDO

Writer: Nick Worthington

Art director: Paul Brazier

Director: Paul Gay

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV


Project: Renault Clio

Client: Jonathan Wignall, national advertising manager

Brief: Make the Clio a more attractive proposition to 25- to 35-year-old

males by moving it from provocative chic to provocative cool through the

injection of Va Va Voom

Agency: Publicis

Writers: Paul Quarry and Andy Jones

Art directors: Jamie Colonna and Scott Sparks

Director: Mark Denton

Production company: Blink Productions

Exposure: National and satellite TV


Project: Fiat Vans

Client: Paul Godden, brand director

Brief: Create a distinct personality for Fiat vans and demonstrate their


Agency: D'Arcy

Writer: Richard Lamb-Hughes

Art director: Richard Holmes

Exposure: National posters and press


Project: Bringing people together

Client: Katrina Lowes, head of advertising

Brief: Demonstrate BT's role in hosting and co-creating a network


Agency: AMV BBDO

Writers: Mike Nicholson and Laurence Quinn

Art directors: Daryl Corps and Mark Norcutt

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: National TV