PRIVATE VIEW: Malcolm Duffy, the creative director at Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy

It has been reported that we are exposed to at least 3,000 different advertising messages per week. It's now Thursday, so let's see how message numbers 1,710, 1,711, 1,712, 1,713, 1,714 and 1,715 have succeeded in grabbing the nation's eyeballs.

In the battle for our attention, it seems that comedy is still the creative departments' weapon of choice. And, not one to disappoint, Fray Bentos provides us with a whole host of belly-laughs. It sends up the Coke/Levi's/Top Gun macho guy as we swap the Hollywood world of six-packs for the real world of whopping waistlines. It's a funny ad based around an incredibly audacious strategy, namely eating lots of pies makes you fat. If fortune favours the brave, then Fray Bentos has shown that it has got an awful lot of guts. has succeeded where many an ad agency has failed - it got Ricky Gervais to do its commercial. And a good choice he is, too.

Ricky delivers the goods as the factory manager betraying hidden prejudices towards employing disabled workers. The script is a good one. But just one word of caution - I just hope that the irony works. Harry Enfield dropped his Loadsamoney character because the figure he was trying to ridicule ended up being loved rather than loathed.

The Mini press ads are just plain silly, and thank goodness for that.

A spot the difference competition between an elephant and a car. A family hugging their Mini. And a Mini covered in bubble wrap. It's not the type of campaign that would work for many car manufacturers, but it's a perfect fit for the fun-loving Mini. I can't see them troubling the jury, but they make you smile, which is more than can be said for most press ads out there.

Marmite is having more fun with its love it/hate it strategy. This time, we're at the beach. A lifeguard, in mid-Marmite munch, goes to save a drowning swimmer. Kiss-of-life turns into snog-of-life as the rescued bather gets a taste of that delicious/fucking awful (delete as appropriate) Marmite and plays tonsil tennis with the lifeguard. It's a funny gag, but as part of the strength of the Marmite campaign is its very Britishness, I think it might have been funnier if it had been set at a bog-standard council swimming baths instead of Baywatch-on-Sea. has gone for the Wild West pastiche that's proving so popular right now. Apparently, the advantage of playing poker online is that you won't get killed. This is a throwback to the lawless days of the dotcom boom, when advertisers would spend huge amounts of money telling you not very much at all. A bit less comedy and a bit more copy wouldn't have gone amiss.

As trouble looms in the Middle East, one of the few clients not allowed to have a laugh right now is the RAF. This ad features all the people rejected in the Fray Bentos casting session. Lots of chiselled jaws, trim tums and steely looks. It's well shot with all the action-packed cameos you'd expect. I just wish it had been well shot with some action-packed cameos I didn't expect.

But that's one of the nice things about being a consumer nowadays. If you don't like any of these ideas, don't worry, there'll be another 3,000 along next week.



Client: Martyn Miller, head of marketing

Brief: Support Ladbrokes' online poker portal

Agency: Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB

Writer: Brian Riley

Art director: Matt Lee

Typographer: Martin Crockatt

Photographer: Spiros Politis

Exposure: National press and style magazines


Project: RAF recruitment

Client: COI Communications/ RAF

Brief: Make the RAF more relevant to young people and persuade them to

consider it as a career choice

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Kieran Knight

Art director: Max Clemens

Director: Malcolm Venville

Production company: Therapy Films

Exposure: National and satellite TV


Project: Fray Bentos

Client: Helen Lynn, marketing manager

Brief: Dust off the brand

Agency: Mother

Writer: Mother

Art director: Mother

Director: Happy

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: Regional TV


Project: Attitude

Client: Caroline McLaughlin, marketing manager

Brief: Highlight the prejudices often facing people with disabilities

while looking for employment

Agency: Edge<

Writers: Rob Jebb and Ricky Gervais

Art director: Neal Colyer

Director: Ricky Gervais

Production company: Trumpet

Exposure: National cinema


Project: Marmite Lifeguard

Client: Oliver Bradley, group marketing manager

Brief: Refresh the love/hate campaign

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Adam Tucker

Art director: Justin Tindall

Director: Dominic Murphy

Production company: Partisan

Exposure: National TV


Project: Mini brand press campaign 2003

Client: Emma Lowndes, marketing manager

Brief: Communicate some of Mini's strong benefits, in Mini's own

inimitable way

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Andy Brittain

Art director: Yu Kung

Typographer: Doug Foreman

Photographer: Lee Jenkins

Exposure: National press