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

Ogilvy once said: "People don't buy from clowns." It would be

interesting to know what he'd have made of this week's offering. It

seems that, whatever the product, we just can't stop being silly.



Take the Royal Mail ad. Fans of Carry On films will probably love our

Elt as he rubbishes the virtual world of the internet in favour of a

mountain of goodies from the Royal Mail. The pudgy-fingered pianist gets

to pull some funny faces, plug his new single, and generally frolic

around with his package. It's not my cup of tea, but then what do I

know. I still find Hello! magazine hysterical.



Harvester has made a stab at tickling our ribs with a series of ads

featuring people in awkward situations who then get to talk about it

over a prawn cocktail at their local Harvester. The best of these

features a mum trying to explain to her daughter what two baboons are up

to in their cage (the post watershed slot should give you a clue). Not a

bad idea for a campaign, but perhaps just a bit too much cheese for my

liking.



The Bisto ad sees an elderly couple having dinner at home. The bloke

pours all the Bisto gravy over his meal, much to the annoyance of his

missus. She claims to be pregnant. He faints.



She nicks his meal. He pops back up and says: "Are you sure I'm the

father?" This probably looked quite good on paper. Unfortunately,

something's been lost in the telling. It's one gag I can't see doing the

e-mail rounds.



It's a lot harder to be funnier in print, but the Schweppes creatives

have given it a go. The ads are big and bold and stand out from the

usual clutter. Karl Lagerfeld puts Camilla Parker-Bowles into her

wedding dress, while Margaret Thatcher visits Jeffrey Archer in his

cell. So far so good. But then the punchline: "Sch ... you know who?" I

do know who, I'm just not entirely sure why?



Peugeot 406 sidesteps the belly laughs and turns on the

wry-smileometer.



Over a series of nicely shot vignettes, Heather Small belts out: "What

have you done today to make you feel proud?" It's like the soundtrack to

an American blockbuster, but instead of Bruce Willis striding toward a

rocket we see regular guys doing regular things such as giving blood,

putting the toilet seat down, a dad giving away his daughter and, of

course, a bloke buying a Peugeot 406. Harmless enough, but the gag

shortage will stop this one being talked about down the pub.



Finally, Kylie Minogue, riding Agent Provocateur, romps home as this

week's winner. The cinema ad sees the tiny temptress wearing her

regulation Agent Provocateur stockings and suspenders, see-through pants

and lacy bra. She tells us that she's going to prove that Agent

Provocateur is the most erotic underwear in the world. Kylie then climbs

aboard a fluffy, red bucking bronco and writhes around, soft-porn style.

The Melbourne minx then dismounts and speaks to the male members (pun

intended) of the audience: "Will all the men in the audience stand up."

She looks out into the cinema. QED. The men would rather sit down at

this precise moment, thank you very much. The punchline's dragged out a

bit, and I'm not entirely sure what the old biddy in the ad's got to do

with it. But minor quibbles. The music's good. It's well shot.



And, unlike most ads out there, it's actually funny.



ROYAL MAIL

Project: Royal Mail Business and Consumer Markets

Client: Paul Troy, brand and communications director

Brief: Royal Mail makes virtual shopping a physical reality

Agency: Bates UK

Writer: Pat Doherty

Art director: Rob Kitchen

Director: Gregory Rood

Production company: Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV

PEUGEOT MOTOR COMPANY

Project: Peugeot 406

Client: Xavier Peugeot, advertising director

Brief: The Peugeot 406 is for people with depth

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Writer: Mark Wnek

Art director: Olly Caporn

Director: Anthea Benton

Production company: Partizan Midi Minuit

Exposure: National TV

AGENT PROVOCATEUR

Project: Agent Provocateur

Clients: Joe Corre and Serena Rees, owners

Brief: Get Agent Provocateur talked about by a wider audience

Agency: cdp-travissully

Writer: Mick Mahoney

Art director: Andy Amadeo

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: London cinemas

COCA-COLA GREAT BRITAIN

Project: Schweppes

Client: Leslie Davey, senior marketing manager

Brief: Do some good ads for Schweppes

Agency: Mother

Writer: Mother

Art director: Mother

Typographer: Mother

Photographer: Alison Jackson

Exposure: National press

CENTURA FOODS

Project: Bisto Gravy Granules

Client: Sue Knight, marketing director

Brief: Dramatise people's passion for gravy

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Kes Gray

Art director: Dennis Willison

Director: Kirk Jones

Production company: Tomboy Films

Exposure: n/s

SIX CONTINENTS RETAIL

Project: Harvester Restaurants

Client: Adam Martin, director of marketing

Brief: Drive reassessment of the brand

Agency: Publicis

Writer: Ira Joseph

Art director: Jack Steers

Director: Paul Weiland

Production company: Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: TV (London, Central, HTV and Meridian)