PRIVATE VIEW: Mark Wnek, the chairman and executive creative director at Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

The new Daily Telegraph commercials highlight an interesting facet of the ad person's job. An advertising communication, at its best, is a conceit which, like good theatre, film or literature, has the power to suspend disbelief: a great ad will make you forget (or not mind) that you're actually being sold something.

What comes slap bang up against this are some people's ideas about branding.

At their worst, these people insist that for "branding" to come into effect then at some point toward the end of the commercial the conceit needs to be shattered and the advertiser appear centre stage with a "Ta Da!", a huge logo and a phrase such as: "Purveyors of quality offal since 1428." At their very worst, they insist that there must be no suspension of disbelief at all, but instead lingering product shots and cross-sections of biscuit and toffee or hair follicles and mentions of the product name throughout.

The Telegraph campaign treats each and every copy of the newspaper as best-selling literature with such an unwavering and deadpan adherence to the conceit, that even though this isn't the masterful Charlie Inge at his very best and the conceit is a touch clunky, you still begin to get seduced by it. The end result is respect for an obviously intelligent product that treats your intelligence so respectfully. In the best of the commercials, a friend gives another a gift-wrapped copy for his birthday to "aaaahs" of approval all round. The giver says: "Don't worry if you've read it, I've kept the receipt." Receiver delightedly replies: "No, I don't think I've read this one. Thanks."

Unlike film and theatre, where the conceit can be anything you want, in our game it needs to be relevant to and cast at least some limelight on the product. The Tennent's Bollywood campaign is a beautifully wrought tale of arranged Indian marriage and ownership of a Tennent's brewery.

Not a lot to do with drinking lager and not really funny enough to make the irrelevance worthwhile.

If you're Nike, all you really need do is film a bunch of famous people running about in your gym kit and the stuff flies off the shelves, apparently.

This is a recipe for laziness if you're not careful, as in the latest stuff with people kicking a ball about and doing tricks, or doing similar stuff with a basketball. The addition of an animated Stickman who does post-production tricks doesn't add a lot.

What may stop the gym kit flying off the shelves in England is casting as the star of your commercial the smug little toothy twat who fluked the winner for Brazil against us in the last World Cup. Fireable miscasting.

The commercial with the dog coming out of the guy's mouth as a stunningly grizzly embodiment of dog breath is a brilliant advertisement for the special effects company, not quite so brilliant for the product whose name escapes me (Wrigley's Xcite).

Unbelievably, the ever-increasing Aids epidemic has somehow been allowed to slip on to the backburner of public consciousness. To reverse this trend, the excellent National Aids Trust urgently requires a more powerful tool than the solid, worthy press work at present.

The posters for BBC Southern Counties Radio are neat, eminently unremarkable, nowhere near raucous or salient enough for the medium, like someone's got Stephen Fry to commentate on wrestling.


Project: Bollywood

Client: Sandra Mitchell, head of marketing

Brief: Tennent's lager is uniquely desirable

Agency: Newhaven/Leith

Writer: Zane Radcliffe

Art director: Gareth Howells

Director: Martin Wedderburn

Production company: MTP

Exposure: Scottish TV and cinema


Project: Stickman

Clients: Stefan Olander, European advertising director; Paolo Tubito,

European brand communication manager

Brief: Inspire creative self-expression through sport

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam

Writer: Tim Wolfe

Art director: Frank Hahn

Directors: Paul Hunter ("Stick hoops") and Josh Taft ("Stick football")

Production company: HSI Productions, Los Angeles

Exposure: European, Middle Eastern and African TV


Project: BBC local radio

Client: John Ryan, marketing manager

Brief: BBC local radio stations give the listener more relevant

information for their area and their day ahead

Agency: BBC Broadcast

Writer: Ben Friend

Art director: Anton Ezer

Typographer: Unreal

Exposure: National 96- and 48-sheet posters


Project: The Daily Telegraph brand campaign

Client: Mark Dixon, marketing director

Brief: Create positive brand reappraisal of The Daily Telegraph among

non-readers by exposing them to the fact that it is the best-selling

quality daily

Agency: Clemmow Hornby Inge

Writer: Brian Turner

Art director: Micky Tudor

Director: David Lodge

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV


Project: National Aids Trust campaign 2003

Client: Keith Winestein, campaign development manager

Brief: Raise awareness of the stigma and discrimination people living

with HIV face

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writers: Julian Dyer, Michael Campbell, Joel Bradley and Andrew Fisher

Art directors: Keith Terry, Colin Jones, Phil Clarke and Dave Askwith

Typographer: Roger Kennedy

Photographer: Jens Assur

Exposure: National tabloid press


Project: Xcite

Client: Toby Baker, marketing manager

Brief: Communicate the efficacy of Xcite by showing how it can help you

cover your traces

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Mike Nicholson

Art director: Daryl Corps

Director: Happy

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: National TV