PRIVATE VIEW: Tim Ashton, a partner at Circus

I can accept personally not being smart enough to produce some of

the best of the work reviewed on these pages, but what I really struggle

with is not being "smart enough" to understand a lot of the work around

at the moment. If we're all ad savvy consumers, I'm obviously the least

savvy of them all.

Or is it that strategists and creatives have taken the accepted ad

literacy and sophistication of their audience too far and simple, clear

communication has made way for cryptic indulgence? And so with less

savvy and more navvy, I approach this week's sophisticated output.

First up, three beautifully simple executions featuring clean shots of

classic FMCG brands. But where there was once Campbell's or Jack

Daniels, the famous name is replaced with Brand and the

phrase: "Rich in knowledge, no added waffle." This advertising is aimed

directly at me. And as far as it goes I think it's saying: "Take a look,

we're a new marketing website that you're about to find indispensable."

Hmm. But why?

Credit Suisse has just returned from Barcelona with a talented director

and some budget left over to go play in post-production. You'd know this

if you saw its very pretty new commercial, part black and white and part

red and blue, a look I can safely say I've never seen before.

Accompanied by a typically foolproof aria, the pictures combine with

well-crafted titles to make a big deal about being "in all aspects of


Who? What? Why? How? So what?

I'd love to know more about Credit Suisse, honest. Why don't you want to

tell me?

The next 60 seconds of film set to music celebrates the gift to the 21st

century that is the mobile phone. We see shots attempting to capture the

love affair of man and Nokia. In the final throws a title asks: "How are

you?" And a red Vodafone logo appears.

Well, as you're asking, I've been a little coldy lately having caught a

chill. Thanks for your concern, err ... Vodafone. Oh. And while you're

asking I'd be a lot happier if you could do something about those ugly

phone masts springing up all over the country, annoying ring tones,

microwave health scares, excessive roaming charges ...

To launch Mario Kart for Nintendo, four new ads feature a quartet of

septuagenarians in "link up" mode variously sabotaging each other's


Oh dear, I understood every word of it. They must be missing a trick,

surely. The whole purpose of gaming commercials is to bamboozle. These

films are reminiscent of the work of Cliff Freeman in the States.

Reminiscent, but not as good.

By far the strongest work this week is for the COI Communications Adult

Literacy campaign. A string of commercials so weird and spooky, so fresh

and so right they fill me with hope. Like all great work I can instantly

think of reasons why these films could so easily never have been made.

Congratulations to COI and all concerned. Get the tape in. Draw your

curtains. Eat a big piece of cheese.

And just when I thought I understood most of this week's crop. Here it

is ... the obscure. Eckoh. A website where you can do stuff such as

retrieve e-mails, book tickets and buy stuff ... I think. From a series

of post-modern ugly shots of deranged "real people", we're told "there

is a simple explanation". So what is the role of the advertising if it

isn't to deliver this simple explanation? Would someone please explain

to me what's going on. Is this good? Am I the only one not getting it?



Project: Eckoh voice portal

Clients: Andy Eymond, marketing director; Richard Gale, marketing


Brief: Brand campaign to launch new phone service

Agency: Quiet Storm

Writer: Becky Clarke

Art director: Trevor Robinson

Photographer: Rory Carnegie

Exposure: National press and magazines


Project: "How are you?"

Client: David Haines, global brand director

Brief: Global communication campaign

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam

Writers: Ralf Zilligen and Jon Matthews

Art directors: Todd Schulz and John Boiler

Director: Lenard Dorfman

Production company:

Exposure: TV


Project: Brand Republic

Client: Mike Hewitt, new-media director

Brief: Launch Brand

Agency: Banc

Writer: Paul Gerrard

Art director: Ben Holman

Photographer: Jack Bankhead

Exposure: Trade press


Project: Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Client: Franco De Cesare, marketing director, Europe

Brief: Launch Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and dramatise the four-player

capability of GameBoy Advance

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writers: Jack Stephens and Adam Griffin

Art directors: Rob Nielson and Rob Spicer

Director: Derek Hom

Production company: Avion Films Production

Exposure: Channel 4, satellite and cable TV


Project: Adult Basic Skills

Client: DfES

Brief: Aim to appeal to adults with literacy and numeracy problems by

removing any sense of personal fault

Agency: St Luke's

Writers: Seyoan Vela and Colin Lamberton

Art directors: Seyoan Vela and Colin Lamberton

Director: David Hartley

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Credit Suisse Group

Client: Beat Buchmann, marketing director

Brief: Drive informed awareness of the brand and reinforce its presence

and personality in the market

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Writer: Alan Curzon

Art director: Nigel Rose

Director: Adrian Moat

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: Global TV