PRIVATE VIEW: Tim Delaney, the group chief executive of the Leagas Delaney Group

Is it possible to run out of simple advertising propositions or ideas? You know, use them all up. So that the only ones left are somehow more complicated or obtuse.

I only ask because (1) it is often difficult to ascertain exactly what the hell is going on in so many campaigns and (2) there are a lot of ideas that are being regularly re-presented but not necessarily to the same client.

Take Drambuie Cream, for example. It's employing the "wicked" strategy.

The smooth drink (which, of course, can be taken both ways) with a sting in its tail. Or a scorpion's tail or a snake's bite and ... er ... whatever, you get the point. How about the smooth drink that pierces the sensibilities; enter thorns and barbed wire.

Have you seen these metaphors before? Have the agency, the team, the client? Or is it only me?

Green & Black's doesn't have a re-tread problem. It is just a little hard to fathom. These look like 48-sheet posters, presumably for the tube, because the website is smaller than it is on most 20 doubles.

The claim is good enough, but the "Close encounters of the chocolate kind" visuals give nothing away. But if you look really hard you can see the awe-struck humanoids holding a chocolate bar.

At least it is not cliched.

Unlike the Congestion Charge campaign. Find a standard-issue cheeky chappy spokesperson, give him some propaganda about how difficult it is to get into work and, because he's a comic, he can tell us "traffic in London is not a joke". The problem is that it's a £220 million experiment with our money created by a mayor who is anti-car. No other city in the world will require its citizens to run out into the night to pay a fine which grows by the hour with the threat of an SAS-style hit squad removing your car. The whole thing reminds you that the line between communism and fascism is fine indeed.

Panasonic is a lads' film. You know, those three lads laughing uncontrollably at another, the victim of a prank they've just played. Which came first?

The behaviour or the ads that portray it? The latter, obviously, as every other ad has the "same" three lads in it. In this one, they steal the best man's speech and then, courtesy of a picture-phone, show him that they have set light to it.

How funny is that? Hilarious. You can tell by the over-acting.

The Norwich Union campaign is harder to take exception to but that won't stop me. For a start, it is one of about 300 brands telling me that they can help me sort my life out. The Douglas Brothers-style photography is seductive, the people are either cod real or soothing voiceovers. Unfortunately, they couldn't resist the planner's advice that "Get sussed" is contemporary language and, therefore, good for the brand. The problem is I have seen this package before, and therefore I doubt whether it will "move the needle", as they say in America.

The Times was the only new piece of thinking, albeit a little simplistic.

The banana and the bottle are explained as metaphors for underestimation.

It is not a simple fruit or prosaic milk container, it is significant and The Times is the kind of newspaper that is capable of this kind of exposition on a daily basis (Surely Times readers already know this stuff? "Yes, but that's beside the point," the rising-star account man said). This is a newspaper brand campaign, always difficult for the editor to resist as the alternative is the dreaded one-week/day promotion. It does have the courage of its convictions, although if the films were somehow bigger the thought would have carried more weight.

In the end, I was just grateful I understood it.


Project: Drambuie Cream

Client: Caroline Sutcliffe, international marketing manager

Brief: Launch Drambuie Cream, based on the product differentiation of

the authentic malt whisky content, therefore appealing to more

sophisticated "women" as opposed to immature "girls"

Agency: Soul

Writer: Ben Steiner

Art director: Oliver Pugh

Typographer: Andy Bird

Photographer: Morten Laursen

Exposure: National magazines and posters


Project: Congestion Charge

Client: Michele Dix, assistant director

Brief: Create a public information campaign to inform people about the

new central London Congestion Charge

Agency: TBWA/London

Writer: Michael Burke

Art director: John Anderson

Director: Paul Weiland

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: The Times

Client: Andrew Mullins, marketing director

Brief: Position The Times as the intelligent paper that understands

what's important

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Writer: Mike Boles

Art director: Jerry Hollens

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National TV and cinema


Project: Norwich Union brand

Clients: Sally Shire, director of brand and communication, Norwich Union

Life; Kenny Leitch, director of brand, research and customer

development, Norwich Union Insurance

Brief: Demonstrate that Norwich Union is in tune with the key issues and

choices consumers face when sorting out their finances and insurance

Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Jerry Green

Art director: Roger Akerman

Director: Stuart Douglas

Production company:

Exposure: National TV


Project: Green & Black's

Client: Mark Palmer, marketing director

Brief: Get people to reappraise the taste of chocolate

Agency: Fallon

Writer: Ed Edwards

Art director: Dave Masterman

Typographer: James Townsend

Photographer: Ringan Ledwidge

Exposure: London Underground posters and national press


Project: GD87 mobile camera

Client: Hide Arayama, marketing manager

Brief: Demonstrate the possibilities of picture messaging with

Panasonic's GD87

Agency: Proximity London

Writer: Simon White

Art director: Paul Iaquaniello

Director: Malcolm Venville

Production company: Therapy Films

Exposure: Pan-European TV and cinema

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