STEVE HENRY 1
First off, a big welcome to my namesake who is gracing these hallowed
pages for the first time. I hope he becomes a regular feature.
Having the name 'Steve Henry' as synonymous with the genuine voice of
the consumer can't be bad for new business. And any occasional slip-ups
from me (such as doing an ad for Claims Direct, or being caught in a
crack den in Harlesden) can be conveniently blamed on 'the other Steve
Starbucks is a beautiful campaign, with a beautifully simple
A place to make you feel at home - so they show people really treating
the place like home. It's also got great music. The visuals, showing
people undoing their shirts and making jigsaws, aren't exactly what goes
on at my place. But then again, the words 'Danish sandwich', 'Uzi
submachine gun' and 'my bitches' don't always get a rapturous welcome
from the BACC.
(It reminds me of the Victorian lady who, after watching Anthony and
Cleopatra on the stage and witnessing a tableau of snakes, poison,
sword-fights and corpses, said to her friend: 'How different, how very
different, from the home life of our own dear Queen.')
EOC. Good stuff. A lovely bit of writing. We see a woman getting angry
because, as the voiceover says, once a month she gets a painful reminder
of her sex - her pay is 18 per cent less than her male colleagues'.
Great to see an agency taking a brief which could make the world a
better place and actually delivering something worthwhile.
Lucozade Sport. Instead of showing sexy athletes doing their stuff, we
see a little bald trainer who looks like the bloke who used to be in the
Benny Hill shows. It's different, and he comes across as genuinely
In my view, anyway. But I'm not really in the target market. I'm still
waiting for the first isotonic lager. It's like a female friend of mine
who rather brilliantly joined a gym which doesn't open until
I think that has the germ of a fantastic business idea in it.
Personally, I'm currently looking for a personal trainer with
Alzheimers, who will keep forgetting to turn up.
Miracle Gro. Not a very original idea - a plant compost that makes
plants grow. Well, I'll be blowed, what will they think of next? A
detergent that cleans your clothes? But the execution transforms it.
We're seeing a director at the peak of his talent here - some of the
shots are instantly, irresistibly funny.
Four interesting TV ideas, then. Now the print.
Port Salut - not bad. I quite fancy a bit of it, actually. The cheese
Habitat. Nice design, nice writing. But does 'nice' re-energise a
Personally I got a lot more motivated reading Tom Dixon's design
philosophy in The Sunday Times.
Finally, thanks to Campaign for injecting a new idea into Private
Anything which highlights the inherent subjectivity of this column (or
the Turkey on the back page) can't be a bad thing.
My views and those of Larry Barker are, ultimately, of no more value
than if something happens to get on the wrong end of John Tylee's
Although I imagine we will all have learned something from the untainted
view of the other Steve Henry.
I just wish we could have reviewed the latest Polo ad about peace of
mind. A great idea with fantastic music. My only worry is that the
visuals remind me of all the scariest minicab trips I've ever taken.
Talking of which - Steve, do you fancy a pint?
STEVE HENRY 2
I am 41 years old and married with four children. I buy the Daily Mail
every day and I'm going to buy a computer so I can surf the net.
I wouldn't call myself an advertising convert but I remember liking
those Cinzano ads from the 70s starring Joan Collins and Leonard
Rossiter. The only ads that have come up in conversation among my
friends recently have been the Budweiser 'whassup?' ads and Reebok's
beer belly. I'd generally rather make a cup of coffee than watch an ad
break, but ads are getting better and better. Car commercials are the
worst: they're very samey - I can't pick one out.
I've not got a lot to say about the various ads I've looked at. Only to
say there have been so many great memorable ones in the past - but not
any of these. Sorry.
Starbucks shows us two ads. The first opens with a man arriving at
Starbucks after a supposed hard day at the office. An assistant hands
him his regular drink and he relaxes on a sofa. The second shows a girl
doing herself up for a night out. She asks her boyfriend, who is playing
with a jigsaw puzzle, if he is coming. He says he wants a night in. The
aim of these ads is obviously to produce a homely environment, one
which, once settled, you wouldn't want to leave. The campaign is aimed
at late-night cinema goers. It doesn't really work for me though.
Lucozade Sport shows a series of scenarios featuring a 'coach' giving
advice to various sportsmen. Interestingly, no women - mistake? The name
of Lucozade is never actually spoken by anybody, but the brand name is
featured prominently in the background in most scenes. The idea is that
Lucozade gives that extra boost of energy to help you achieve your goal.
To be honest I spent most of the time trying to identify the sportsmen.
I only recognised one - Matt Dawson, the England rugby player.
EOC. This ad opens with a woman looking very upset at work. She is
obviously in a mainly male working environment, and appears more tearful
as the time passes. She marches off, clearly in a bad mood, pushing past
her laughing male colleagues. The men mention the obvious 'time of the
month' as she walks out. Heading straight for the ladies loo, she looks
at her payslip and it's revealed that women can earn 18 per cent less
than men for the same job. I originally thought it was another tampon ad
and braced myself for the usual fluffy stuff. I was wrong.
Plant & Gro (Miracle Gro). The music makes you look at this one. It's
really catchy - my two-year-old son started to dance to it and asked if
I could rewind the tape. The ad is funny, the timing is good. I liked
it. The music stayed in my head for the rest of the day. A winner with
me - and my two-year-old!
The Habitat posters use clever wording and pretty colours to grab your
attention. Not mind-blowing stuff, but very effective. The idea is that
their goods are too stylish to hide away - get out and show them off in
The Port Salut posters show two big guys looking mean and moody. One guy
has a bunny keyring, and the other guy is wearing a daisy chain on his
head. The idea is that, like the product advertised, the men are soft on
the inside. I thought these posters were dull, and unless you checked
out the punchline at the bottom, you could mistake them for a WWF
wrestling ad. If I saw these on a billboard I wouldn't take much notice.
Project: Lucozade Sport
Client: Fiona Labram, marketing manager
Brief: Lucozade helps you achieve the winning margin
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Writer: Mark Fairbanks
Art director: Mark Orbine
Director: Sam Cadman
Production company: Rogue Films
Exposure: National TV, cable and satellite
Client: Cathy Heseltine, marketing director
Brief: Position Starbucks as the ultimate place to relax and enjoy a
break from everyday life
Writer: Rob Potts
Art director: Andy Jex
Director: ACNE International
Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd
Client: Juliet Sokol, group marketing manager
Brief: Challenge the way people think about their homes
Writer: Peter Reid
Art director: Carl Broadhurst
Typographer: Dan Beckett
Exposure: National press and posters
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION
Project: Launch of EOC equal pay taskforce
Client: Sarah Wootton, head of communications
Brief: Originally a press brief to highlight the pay gap between men and
women. The creative team then went and shot the ad off their own backs
Agency: Lowe Lintas
Creative team: Wayne Hanson and Jeff Curtis
Director: Chris Beckles
Production company: Itinerant Films
Project: Port Salut
Client: Bel UK
Brief: Build consumer understanding of Port Salut by focusing on its
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: James Fryer
Art director: Majella Lewis
Typographer: Alice O'Shea
Photographer: Tim O'Sullivan
Project: Plant & Gro compost
Brief: Plants rooted in Miracle Gro Plant & Gro compost grow with
amazing abundance Agency: BMP DDB
Writer: James Sinclair
Art director: Ed Morris
Director: Chris Palmer
Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises
Exposure: National TV