The Macallan. I’m sorry. I can’t take this stuff seriously. This brand used to have small, witty ads in Private Eye -- in effect they had their own distinctive tone of voice. Now... they haven’t.

The Macallan. I’m sorry. I can’t take this stuff seriously. This brand

used to have small, witty ads in Private Eye -- in effect they had their

own distinctive tone of voice. Now... they haven’t.

Vladivar. A fairly abrupt change in tone here, too. Presumably they ran

out of bloody puns. And these posters are weird -- in fact the headline

is genuinely outrageous, suggesting that consuming a bottle of vodka

equates to nothing more than good, clean fun.

I’m all for creative freedom, and I look forward to nipples-before-nine-

o’clock, but aren’t there ethical issues here? Moreover, will the

campaign work, even with its inherent shock value? I don’t know. I

personally wonder if anybody, ever, found the Goodies funny. I feel

slightly warmer towards the two choppers (although I’m not that excited

about them. It’s not like I’m a dog with... er... two choppers). There’s

a third poster with John Noakes in it; presumably he’s saying something

like ‘Get that vodka down yer, Shep’.

The underlying message seems to be -- ‘Remember those things you didn’t

like in the 70s? Well, Vladivar’s like them.’ Puzzling.

Lemsip. Yellow mushroom clouds demonstrate the atomic power of new

Lemsip Power+. Which is topical, at any rate. Presumably it’s a joint

promotion with the French tourist board. Or perhaps the agency’s French

partners co-wrote the ad. It’s undoubtedly an effective piece of

communication, but the whole thing makes me feel slightly uneasy. It

could be a logical extension of Solpadeine’s weapons imagery - pain-

killers as double-barrelled shotguns - but what can we expect next? The

napalm power of Hall’s Mentholyptus? Cue Robert Duvall: ‘I love the

smell of Benylin in the morning.’

Halfway through and I’ve done the whisky, vodka and Lemsip Plus. Things

are starting to look a bit blurred. I’m not sure about tackling a seven-

seater driving over a lake, but here goes.

Ford Galaxy. I always think MPVs are nature’s way of telling you it’s

time to get a vasectomy. This ad promotes the category very seductively,

although the idea of pretending the car is a plane seems a tad familiar.

I’ve definitely seen ‘train masquerading as plane’ and I dimly remember

seeing ‘ferry masquerading as plane’. We’ll probably see ‘lawn mower

masquerading as plane’ when summer next comes around. Having said that,

the ad stands out by being immaculately executed - a real class act.

McCains. Some face-distorting effects borrowed from the Mask enliven

what would otherwise be a stereotypical ad. Mum has to deliver the

product bunny, at one point speaking into the oven. The special effects

will help enormously.

And finally Campbell’s Meatballs. In which our hero, Malcolm Meatball-

head, faces the existential crisis of cannibalism. This ad is surreal.

Because, apart from anything else, what’s stuck on Malcolm’s head looks

a bit unappetising to me. But there are some nice touches - like the

weird voice dubbed on to Mum. And my favourite scene is where we see

Meatball-head pedalling a bicycle. I’d love to have been there when they

shot that - watching an actor with a round, brown object on his head

attempting to bicycle in a straight line.

This is undoubtedly brave advertising. But, obviously, advertising is

only part of any marketing mix. Unfortunately, I’m not privy to the non-

advertising work for any of these clients, but if advertising is going

to spearhead your multi-media mix, it has to be brilliant - and

translatable into other media.

I’ve been a bit grumpy about some of the work this week, so can I just

list some other current campaigns that I like? The AT&T films; the

Bristol and West TV ads; the Miller beer stuff; the Radio 1 press ads.

They all share one thing - a distinctive tone of voice which could work

in virtually any medium.

I thank you.

McCain Foods

Project: McCains Southern Fries

Client: Eric Jagger, senior marketing manager

Brief: The chips with a different taste

Agency: Poulter

Writer: Rick Kiesewetter

Art director: John Dean

Special effects: Alastair Hearsum

Director: Pete Truckel

Production company: Big Bang Productions

Exposure: National TV


Project: Ford Galaxy

Client: Brian Wade, advertising manager

Brief: Launch the Ford Galaxy

Agency: Young and Rubicam

Writer: Dave Henderson

Art director: Sam Hurford

Director: Daniel Barber

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV

Whyte and Mackay

Project: Vladivar

Client: Ronnie Leggett, brands marketing controller

Brief: Relaunch Vladivar as the vodka of choice for the hedonist

Agency: Cogent

Writer: Gary Brooks

Art director: Phil Lord

Photographers: Stock and John Ross

Typographer: Phil Lord

Exposure: National posters

Macallan Glenlivet

Project: The Macallan

Client: Robin Lambie, marketing manager

Brief: Position the Macallan as the finest malt whisky in the world

Agency: Faulds

Writer: Rich Lee

Art director: Shaun Stoker

Photographer: Stock

Typographer: Shaun Stoker

Exposure: National press and posters

Reckitt and Colman

Project: Lemsip Power+

Client: Justin Lord, head of UK marketing

Brief: Communicate the new benefits of the Power+ brand

Agency: BST-BDDP

Writer: James Sinclair

Art director: Ed Morris

Director: Richard Dean

Production company: Park Village

Exposure: National TV


Project: Campbell’s Meatballs

Client: Gerard McAleese, marketing manager

Brief: Promote Campbell’s Meatballs

Agency: Saatchi and Saatchi

Writer: Eugene Ruane

Art director: Casey Grady

Director: Morgan Hutchins

Production company: Morgan Hutchins Films

Exposure: National TV

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