Did you see anything of the London Marathon? As all the runners streamed through Canary Wharf I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people were competing. If only ten out of the 20,000 could have entertained any remote chance of winning, what were the rest of them running for?

Did you see anything of the London Marathon? As all the runners streamed

through Canary Wharf I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people were

competing. If only ten out of the 20,000 could have entertained any

remote chance of winning, what were the rest of them running for?

Now, creative people are competitive folk, too. I remember one night at

the British TV Advertising Awards when John Webster picked up his usual

clutch of golds, another writer from BMP had also done well. He shook

his fistful of arrows at John. ‘Look,’ he blazed, ‘more!’. Awards fuel

the desire to win and to be seen to win. So it’s at about this time of

year that advertising becomes a fascinating spectator sport. Mind you,

at over pounds 100 a throw, witnessing D&AD at the Grosvenor House is

more expensive than the Cup Final, but that’s a gripe for another time.

So, who will be up for the golds and silvers this year? No doubt many of

the same people who won prizes last year. As in the marathon, only a few

can ever seriously expect to be winners.

My own view is that there are probably only about a dozen naturally

gifted creative people in London. The rest of us just work bloody hard

at it. Like mucking around with a Rubik’s cube, we hope everything will

suddenly click. Now, looking at today’s offerings, I don’t think

Webster, Delaney, Carty and Campbell (they count as one), Gray,

Greenhalgh, Gorse and Worthington, Hass, Norways et al can have been

responsible for any of it. There isn’t an obvious award winner in sight.

That being said, the BMW 5 series commercial is definitely ahead of the

field. A great-looking car gets the great-looking advertising it

deserves. If Man Ray came back to make a commercial, this would be it.

To me, the engineering claims used to justify interest in a car that’s

all about image seem pure flim-flam. Eighty-two per cent greater

torsional rigidity, eh? ‘You could do with some of that,’ my wife

suggested amusingly. But then she is Danish.

Rover seems to be building brand values for the 600 by dramatising the

relationships that can develop in and around the car. In this execution,

a son takes his father back for a trip around the old country.

Undemonstrative and restrained and just a bit twee. Like the product.

I liked the Bisodol spot. A jolly soundtrack alerts us to things that

make you go parp and things that make you go aarggh. A vindaloo extra

hot, for instance. I would have given Alexei Sayle less to say, but

thank you, Publicis, for giving me a laugh.

Thanks, too, to Faulds for telling me about the fish-finger buttie. I

can’t wait to make one. These Seafish recipe ads may belong to a genre

but they’ve been put together with wit and skill.

I was less taken with the DTI Action Japan campaign and I find it hard

to rave about the Kellogg’s film. Sorry, Jaspar. What I can see in the

rather sub-Ardenesque photography of the cornflakes commercial, though,

is that the nut has been moved forward. But you don’t have to produce an

award winner to feel you’ve triumphed and I hope the J. Walter Thompson

team is properly proud that it persuaded a famously conservative client

to be more adventurous than is its wont.

If they’ve nudged the quality of work up a notch, every team represented

here will feel they’ve succeeded, too. Like most of the runners who

ended up footsore, dehydrated and a long way from the winners’ podium

last Sunday, we set out not to win but to do well. With every job we do,

we compete against ourselves. As a result, our clients are on to a

winner every time.

Patrick Collister is executive creative director of Ogilvy and Mather

The Sea Fish Industry Authority

Project: Seafish

Client: Bob Kennedy, marketing director

Brief: Position fish as deliciously simple

Agency: Faulds Advertising

Writer: Rich Lee

Art director: Shaun Stoker

Photographers: Martin Thompson, Victor Albrow

Exposure: National press and posters

Kellogg’s (UK)

Project: Kellogg’s cornflakes

Client: Mark Sims, marketing director

Brief: Kellogg’s cornflakes give you get up and go for a great day

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Simon Brook

Art director: Blaise Douglas

Director: Paul Arden

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: National and satellite TV


Project: BMW 5 series

Client: Martin Runnacles, marketing director

Brief: Launch the 5 series, to highlight the changes in the new car

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Steve Little

Art director: John Selby

Director: Paul Street

Production company: Street Life

Exposure: National TV

Rover Cars

Project: Rover 600

Client: Rod Ramsay, director, Rover Group marketing

Brief: Emphasise the style and relaxed quality of the Rover 600

Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas

Writer: Peter Matthews

Art director: Adrian Kemsley

Director: Anand Tucker

Production company: The Producers

Exposure: National TV

Department of Trade and Industry

Project: Action Japan

Client: not supplied

Brief: not supplied

Agency: Knight Leach Delaney

Writer: Simon Walker

Art director: Karl Mather

Exposure: National and trade press

Whitehall Laboratories

Project: Bisodol Extra Strong Mint

Client: Gerald Eva, senior director, marketing and new products

Brief: Contemporise the brand and communicate the unique features of

Bisodol Extra Strong Mint

Agency: Publicis

Writer: Noel Sharman

Art director: Rick Ward

Directors: Adam Cameron, Simon Cole (Joe Public)

Production company: Fat Fish Films

Exposure: National TV


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