Did you see that blinding game of football last night? Why don’t people write ads with ideas in them any more? I had that Julia Somerville in the back of the cab once.

Did you see that blinding game of football last night? Why don’t

people write ads with ideas in them any more? I had that Julia

Somerville in the back of the cab once.

Such are the various, time-honoured methods of launching into this


But let’s tackle this ’idea’ thing first of all. I wonder, do people

mean logical propositions when they say this? Because logical

propositions can be very comforting. And they can make you feel like

you’ve achieved something. But they tend to be behind all the ads we

hate, like that spot for Tic Tac and the ones for shampoos and washing

powders. So what do people see in them?

TV licence evasion. This campaign makes the link between spongers

helping themselves to other people’s things and not paying for your TV


There’s definitely an ’idea’ here and, at first sight, it looks like

quite a good one. As it happens, I saw a very similar idea in an Italian

ad a few years ago, where they were trying to encourage Italians to pay

their taxes (talk about pushing olive oil uphill). But, although it’s

refreshing to see a softer approach, I worry about its potential

effectiveness. Because, if I had decided to avoid paying my licence fee,

I’m not sure the fear of being called a sponger would get me to fork out

pounds 91. Similarly, I’m not sure that anyone ever gave up a career as

a drug dealer because someone accused them of ’not being a team


Umbro. A fabulous campaign. Which, again, understands the importance of

a distinctive tone of voice over a logical proposition. In terms of the

’nice soft grass’ ad, I must admit I felt that as I read it. And the

goalpost ad struck a similar chord with me - I once fell asleep in a

park while sunbathing and woke up to find I was being used as a

goalpost. But that’s Shepherd’s Bush Green for you.

I consider myself fortunate that I wasn’t being raped and injected with


Waterstone’s. Striking, witty and beautifully art directed. But, in my

opinion, lacking something. They’re lovely looking ads, but they’re

generic and the tone of voice isn’t distinctive enough (unlike Ikea’s

latest offering). What’s needed is a unique tone of voice for

Waterstone’s. Liking books, while in itself an admirable trait, is not

perhaps the most competitive claim for a bookseller these days.

Playstation. It’s loud, it’s shot with real energy and it’s full of

striking imagery. As someone once said in a different context - for

people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they’ll

like. Personally, I like the shot of the guy catapulting out of the

fridge. It’s an Inuit, innit?

And Ford Direct. While I yield to no man in my admiration for what has

been achieved for this client over the past year, I am not a huge fan of

this ad. To be honest, the used-car dealer network is always a bit of a

bugger to deal with, and this ad is only redeemed by a) an understanding

of Ford’s tone of voice and b) some nice touches in the direction.

It’s interesting how small a part logical persuasion plays in these ads

- especially in the ones I like most. But for those die-hards out there

who still hanker after a logical proposition, think about this.

If it were all about logic, consumers would just buy own-label


And most of us in advertising and marketing would be out of a job. And

that would be a shame, wouldn’t it ? Hang on. Did you see that? Bloody

van driver cut me up.

Waterstone’s Booksellers

Project: Waterstone’s Booksellers

Client: Martin Lee,

marketing director

Brief: Portray Waterstone’s as the book retailer that values the

importance, pleasure and power of books

Agency: BST-BDDP Writer: Nigel Roberts

Art director: Paul Belford

Photographer: Laurie Haskell

Typographer: Paul Belford

Exposure: National press

Sony Computer

Entertainment Europe

Project: Sony Playstation

Client: David Patton, European marketing manager

Brief: Take the powerful experience of Playstation

into the entertainment

mass market

Agency: TBWA

Simons Palmer Writer: Simon Bere

Art director: Marc Bennett

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National TV


Project: TV Licensing

Client: Georgina Hodges, marketing director

Brief: Present payment

of the TV licence as a

social obligation

Agency: BST-BDDP

Writers: Lucy Marsden,

Chris Jones

Director: Trevor Melvin Production company:

Blink Productions

Exposure: National TV

Ford Direct

Project: Ford Direct

Client: Kevin Griffin,

manager, Ford Direct

Brief: Reposition Ford Direct as the brand that really understands the

emotional side of used-car purchase

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Writer: Mike Brooking

Art director: Dave Keightley

Director: Trevor Robinson

Production company:

Quiet Storm

Exposure: National TV


Project: Umbro brand campaign

Client: Tim Gardiner, brand marketing manager

Brief: Umbro is as dedicated to football as you are

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Nick Hastings

Art director: Dave Godfree

Photographer: Simon Mooney

Exposure: Men’s and football magazines, match programmes

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