There’s nothing creatives fear and loathe more than research. Broadly speaking, they’re probably right to do so. However mature and business-minded you are, you can’t escape the feeling someone is taking your baby away to be operated on by surgeons wearing boxing gloves.

There’s nothing creatives fear and loathe more than research.

Broadly speaking, they’re probably right to do so. However mature and

business-minded you are, you can’t escape the feeling someone is taking

your baby away to be operated on by surgeons wearing boxing gloves.

On the other hand, the fact ads are regarded as emotionally as babies by

great creatives is also problematic. Your great piece of work is

supposed to work in 30 seconds or in the turning (or preferably not) of

a page.

The way these things are pored over by awards juries is false - it is an

unsatisfactory approach to return at leisure to things that are not

meant to be works of art.

Funny things happen when you apply your own real world research.

I’ve heard many slag off the new British Airways commercial consisting

of individuals from all over the world in tears. I can’t honestly say I

can really tell you what this commercial is about - having, like a real

consumer, watched it a couple of times while partly involved in other

things. What I do remember is BA and the sense of tears of joy as felt

by those reunited with loved ones. In short, that BA is a huge and

huggable, jolly old bringer-together of people all over the world.

Were this the take-out reflected by the actual research, I suspect the

BA marketing department would also be shedding tears of joy.

The Pizza Hut commercial shows Jonathan Ross and Caprice Bourret meeting

for a pizza (in a hut?). As it turns out, geezers who can’t pronounce

their Rs make Caprice go weak at the knees, so Wossie has well and twuly

cwacked it. What’s the product story, granny Brignull? Well, having

again watched it in the same way as the BA spot, I’d say Pizza Hut makes

exceptionally tasty herb crust pizzas, so much so that they bring the

most unexpected people together for a smashing night out.

What’s the Audi A6 (I think it’s the A6) launch trying to tell us? Well,

the story is there’s this boat at sea somewhere near China which is

boarded by the Chinese military. They search the boat and find nothing -

because the contraband is being towed beneath the boat. Said contraband

turns out to be a brand spanking new Audi, fresh off the production line

for the driving pleasure of a Beijing overlord. Superb production

values, a big launch feel and, having seen it a couple of times, I am

left with the impression (which, by the way, Mr or Mrs planning guru, is

all any ad will leave you with in the real world) that a superb,

beautifully produced and much sought-after Audi has just been


I seem to recall that the new Boots 17 commercial purports to be a

message from a female-only TV channel suggesting tongue-in-cheek ways

for women to get back at men, with Boots 17 products somehow woven into

the story. This didn’t blow the wind up my skirt. But, then again, I

don’t wear a skirt.

Orange. More beautiful imagery from Larry and Rooney, masters of

beautiful imagery, all suggesting Orange telephony has developed all

sorts of interesting ways of helping us work together. Sold.

Next, a Scholl print campaign all about how all those glamorous sports

shoes they are always glamorously selling you can get very smelly and

unglamorous without Dr Scholl’s intervention. Fair enough.

Finally, a word of condolence for one of our number out there somewhere

- the excellent Tim Ashton. I suppose that if there is something worse

for a creative director than the chairman’s vote of confidence, then

it’s the chairman’s testament on the front page of Campaign that most

creatives are wankers.

Audi UK

Project: Audi A6

Client: Neil Burrows, head of marketing

Brief: Portray the Audi A6 as an exciting design for forward-thinking


Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writer: Andrew Smart

Art director: Roger Beckett

Director: Vaughan Arnell Production company: Godman

Exposure: National TV


Project: Boots 17

Client: Sue Bradbrook,

group product manager for self-selection cosmetics

Brief: Show how the 17 brand empowers teenage girls

Agency: St Luke’s Writer: Julian Vizard

Art director: Alan Young

Director: Pat Holden Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV

Hutchison Telecom

Project: Orange

Client: Robert Fallow, group marketing director

Brief: Communicate the importance of groups on the Orange network

Agency: WCRS Writer: Steve Little

Art director: John Selby

Director: Vaughan Arnell Production company: Godman

Exposure: National TV


Project: Footcare products

Client: Trevor Bell, international marketing director

Brief: Contemporise Scholl across Europe as

a footcare brand

Agency: DMB&B Writer: Dean Turney

Art director: Jim Saunders

Typographer: Ed Church Photography: Merton Gauster

Exposure: Men and women’s press and posters across Europe

British Airways

Project: Masterbrand

Client: Derek Dear, general manager, communications and information

Brief: British Airways brings people closer

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Creative director: Simon Dicketts

Director: Gerard de Thame Production company: Gerard de Thame Films

Exposure: National TV and cinema

Pizza Hut UK

Project: Garlic and herb cheese stuffed crust pizza

Client: Gary Haigh, marketing director

Brief: Launch a variant of the stuffed crust pizza

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Writer: Peter Souter

Art director: Paul Brazier

Director: Paul Weiland

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: Regional TV and satellite

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