Private View

It looks like the creatives behind the Nicky Clarke Sport shampoo ads planned a good game.

It looks like the creatives behind the Nicky Clarke Sport shampoo

ads planned a good game.

Strategy feels right, tone feels right, not a bad half-time result. Why

they should then give up and abandon the match entirely by refusing to

write headlines is beyond this particular spectator. Instead, we have

the most formulaic expression of tired puns I’ve seen since leaving


Five own goals is my count.

I haven’t seen Larry and Rooney’s First Direct ads for some time.

However, I can well remember they were about people queuing and places

being closed.

Simon Day of the Fast Show fame has been drafted in to tell us that the

new Alliance & Leicester ads are about capped mortgages and cashback on

a credit card. He’s wrong. They’re about trainspotters and Morris


Nothing else. Next time, over to Larry I think.

Let’s leave Larry and go to WCRS. Positioning something as fun cannot be

much fun at all. Countless countlines share the same proposition. You

do, however, stand a pretty good chance if you can make your product own

the most fun. If these Butterkist commercials don’t do it, I don’t know

what will.

Fox’s Biscuits aren’t alone in trying to capture the UK’s supposed

new-found sense of caring, sharing and sensitivity, the apparent legacy

of a new government and Princess Diana’s death. Del Monte and Nescafe

are there with them. Not in the same ad break though. Which I quite


A whole ad break for a computer, a car, a sport product ... so what? A

pity then I feel a bit ’so what?’ after seeing this promo for Fox’s.

Most of the people I know who have seen it, hate it. I wish I could

share their passion.

It’s early days, but McDonald’s has been slowly building the foundations

that perhaps one day could support ’advertiser of the year’ (should BMP

and Volkswagen allow). It continues to do so with these World Cup

scratchcard promotions. Good performances all round, particularly the

two black couples.

I have to say, however, I’m not convinced that the guy in that

particular spot knew what year Lord of the Rings was published before

reading the script. And had I known, I certainly wouldn’t have said it

was ’easy’.

Like the blokes in the ad, I can’t see me going anywhere courtesy of

this particular promotion.

About seven years ago I was on a shoot in Texas. The grip gave me his

card, which I still have. Handwritten, it reads - ’Robert Chambers. Grip

from Hell.’ Robert was part Irish/part Cherokee which, no doubt,

accounted for a full head of jet black hair at fiftysomething. Another

noticeable feature was his hands. His fingers and thumbs had been broken

and dislocated so many times they looked like a bad drawing. Threaded

through the belt loops of his jeans was a large buckled belt, the design

on the buckle that of a bull rider. He’d achieved a top ten ranking at

the Bull Riders National Championship no less than four times. The belt

was his prize for the year he finished third, his best ever ranking.

Robert carries a bullet with him everywhere. It’s lodged in his shoulder

and was his prize for being caught in a liaison with a ’buckle bunny.’

She was married (I think he knew). He knows he was lucky if only because

he managed to get down the fire escape of the hospital before they’d

operated and he’d have had to produce his insurance papers. Women as a

hobby have since been overtaken by sneaking up on rattlers. We see

death, he sees a belt. Since his teens, his mum has sent him the same

Christmas present every year - a new pair of Wranglers. (All the same

size too.) I know he will die in them. I am just amazed he hasn’t

already. Anyway the point is this. Wrangler equals Rodeo. How obvious.

How brilliant. If I were the client I’d borrow money to run this


Nicky Clarke

Project: Nicky Clarke, Sport haircare

Client: Lesley Clarke, managing director

Brief: Launch Sport as radical sensual haircare

Agency: Publicis Focus Writer and art director: Martyn Marler

Photographer: Tony McGee

Typographer: Martyn Marler

Exposure: National press and magazines

Alliance & Leicester Project: Alliance & Leicester building society

Client: Tim Pile, director of strategic marketing

Brief: Show that the Alliance & Leicester offers financial products that

take account of people’s everyday needs

Agency: BMP DDB Writer and art director: Dean Webb

Director: John Lloyd Production company: Limelight

Exposure: National TV

Trebor Bassett

Project: Butterkist

Client: Louise Cooke, marketing controller

Brief: Raise awareness and position the brand as an alternative snack

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Darren Bailes

Art director: Alan MacCuish

Director: Johan Gulbranson Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV and satellite

McDonald’s Restaurants

Project: Scratchcard promotion

Client: Julie Moore, marketing manager

Brief: Reinforce McDonald’s credentials as a major sponsor of the World


Agency: Leo Burnett

Writer: John Kelley

Art director: John Foster

Director: Simon Levene Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV

Northern Foods

Project: Fox’s Biscuits

Client: Marcus Hanson, marketing director

Brief: Make Fox’s Biscuits famous

Agency: St Luke’s Writer: Alan Young

Art director: Julian Vizard

Director: Richard Heslop

Production company: Partizan Midi-Minuit

Exposure: National TV

Wrangler Jeanswear Europe

Project: Wrangler jeans

Client: David Smith, European marketing director

Brief: Position Wrangler as the authentic Western jeans

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Nick Worthington

Art director: John Gorse

Director: Melodie McDaniel Production company: Palomar Pictures

Exposure: Pan-European TV and cinema