The idea that I’d be raving about some advertising for Coca-Cola would have seemed inconceivable when I started in this business. Well, it just goes to show it’s a funny old game.

The idea that I’d be raving about some advertising for Coca-Cola

would have seemed inconceivable when I started in this business. Well,

it just goes to show it’s a funny old game.

My earliest memory of a football match is sitting in the commentary box

at Brentford, aged five, drinking Coke from a bottle through one of

those paper straws which went soggy and collapsed half way through,

listening to my father, Peter, and his mate, Alan Simpson, the Hancock’s

Half Hour writer, doing their entertaining live commentaries to blind

supporters in the stand. You can imagine how the Coke spot with the

blind supporter in the stand at West Ham made the hair on the back of my

neck stand up.

I think this series is brilliant. It’s getting Coke right under the skin

of football. Eat, sleep, drink is on the money. And the music spins and

spins. And isn’t it refreshing that Coke acknowledges football exists

beyond the Premiership? I could use up all 700 of my words on one of the

other ads featuring the physicist who reckons that the roar of a home

crowd can actually affect the flight of the ball to the home team’s

advantage, but I must move on. Most encouraging change of advertising



Yellow Pages drifts through a series of visual puns. We see a pregnant

woman and the word ’accommodation’ comes up. There’s a wedding and

’joiners’ is supered, a honeymoon bedroom scene prompts ’earth moving


You see how it works. There’s nothing wrong with a pun, as long as it’s

a current pun. Anyway, I think the handling of the type could have been

a bit more interesting, as word play is the idea. I assume it follows

the style of the type in the Yellow Pages, but for me it looked a bit

slapped on. Then there’s the track. In 1980 I couldn’t make out what the

Ramones were on when they recorded their cheesy version of Baby I Love

You, when they had classics like Every Time I Eat a Vegetable I Think of

You still to come. In retrospect, I guess old Joey Ramone had his

pension to think about. Gabba gabba hey ho.

I think if you are employing the old

product-arrives-and-situation-is-transformed strategy you’ve really got

to deliver some serious entertainment as well. Of this pair of Fanta

spots I prefer the mud teenagers of downtown Bongabong, but overall I’m

not convinced that the special effects are special enough, nor the

humour sharp enough.

This week’s print ads for Heal’s and Daihatsu are both looking for

different ways to show products which are interesting to look at. I like

the tease from Daihatsu but the final reveal doesn’t clinch it for me,

and leaves me wondering why being like Brains from Thunderbirds is a

good thing.

Weird? Not especially. Clever? Definitely not.

The attempt to own a look for Heal’s advertising makes a lot of sense as

the editorial art direction in the home magazines and style sections is

so seductive. Plus there are millions of great things around for your

home these days. I feel, however, that the products get a bit lost and

I’m not quite compensated enough with a feeling that Heal’s is the

place, which is a shame, because it certainly was.

Finally Gold Blend. I’ve never understood why advertising for something

which is essentially pleasurable, like drinking coffee, is such a


There was once a good one that Tim Hearn did with a VW on a clifftop,

although we’re still wondering why the girl had a tin of dubbin in her

glove box. Anyway, I digress ... Oh yes, maybe it’s the whole soap

format that’s so depressing - after all, most soaps are. The storyline

is never going to develop in these 30-second bursts to a point beyond

’will they or won’t they’, and I bet most people don’t care.

Let’s hope that in years to come when I’m warm and cosy in the NABS

home, watching football on the Coke channel, someone doing Private View

will be raving about a breakthrough in coffee advertising. Some


Coca-Cola GB

Project: Coca-Cola

Client: James Saunders, marketing manager

Brief: Demonstrate that Coca-Cola understands and shares the passion

football fans have for the game

Agency: Wieden and Kennedy Amsterdam Writers: Jon Matthews, Nick Wray

Art director: Ollie Watson

Director: Lenny Dorfman Production company:

Exposure: National TV

Daihatsu UK

Project: The Move

Client: Fiona Smith, marketing director

Brief: Launch a very weird-looking new car

Agency: Banks Hoggins O’Shea

Writer: Bryn Attwell

Art director: Mark Robinson

Photographer: Neil Barstow

Typographer: Martin Crockatt

Exposure: National posters


Project: Gold Blend

Client: Mark Beals, marketing manager

Brief: Continue to position Gold Blend as the classy, romantic instant


Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Jerry Green

Art director: David Lindsay

Director: Derek Coutts

Production company: BFCS

Exposure: National TV

Coca-Cola GB

Project: Fanta

Client: Jan Hall, consumer marketing director

Brief: Relaunch Fanta

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Will Farquhar

Art director: Ian Ducker

Director: Jorgen Loof

Production company: Rogue Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Brand campaign

Client: Colin Pilgrim, managing director

Brief: Reaffirm Heal’s commitment to quality

Agency: Leagas Shafron Davis

Writers/art directors: Aidan Hawkes, Rob Jebb

Photographer: Sebastian Hedgecoe

Typographer: Stephen Thompson

Exposure: London Underground 12-sheets, magazines

Yellow Pages

Project: Brand campaign

Client: Geoff Hurst, marketing communications controller

Brief: Demonstrate the different ways that Yellow Pages can be used in

someone’s lifetime

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Pat Doherty

Art director: Greg Martin

Director: Patricia Murphy

Production company: Patricia Murphy Films

Exposure: National TV