The Mellorsometer:

The Mellorsometer:

***** A real till ringer. D&AD should be informed.

**** Very good. I wish I’d been in the room when they came up with


*** Good. Worth the battle.

** Average. Hard times, smaller budgets, tougher research, blah blah


* A smeller of Gorgonzolian proportions.

’Too many notes.’ Remember this piece of crass criticism by his royal

patron when Mozart presents his masterpiece in the film Amadeus?

’Too many cuts,’ I’ve heard clients say and I’ve privately evoked the

Philistine king and his naive judgment. Yet here I am about to do the

same. In this review of four drinks and a hangover, two of the drinks

commercials seem to suffer from the Amadeus syndrome.

I was so bedazzled by the generosity of editing and the

self-consciousness in the camera work that I completely missed the point

of the Baileys Irish cream ad. Finally it clicked. The not bad notion

that the people looking into the lift on each floor are mesmerised by a

couple drinking Baileys on the floor of the lift - not having sex.**

Even more cuts in Tia Maria, though I had less difficulty in holding the

general plot of saturnine wickedness. The line, ’have you met the

Princess of Darkness?’, was a pretty emphatic clue.

I know these films are designed to be oblique and drinks such as this

are sold on atmosphere, but the ads are interestingly cast with

fashionable beautiful bad people I felt I would have liked to know

better. When I worked on Tia Maria at Publicis I always thought our

’after dark’ spots with Iman were a bit tame, but if it took two hours

of feature film to summon up voodoo in Angel Heart it’s probably a

trifle ambitious of Rainey Kelly to try for it in 30 seconds.***

I’m fed up with TV. Aren’t you? Transvestism, that is. First there was

Jimmy Nail in a dress. Then Kurt Cobain. By the time we got round to the

real thing with Eddie Izzard, I was beginning to feel men cramming into

dresses was about as newsworthy as Pamela Anderson bursting out of


Still, it’s a nice try by Hooper’s Hooch.

The ads are well written, the direction deft and amusing, and compared

with those Harry Enfield in drag numbers perpetrated, I think, by the

same brewery, admirable in their restraint.***

I wanted to end this piece by saying ’I started with a famous grouse

(referring to the Amadeus quote) so I’ll finish with one’. But as it

took a clumsy pair of brackets to tell you how clever my pun was I’ll

just tell you how clever the puns behind the Famous Grouse spots are


I think these ads are really terrific. Simple and utterly charming,

their economy in production cost only helps the gentle economy of the


Although a tiny bit redolent of a White Horse campaign, with two white

horses and the line, ’make it a double’, we were all trying to beat the

caption camera to the endline - well done.****

So much for the hard stuff. Now the hangover.

In the American 100 best ads two DDB Alka Seltzer ads - ’Alcatraz’ and

the ’spicy meatballs’ TV commercial parody - top the list. The current

’life boat’ ad by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO could give them a run for

their money. The shock of the shipwrecked boatswain going cannibal and

Donald Sinden plummily intoning: ’Alka Seltzer - when you’ve eaten

something you shouldn’t have,’ had me roaring. I haven’t got out five

stars on the Mellorsmeter since ’twister’, but as the Awardsfests

approach I predict a cupboardful for this one.*****

And finally, a sad postscript to all that drinking. The annual COI Anti

drink-drive spot. I think this accident-scarred girl’s convincingly

scripted musings to the mirror are a better-than-average attempt to put

over the story. I just wonder how well a sober message like this would

stick out in the frenetic fast-cut world of Drinksville.***


Project: Tia Maria

Client: Trudy Lloyd, marketing manager

Brief: Reposition Tia Maria in a younger market

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe

Writers: Robert Campbell, Richard Beesening

Art directors: Mark Roalfe, Andy Blood

Director: Andy Morahan

Production company: Great Guns

Exposure: National TV


Project: Baileys Irish Cream

Client: Nicolette Robinson, marketing controller

Brief: Position Baileys as a drink to be enjoyed at anytime

Agency: Court Burkitt and Company Writer: Mike Court

Art director: Nick Scott

Director: Sandra Goldbacher

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV


Project: Christmas Anti drink-drive

Client: Tony Allsworth, head of publicity

Brief: Add to the social condemnation of drink-driving while targeting

17- to 24-year-old men

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Steve Boswell

Art director: Steve Drysdale

Director: Simon Cellan Jones

Production company: and Howe Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Hooper’s Hooch

Client: Seamus McBride, marketing director

Brief: Totally refreshing

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Writers: Matt Bartley, Mark Wnek

Art director: Kiki Kendrick

Director: Paul Weiland

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: TV launch of Famous Grouse

Client: Bill Farrar, marketing director

Brief: Transfer the press campaign to TV

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Creative team: Mary Wear, Damon Collins

Directors: Jerry Hibbert, Dave Throssel

Production companies: Hibbert Ralph Animation, The Mill

Exposure: National TV


Project: Alka Seltzer

Client: Patrick Johnson, marketing director

Brief: Position Alka Seltzer as a fast relief for stomach problems

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Patricia Doherty

Art director: Greg Martin

Director: Roger Woodburn

Production company: Park Village Productions

Exposure: National TV