Private view

Yak! Yakult kul yak ‘Yak-Ult ya ku lt’. Kul Yak.

Yak! Yakult kul yak ‘Yak-Ult ya ku lt’. Kul Yak.

I am of course talking Yakult. Apparently, I’m one of 23 million. We’re

told in the latest TV campaign for said yoghurt drink that for 60 years

everyone has been talking Yakult.

These advertising folk, where do they get their inspiration from?

Well, all can be revealed on closer inspection. Yakult contains a

special strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus casei shirota that goes

to work in your intestine. And what comes out? Well you’ll have to see

the ads for yourself.

From ads about yoghurt to ads about vaginal thrush.

Is it just me or do so many press ads for pharmaceutical products appear

to exist in a parallel universe. A world of lip and hand models, a land

of only one typeface - Univers - taming words like vagina and


I remember at university - Wednesday at 7.00pm on Capital Radio - the

whole college would be transfixed to hear what problems of a sexual or

emotional nature Anna and the Doc had to deal with. Vaginal thrush was

very common, I can still remember the suggested treatments. Alas, all

that was before Diflucan - the complete treatment in one capsule. I

haven’t a clue how to turn this proposition into compelling advertising,

all I know is, this isn’t it.

Where Audi and Bartle Bogle Hegarty have achieved a distinctive and

flattering photographic look in the press with Russell Porcas’s moody

lith prints, BMW’s ads have a Man Ray meets X-ray photographic look

about them. There’s been a lot of brou and a fair amount of haha about

the launch of the new 5-series in motoring circles. I can imagine the

response in the creative department was less dynamic. New car launches

can be the brief from hell unless you’re dealing with a radical new

model. Launches invariably rely on hyperbole along the lines of ‘the

future now’ or, in this case, ‘a car greater than the sum of its parts’,

quite a claim when BMW charges pounds 565 for pounds 50 worth of

metallic paint. These shots of engine parts look mighty beautiful

adorning London’s Adshel Superlites. Something Britain’s archaic

newspaper printing processes failed to do justice to - despite buying

all the broadsheet’s first five pages (geddit?).

A wave of professional envy still sweeps over me every time a client

mentions Tango. As in ‘...something like what they did for Tango’.

Still Tango, as it says on the tape, should have a question mark after

it. Is the latest ad for the non-fizzy version of its famous brother

rather flat in comparison? It certainly isn’t still the Tango I


The brand essence of this product and its advertising is so distinct, so

irreverent, I just wonder if it makes sense dropping the ‘orange hit’

idea, replacing it with dehydration and hoping Ralph and Tony will bail

you out.

The Cuprinol wooden man is not one of the great advertising icons. On a

night out he would sit alone, jealously eyeing the raucous window table

of Messrs Smash Martian, Cresta Bear, Jolly Green Giant and Honey


In these three executions Cupri-man is seen pulling the rug from some

superbly executed film pastiches including a faultless Raging Bull

number. His performance, his least wooden yet, is marred by some new and

rather unconvincing prosthetics (pronunciation: pathetics).

I thought the ‘IBM solutions for a small planet’ campaign was easily one

of the best pieces of advertising last year. But the freshness of that

idea feels as stale as Berwick Street market at 7pm in this ‘anthem’


The new rotten ingredient is boring brochure-speak that translates,

through subtitles, as a selection of the world’s diverse tongues. It’s

lost all its charm. A smiling face can’t compete with an ‘unscripted’

line in a foreign dialect.

Yak yakult Kul Yak Kult. I say.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

Project: Diflucan One

Client: Malcolm Phillips, marketing director

Brief: Launch Diflucan One as the convenient, effective way to treat

vaginal thrush

Agency: Integrator

Writer: Rick Sear

Art director: Nigel May

Photographer: Barry Lategan

Exposure: Women’s press

Britvic Soft Drinks

Project: Still Orange Tango

Client: David Atter, marketing manager, Tango

Brief: Communicate the ‘thirst-busting’ qualities of Still Tango

Agency: Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury

Project team: Chas Bayfield, Jim Bolton, David O’Hanlon, Robin Azis

Director: Andrew Gillman

Production company: Academy

Exposure: National TV


Project: Cuprinol

Client: David O’Brien, marketing manager

Brief: Make Cuprinol stand for toughness, durability and good looks

Agency: Cogent

Writer: Andy Howarth

Art director: Mark Taylor

Director: Mark Denton

Production company: Brian Byfield

Exposure: National TV and Sky


Project: IBM brand

Client: Sarah Portway, director of communications (UK)

Brief: IBM - magic you can trust

Agency: Ogilvy and Mather

Writer: Daniel Gregory

Art director: Mylene Pollock

Director: Jeff Lovinger

Production company: Lovinger Cohn and Associates (US)

Exposure: National and satellite TV

Yakult UK

Project: Yakult UK launch

Client: Yoshinori Kuroda, director

Brief: Launch Yakult in the UK

Agency: Travis Sennett Sully Ross

Writer/art director: Gill Sully

Director: Marc Munden

Production company: R. J. Phillips

Exposure: Channel 4 London, Carlton


Project: BMW 5-series

Client: Martin Runnacles

Brief: Promote the 5-series launch through press in association with TV

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Steve Little

Art director: John Selby

Photographer: Ashton Keiditsch

Typographer: Barry Brand

Exposure: National press and six-sheet posters

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