Private View

Sensation. At the Royal Academy, yes. At the Grosvenor House? I don’t think so. While modern British art is fresh, funny and capable of getting inside your head and derailing your day, modern British advertising is coasting.

Sensation. At the Royal Academy, yes. At the Grosvenor House? I

don’t think so. While modern British art is fresh, funny and capable of

getting inside your head and derailing your day, modern British

advertising is coasting.

Take the campaign for Berlei (ink on dps. 1997). Simply designed and

plainly written, these ads promote Berlei as the comfortable line in


The models aren’t intimidating, the sell isn’t sex and the management at

Berlei are doubtless delighted to be back talking about detail and

design. Just one snag. Just as their bras are in the comfort zone, so

are their ads.

VirginNet does things differently. Faced with the challenge of telling

us you can get a month on the Internet for free, some mother’s decided

to dramatise the idea of freedom. Fair enough.

But, as ads go, this one’s not so much a shark in formaldehyde as a

couple of swingers in the Forsythia.

Scotland Against Drugs also fails to get under the skin. ’Whatever you

want to be, you don’t want to be on drugs’ is a very pat advertising

line that I can’t believe is going to have any influence anywhere.

Especially not in the inner city. In Clydebank, Cumbernauld and East

Kilbride. Perhaps it would have been an idea to get some people who know

about drugs to address the problem. Did anyone ask Irvine Welsh or

Damien Hirst if they might have been able to make a different kind of

connection? To persuade me not to take drugs, you’ll need something a

bit more stimulating than this.

As you will if you’re going to get me to gamble. Sadly, the new campaign

for the National Bingo Game Association isn’t going to win anything.

Six, ten-second commercials set out to let us know that every day

someone scoops up to pounds 100,000 playing National Bingo. So, as the

ad points out, you could buy a new car, quit your job - this one’s good

- have pounds 100,000 in the bank. Sensational stuff. If only they’d

spent that much making the ads.

Instead, this week’s big budgets went to Cheltenham & Gloucester and

Adidas. C&G on a trip to the Arctic. Adidas on a trip to the future.

Both films look most impressive. However, in the case of C&G, it seems

they forgot to pack an idea.

The best that came out of their luggage along with the snow goggles and

the thermal underwear was some far-fetched nonsense about catching the

abominable snowman, linked to the promise that Cheltenham & Gloucester

helps keep you one step ahead. (Geddit?) And this from the house of


The same Saatchi that has been the patron of all that is vital and

inventive among that other section of our creative community. Now, have

we lost sight of him or has he lost sight of us?

Thankfully, there are signs of salvation in the Adidas commercial.

Conceived as a vehicle to show off the squad of international stars, the

film pits the Cool XI against the clones. Hence Beckham, Ince, Desailly,

Del Piero and Co miraculously take to the field to play against

themselves. Genetically matched, the only thing that can separate the

teams is their boots. It’s a neat idea shot with real style.

The conception of the stadium, the players’ tunnel and the crowd as a

video installation are all original. Film-making which shows players

tackling and competing against their own likenesses is a dazzling

sleight of hand.

If you want to find fault with it, you’ve got to ask what Gascoigne is

doing in the team (despite his recent efforts against the Moldova Ladies

XI) and what’s with Beckenbauer’s acting? Apart from that, it’s the only

one of this week’s ads that might make it in to any kind of

retrospective a year or so from now.

Sensation can be seen at the Royal Academy until 28 December.


Project: Berlei brand campaign

Client: Laura Cannon, marketing director

Brief: Berlei understands women’s problems with bras and offers


Agency: Abbott Mead

Vickers BBDO

Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw


Robert Erdman

Exposure: Press and posters


Project: VirginNet

Client: not supplied

Brief: not supplied

Agency: Mother Creative team:Robert Saville, Mark Waites, Libby


Exposure: National press


Project: Predator Traxion

Client: Neil Simpson, global advertising director

Brief: Reaffirm Adidas’s position as the number-one soccer brand

Agency: Leagas Delaney Writer: Rob Birley

Art director: Dave Beverley

Director: Mehdi Norowzian Production company: Joy Films

Exposure: Global terrestrial and satellite TV

Scotland Against Drugs

Project: Primaries campaign

Client: David Macauley, campaign director

Brief: Focus on the hopes that children have and how drugs can devastate

those hopes

Agency: Faulds Advertising

Writer: Chris Miller

Art director: Ruth Yee

Director: Paul Archard

Production company:

And Howe

Exposure: Scottish TV

Cheltenham & Gloucester

Project: Mortgages and investments

Client: Chris Steele, general manager, marketing

Brief: Emphasise C&G’s speed and efficiency of service compared with


Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Susie Henry

Art director: Susie Henry

Director: David Garfath Production company: The Paul Weiland Film


Exposure: National TV

The National Bingo Game Association

Project: National Bingo

Client: Paul Talboys,

chief executive

Brief: Promote the fact that every day someone will win up to pounds


Agency: BMP4 Writer: Martin Cox

Art director: Richard Lovell

Director: Dave Stewart

Production company: Shed Films

Exposure: National TV

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