Yesterday I became 40, and maybe horribly jaundiced. Only time will tell.

Yesterday I became 40, and maybe horribly jaundiced. Only time will


The music in the new Adidas Naseem campaign is brilliant, the direction

is sharp and the words simpatico enough to make me think Naz wrote them

himself. But out of the eight commercials, only two are as coruscating

as the boxer himself. In ’round 4’, the awesomely cocky one talks

honestly about his most humbling experience in the ring - being knocked

down three times by Kevin Kelly. Naseem’s surprising candour reflects

well on the boxer and Adidas. In ’round 7’, Naz stares wide-eyed at

camera for 20 seconds then growls ’don’t blink’. Cut to Naz knocking out

some poor geezer who obviously did. It’s compelling and a real insight

into ring craft.

The campaign as a whole, much like Naseem’s recent fight with Wayne

McCullough, is a clear points victory, but could and should have been a


(Incidentally, before the McCullough fight, the MC introduced Naz as the

bloke wearing leopardskin trunks with Adidas trim - very clever


The new commercial for Wallis isn’t as good as the recent print


To cut a gratuitously long commercial short, a helicopter mechanic is

transfixed by a Wallis-wearing babe. He stands up to get a better look

and, silly boy, forgets about the chopper’s whirring back propeller.

It’s a fair dramatisation of the line ’dressed to kill’ but neither the

idea nor the direction are as sharp as your average helicopter blade.

The result?

A commercial dressed to make you go ’ouch’.

November is way too early for turkeys but Great North Eastern Railways

has served one up regardless. Once I’d deciphered the mind-warping

branding device that is ’GNEAH’, I managed to work out that the railway

serves sausages, has windows and allows me to take my shoes

off ... privileges offered altogether more seductively in the ’relax’

InterCity campaign a while back. If Great North Eastern Railways really

doesn’t have anything new to offer then it should trade off the

romanticism evoked by the name or show a real understanding of how

potential passengers feel when they get up on a cold, dark morning to

catch an early train to a meeting they’re shitting themselves about.

Because I’ve never actually seen anyone in their many restaurants, I’ve

always assumed that Beefeater is a Mafia money laundering operation. The

new campaign should persuade a few punters in. The positioning,

Beefeater as bastions of great British food, is astute and credible. I

particularly like the one about the chef who is quite rightly beaten up

for bringing French food (’en-flipping-dives’) into the kitchen.

However, I do have one major beef with the campaign. For its

pseudo-aggressive tone to really work, it needs to be funnier. Some of

the dialogue should have been sent back and prepared with more


In the new tongue-in-cheek Robertson’s commercial, a pogo-ing postman

goes about his work with frightening enthusiasm. Cut to early morning to

see the postman spreading Robertson’s on his toast. Cue endline,

something like, ’put a bit of zest into your day’. (Hmmm, very

Weetabix). The look and feel of the commercial harks back to that quaint

time when urban communities still existed and everyone thought the Queen

was really great. No doubt some will doff their caps respectfully when

it appears before them.

The new Independent commercial is absolutely exceptional. It’s an

exasperated cry against the kind of Stalinist bollocks that led the BBC

to forbid any mention of Mandelson’s sexuality. And good enough to make

Independent journalists question the veracity of their writing. If the

journos are suitably inspired, I know which newspaper I’ll be reading in

part two of my life.

Have your say on channel six of CampaignLive at


Project: GNER

Client: Lorraine Flower, marketing sales director

Brief: Project GNER as offering the best travel experience

Agency: Court Burkitt & Company

Writer: Jon Canning

Art director: Steve Chetham

Photographer: Tom Mulvee

Typographer: Alison Wills

Exposure: National press, magazines, posters and taxis


Project: Beefeater

Client: Charles Etherington, chairman and chief executive

Brief: Demonstrate Beafeater’s place at the heart of Britain

Agency: Mother

Director: LeMoine Miller

Production company:

Exposure: National TV


Project: The Independent

Clients: Brendan Hopkins, chief executive, Independent Newspapers (UK)

Brief: The paper for people who don’t like being told what to think

Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink

Writer and art director: Charles Inge

Director: Rob Sanders

Production company: Helen Langridge Associates

Exposure: Cinema and 48-sheet posters


Project: Robertson’s Golden Shred

Client: Colin Tether, managing director

Brief: Revitalise Golden Shred by communicating that it wakes up your

taste buds

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Tony Strong

Art director: Mike Durban

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: Northern and Midlands TV regions


Project: Wallis Clothing

Client: Pat Burnett, managing director

Brief: Continue to express the ’dress to kill’ campaign idea in film,

thereby attracting new customers to Wallis, while retaining its loyal

core customers

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer and art director: Graham Watson

Director: Olivier Venturini

Production company: Godman

Exposure: Warner Cinemas throughout England


Project: Prince Naseem

Client: Andy Towne, head of communications

Brief: Demonstrate that every aspect of Naseem as a boxer

is unique

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Rob Burleigh

Art director: Dave Beverley

Director: Stuart Douglas

Production company: D Films

Exposure: National TV and Sky

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