Good grief. What the hell has happened to Private View?

Good grief. What the hell has happened to Private View?

Of late, Private View has been castigated for being scathing. This

surprised me a bit. When I was asked to write this one, Campaign

suggested that if I didn’t think the ads were good enough, they could

send me some different ones.

Two days later, one of the creatives whose work is appearing this week

called me to say that he knew I was reviewing his work and that,

coincidentally, we hadn’t had lunch for 13 months (well, he actually

said we hadn’t had lunch and I worked out how long it had been).

And then, on viewing the work, I discovered that the craftiest agency of

all had managed to secrete a comprehensive - and effusive - PR release

with its film.

So it’s doubly depressing that the View remains stubbornly critical.

Especially as it is apparently neither a view, nor private.

Anyway, having been on numerous management bonding courses, I decided to

approach the task in a constructive way. Working in harmony with my

trusty art director, Nick Scott, we tried to nurture, to validate and to

encourage the creative teams involved and so establish the unique

personality of each campaign.

Let’s start with Lee Jeans. Here we have a real example of peer-group

pressure. Oh, how the Lee film longs to be a Levi’s commercial. It’s

understandable to have an inferiority complex in this market. So, to

out-Levi Levi’s, the scenario is racy, to say the least.

Two people, a sort of slimmed-down Grant and Sharon, find themselves

unable to connect on the spaceship they are occupying (problems

confronting reality). In order to make the two-backed beast, they button

their jeans together.

I don’t think the correct way to confront Lee’s problem is to use

similar music, similar casting and similar raunchiness to Levi’s, but

not do any of it quite as well.

Conformity next. Unfortunately for the Independent, its advertising


Instead, it follows fashion. Yet another series of commercials that use

wacky, illuminated type to scan around the screen. The Freudian

suggestion is obvious: go back to the depths of your persona. They use

Saatchi’s brilliant endline, ’It is. Are you?’. All they need to do now

is make it work again.

The Friday night execution for Channel 4 excited a primal memory in


I liked the poster because what I do on Friday nights (well, earlier on

Friday nights, anyway) is curl up with fish, chips and Channel 4. So I

can validate this experience.

The Tunes poster is well balanced, intelligent and straightforward. No

hidden psychosis, just an elegant and graphic solution. However, I feel

that the campaign needs to develop its interpersonal skills and learn to

share a joke.

Littlewoods, like Lee, is in a market where the competition - the

lottery - is more seductive and more fashionable. Rather than going for

showbiz glitz, Littlewoods has wisely gone back to its roots. A charming

commercial features Alan Hansen. The gag is that, despite winning a

million quid, Hansen is sick as a parrot over his team’s slipshod

defence. Going back to its core values, Littlewoods positions itself at

the heart of football.

Such self-knowledge deserves to work.

Clerical Medical takes a dull field - financial planning - and uses a

simple conceit executed with style. Nine different commercials look at

three different futures that might happen to three different people. The

conceit is that none of the people know what’s going to happen to them;

but whatever it is, Clerical Medical will be there to accommodate their

financial planning. The films are an example of that most essential

human characteristic: empathy. As any counsellor will tell you, once you

have gained the patient’s trust you’re virtually home and dry.

So I’d like to say congratulations to ... Ooops, sorry. I’m not supposed

to know the team, am I?

Channel 4

Project: Channel 4

Client: Wendy Lanchin,

head of marketing

Brief: Raise awareness of Channel 4 and its programmes

Agency: BMP4

Writer: Mike Wharton

Art director: Alistair Proctor

Photographer: Flowers - Tony Heathcote; Fish and Chips - Jennifer

Cawley; Dig It - Jan Myrdal

Exposure: National 48-sheet posters

The Independent

Project: The Independent

Client: Margaret Harvey, marketing director

Brief: Re-establish core brand values

Agency: M&C Saatchi Writer: Merlin Sinclair

Art director: Justin Bussell

Director: Oliver Harrison Production company: English and Pockett

Exposure: National TV


Project: Tunes

Client: Not supplied

Brief: Contemporise the brand and persuade consumers to reassess Tunes

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Daryl Corps

Art director: Mike Nicholson

Photographer: Kelvin Murray

Exposure: National posters


Project: Littlewoods football pools

Client: Tony Hillyer, marketing director

Brief: Put football back into the pools

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Mick Mahoney

Art director: Andy Amadeo

Director: Mark Williams

Production company: Tony Kaye Films

Exposure: National TV

Lee Jeans

Project: Lee Jeans

Client: Derek Woodgate, marketing director for Lee Europe

Brief: Establish Lee as real jeans with sex appeal

Agency: Grey Advertising

Writer: Lisa Beck

Art director: Mallie Bandaranaike

Director: Adrian Moat

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: National and satellite TV

Clerical Medical Investments

Project: Clerical Medical

Client: Martin Finch, marketing communications manager

Brief: Continue to build Clerical Medical’s position as the number one

choice for professionals

Agency: BDDH

Writer: Owen Lee

Art director: Gary Robinson

Director: Anthony Easton Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV

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