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?
Project: Channel 4
Client: Wendy Lanchin,
head of marketing
Brief: Raise awareness of Channel 4 and its programmes
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
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
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
Writer: Mick Mahoney
Art director: Andy Amadeo
Director: Mark Williams
Production company: Tony Kaye Films
Exposure: National TV
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
Writer: Owen Lee
Art director: Gary Robinson
Director: Anthony Easton Production company: Stark Films
Exposure: National TV