I’ll come clean. Over the past four decades I have never once harboured the desire to either join the navy or get my gob anywhere near the non-smouldering end of a cigarette.

I’ll come clean. Over the past four decades I have never once

harboured the desire to either join the navy or get my gob anywhere near

the non-smouldering end of a cigarette.

Therefore, the thought of being trapped inside a pressurised steel tube

40 fathoms beneath the Baltic in the company of 65 sweaty-arsed

Scandinavian submariners who’ve been gasping for a fag since Goteborg

falls some way short of my idea of fun.

Still, that’s the hideous true-life sub-aquatic scenario facing our

bunk-bound hunk in the new Nicorette commercial. How does he handle


Wait for the punchline.

With the rest of the crew desperately craving nicotine, our hero busily

scribbles the praises of Nicorette in his No-Fag log book, whistling an

annoying tune as he works. However, having scrawled the line ’helps

overcome urges’, he catches sight of a vision of sordid tawdriness

hanging above his bed and corrects the phrase to ’some urges’, before

disappearing behind a curtain and gettin’ jiggy with it, solo style.

All of which begs the question: is a commercial featuring a hand shandy

eligible for the Non-Alcoholic Drinks category of BTAA? (J. Arthur Rank

got a gong, after all ...)

This film’s a triumph. Another triumph, in fact, for the hugely talented

yet largely unheralded creative team of Frazer Jelleyman and Alasdair

Graham. I suggest BMP doubles their rum ration forthwith. Before

somebody else does.

You know that tired, old-fashioned Johnny Morris-style ’talking’ animals

idea that’s been surfacing and resurfacing like a malfunctioning U-Boat

for the past 35 years? Course you do. So does First Choice holidays.

Book early.

So you think you had a bad Christmas? You obviously haven’t seen the

latest film for The Samaritans. Here, to the incongruous warblings of A

Man Called Bing, we’re taken on a no-holds barred slow-motion

sightseeing tour of the season of ill-will: domestic violence, incest,

loneliness, divorce, solitude and single parenthood. Christ, if they’d

have thrown in Noel’s Christmas House Party I might have opened a vein

myself. Powerful stuff, brilliantly handled.

As is the COI’s drink drive campaign. Even as a non-driver I’ll admit to

experiencing a shudder on witnessing the endless procession of pixelated

(ex-)pissheads plastered across the trunk roads and TV screens of the

nation night after night this Christmas. If showing the dead ’live’

doesn’t work, I advocate armed, unannounced police raids on pub car

parks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: teetotalitarianism for


You know it makes sense.

As with all the VW ’affordability’ work, the genius of the new ’uncle

and baby’ film lies in the fact that this is actually two ads for the

(surprisingly ordinary) price of one.

Let me explain. Remember the bland-looking poster that made the man walk

into a freeze-frame? The really dull Adshel that floored a woman


Well, the duff ’un in question here is a really, really dull VW dealer

radio commercial. Trapped inside the body of the best TV commercial of

the year so far. And there’s the rub.

Does the same team write both ads? Or does the evil Baron Barker employ

a secret cellar full of Cinderellas, churning out ordinary price ad

after ordinary price ad, only to have them placed like uncut diamonds at

the heart of wonderful television scripts?

If so, I trust they have their posh frocks cleaned and pressed for


They shall go to the ball.

Have your say on channel six of CampaignLive at


Project: Drink drive

Client: n/s

Brief: n/s

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers

BBDO Writer: Nick Worthington

Art director: Paul Brazier

Director: Rupert Sanders

Production company: Outsider

Exposure: National TV


Project: Nicorette

Client: Mat Hakansson, branding director

Brief: Establish Nicorette as the brand which understands how to help

smokers control their cravings for tobacco

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Alasdair Graham

Art director: Frazer Jelleyman

Director: Dominic Murphy

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV


Project: Volkswagen affordability

Client: Nigel Brotherton, national communications manager

Brief: Communicate the surprisingly ordinary prices of a Volkswagen

Agency: BMP DDB

Copywriter: Ewan Paterson

Art director: Andrew Fraser

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: The Samaritans Christmas campaign

Client: Paul Gauntlet, director of external affairs

Brief: Remind people that whatever they’re going through this Christmas,

the Samaritans will go through it with them

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Writer: Alun Howell

Art director: Marcus Vinton

Director: Derek Coutts

Production company: BFCS

Exposure: National cinemas


Project: First Choice

Client: Philippa Harris, marketing director

Brief: Present First Choice as a younger, more customer-focused tour


Agency: Walsh Trott Chick Smith

Writer: Dave Trott

Art director: Gordon Smith

Director: n/s

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV

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