Private view

In an article a few weeks ago, a 24-year-old blubbed about how grown-ups were being beastly to his ‘generation’.

In an article a few weeks ago, a 24-year-old blubbed about how grown-ups

were being beastly to his ‘generation’.

‘Please, Sir, they’re from the 60s (gulp, gulp) and they’re not doing

ads for us Sir (wobbly lower lip, eyes brimming) and we’re not going to

buy their products...Sir.’ Voice trails off as an embarrassing puddle

begins to appear on floor.

Well, stap me. ‘Youth reject advertising shock.’ Well, Mateyboy, youth

have always turned their backs on advertising and they’ve always loved

it. My 15-year-old daughter accuses me of being a manipulative bastard

and then goes off whistling ‘If you like a lot of chocolate...’

And if you want a generation above all others that rejected advertising,

it was precisely the 60s generation.

(And another thing, while I have you: let’s have no more rock magazine

drivel from thirtysomethings with aggressive haircuts, black clothes and

redbrick degrees about how silly the 60s were. If you’d grown up with

50s dreariness of cabbage, mud green paint and brown lino, you would

have thrown off your clothes and scampered headlong into the psychedelic


And anyway, our seven clean-limbed and clear-eyed graduate trainees

claim happily for themselves and their friends to be consumer sponges.

Not for them the ‘nice to see this idea coming round again’ reaction of

the weary advertising veteran to the Blaupunkt car stereo ad featuring

crash-test dummies coming to life to a heavy metal track. They liked it

and they’re right when they say it’s witty and relevant. ‘It makes its

point and it makes us laugh,’ they said, and, as its fragrant account

director claims, it researched brilliantly. Always an argument that

impresses me.

The graduates and I were in confused accord with both the Inland Revenue

and General Accident work. The liveliest moment on the General Accident

commercial is a sudden burst of logos and numbers, like an outbreak of

acne on your screen. It’s preceded by carelessly shot images suggesting

insurance with a voiceover talking about pensions. The income tax

poster...well, you work it out.

After all these years, has tiredness crept into lager ads? It’s as if

we’re all waiting for the next ground-breaking idea. The Foster’s

campaign isn’t it, but our critical grads saw them as sufficiently

different and funny to put them among the best around. The Australian

double act are engaging and intriguing, the art direction gives all the

Foster’s branding cues but ‘Tickle it you wrigglers’? Presumably there’s

going to be a big poster campaign to go with this and that may bring the

line to life, but will it become part of the national argot, as

doubtless the client has been promised? (We’ve all done that


The Air Miles campaign prompts a lot of unanswerable questions, such as:

who are they advertising to and why? Personally, I think it’s a

reconnaissance mission by Bartle Bogle Hegarty on the British Airways

business, and why not? They’re charming little ads and the significance

of the Ostrich was kindly explained to me by the Oxbridge intake.

(Ostriches don’t fly, geddit?) And there was me happy thinking it was

the whim of a capricious creative team.

Finally, on the Economist, here it is verbatim from one of the grads:

‘The direction, backing music and voiceover are magnetic, building to

the point where viewer and voiceover coincide: ‘Hey, it’s Henry

Kissinger.’ A gem.’

All I’d add is for those clients currently bothering their agencies

about getting synergy between print and TV, this is the way to do it.

The Economist has one of the strongest graphic looks ever, but it

recognises that true synergy comes from transferring attitude, not

visuals. Our under-23s - and I - love the ad.

Andrew Cracknell is the chairman and executive creative director of

Ammirati Puris Lintas

The Economist

Project: The Economist

Client: Andrew McGregor, director of marketing

Brief: If you don’t read the Economist, you will get caught out

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: David Abbott

Art director: Ron Brown

Director: Peter Levelle

Production company: Beechurst Film Productions

Exposure: ITV and Channel 4, London only

General Accident

Project: Pension Assured Fund

Client: Ian Bullock, retail marketing manager

Brief: Launch new pension fund

Agency: Publicis

Writer: Paul Campion

Art director: Stephen Glenn

Director: Laurence Dunmore

Production company: Great Guns

Exposure: National, Cable, Sky TV

Inland Revenue

Project: Inland Revenue self-assessment

Client: Helena Rafalowska, head of publicity

Brief: Build awareness of the self-assessment tax scheme

Agency: Leagas Shafron Davis

Writers: Trevor Webb (penalties), Aiden Hawkes, Rob Jebb (Hawaii)

Art directors: Steve Campbell (penalties), Aiden Hawkes, Rob Jebb


Typographers: Steve Wallington, Steve Thompson

Illustrator: Snowden Fine

Exposure: National posters


Project: Blaupunkt

Client: Stefan Bochsteiner, corporate affairs manager

Brief: Position Blaupunkt as cool and desirable

Agency: BMP4

Writer: David McCullough

Art director: Tony Bradbourne

Director: Paul Street

Production company: The Streetlight Partnership

Exposure: National cinema


Project: Foster’s

Client: Peter Harding, marketing controller

Brief: Position Foster’s as the Australian antidote to angst

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Keith Bickel

Art director: Carlos

Director: John Marles

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: National TV

Air Miles

Project: Air Miles

Client: Judith Thorne, marketing director

Brief: Look at what 80 air miles will give you

Writer: Pete Bradley

Art director: Marc Hatfield

Animator: Miles Flanagan

Director: Toby Tremlett

Model-maker: Steve Wilsher

Production company: Partizan Midi Minuit

Exposure: National TV


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