Private View

Best, Law and Charlton versus Giggs, Cantona and Beckham, or Ali versus Tyson, came to mind as I looked through this group of ads. Would any of the present-day stars live up to their illustrious forerunners, or would they be overshadowed by past greatness?

Best, Law and Charlton versus Giggs, Cantona and Beckham, or Ali

versus Tyson, came to mind as I looked through this group of ads. Would

any of the present-day stars live up to their illustrious forerunners,

or would they be overshadowed by past greatness?

Very few brands have the heritage of Hamlet. ’Photo booth’ and ’wall’

will live long in the memory as real classics, so it’s probably asking a

lot for the current cinema commercial to surpass them. Especially when,

for me, the humour never really gets off the toilet wall. The husband,

wearing a luminous condom, is put in the shade, first of all by a series

of bigger lads exiting the wardrobe and then by a fluorescent

condom-wearing horse or donkey. I’m no vet so I can’t tell the


At best, the ad is cheap and cheerful, at worst its target group aren’t

old enough to be able to buy small cigars.

Even today, political cartoonists are still spoofing the ’Labour isn’t

working’ poster but I doubt anyone will remember the Conservative

Party’s ’lion’ for very long. My son thought it meant Labour was going

to close down zoos and his sister thought this was a good idea. I

thought I might have understood it better if it had been a British

bulldog - I can tell the difference between these two animals.

Labour’s work was even harder to decipher as I kept wondering what the

dismembered hand breaking an egg had to do with VAT on food. Nick

explained that Labour was using hands. I knew the Tories were using eyes

and presume the Liberal Democrats will use limp wrists. God knows what

bit of the anatomy the Monster Raving Loony Party would use if it worked

with Hamlet.

Shredded Wheat, at least, doesn’t have any great advertising I can


All I remember is Jack Charlton, whose skills in advertising are

somewhat akin to his football: hardworking but uninspiring. It’s also

unfortunate that Julie Goodyear is doing another slightly ill-fitting ad

at the moment.

She shouldn’t have left ’the Street’ and she’s certainly not suited to

poetry as she tries to rhyme her way through the reason why she’s doing

this particular breakfast cereal - it’s pure wheat, just like her. A

scoreless draw between past and present.

Virgin, however, has always been synonymous with a great deal of skill

and craft - the old ’El-Tel Stamp’ was hard to beat on either wing or

stretch limo. So it’s great to see the new signing, Helen Mirren, doing

so well. The ads are brilliantly shot - the one overhead shot in ’smile

and wave’ is a real gem. They are also brilliantly written, my favourite

being the Johannesburg overnight flight offer of pyjamas. Mirren,

however, insists she won’t get her kit off unless the part really

demands it. ’One-Helen-Mirren, there’s only one-Helen-Mirren.’

Beanz and great adz meanz Heinz, and there’s a whole host in the history

books, ranging from ’millions of little Britons’ to those great


These commercials are right up there among them. Again, they are

extremely well shot with singing from Ladysmith Black Mambazo that could

move mountains.

And, just in case a heartstring has been left unpulled, we finish off

with a proverb. ’Here’s to the child and all he has to teach us’ is on

the latchkey kids spot. These ads seem to get away with emotion and

sentiment in the way some great American commercials do.

They lifted me in the same way both Best and Cantona do and reassured me

that creativity can still be as good today as it has always been.

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Project: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Client: Alison Copus, general manager, marketing

Brief: Broaden the Upper Class product benefit message and also

publicise the route network

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe

Writer: Robert Campbell

Art director: Mark Roalfe

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company:

Stark Films

Exposure: Regional TV: London, Central South, Meridan, HTV West

Cereal Partners

Project: Shredded Wheat

Client: Not supplied

Brief: Not supplied

Agency: McCann-Erickson Writer: Not supplied

Art director: Not supplied

Director: Not supplied Production company:

Not supplied

Exposure: National TV


Project: Hamlet Extra Mild

Client: Phil Tritton, marketing manager, cigars and tobacco

Brief: Continue the ’happiness’ theme

Agency: Collett Dickenson Pearce

Writer: John Cook

Art director: Noel Hasson

Animator: Hector Macleod

Production company: Glassworks

Exposure: National cinema


Project: Brand/Heinz

Client: Robert Bailey, sales and marketing director

Brief: Show that simple tastes make us feel secure

Agency: Bates Dorland

Writer: Paul Diver

Art director: Al Morrice

Director: Tom Connolly Production company: Sloggett Connolly Bogaerde

Exposure: National TV

The Labour Party

Project: The Labour Party

Client: Margaret McDonagh, general election co-ordinator

Brief: Not supplied

Agency: BMP DDB Writer: Tony Cox

Art director: Peter Gatley

Photographer: Malcolm Venville

Typographer: Dave Wakefield

Exposure: National 48-sheet posters

The Conservative Party

Project: The Conservative Party

Client: Charles Lewington, director of communications, Conservative

Central Office

Brief: Warn voters of the danger of Labour introducing the Social


Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Not supplied

Art director: Not supplied

Photographer: Jack Daniels Exposure: National press and posters


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