Private View

I’m feeling minimalist today, so straight to the ads.

I’m feeling minimalist today, so straight to the ads.

Luckily, the first ones to emerge from the brown envelope do so very

stylishly and minimalistically. They’re for the VW Lupo, which we are

told is a great little idea - like a button, an elastic band, a match

and a pill. Perhaps not quite such an original little idea as the VW

’prices’ or ’protection’ campaigns. But why quibble? A master’s hand has

been at the art direction. This is very beautiful, very simple, very

single-minded and good. And a whole corniche ahead of most other car


Another minimalistic entrant is Guinness. Under the line, ’What have you

been thinking about all day?’, we see the familiar black and white shape

made from paper clips, computer folders and a full wastepaper


What I’ve been thinking is ’Nice. See you at Grosvenor House’.

I know what whoever wrote the Pretty Polly ad was thinking about and it

wasn’t paper clips. From beautifying the leg, PP has moved northwards to

what Woody Allen called ’the chestal area’ with its latest filmic

exploration of the history of the bra. As history lessons go, it’s a

damn sight more interesting than learning the date of the Synod of

Whitby. There are quick cups (sic) of big ones, small ones, lace ones,

satin ones, all shot by the maestro, Franco Budgerini, with typical

aplomb and a Golden Wonder Pot Noodle-type presenter. My brain cells

were arguing about whether there was a really strong idea there but then

my hormones told them to shut up and smell the coffee. Uplifting.

Speaking of breasts, I don’t know about you but I liked Madonna when she

had those Cadbury Whirl jobs on her embonpoint. That girl’s been through

more transitions than Yuri Geller’s spoons - from virgin to slut, to

mother and now, since her high-profile signing for Max Factor, a sort of

housewife superstar. It’s all very polished and one can almost hear the

cash registers ringing in her offshore account. I’m sure Max Factor Gold

will be sold out with this campaign. Madonna certainly has. I felt a


The new Barclaycard ads had a rather similar effect. Nicely observed

performances from Terry and his mate swimming with turtles in Goa thanks

to their plastic mate and likewise from a girl fantasising about a new

pair of shoes. The strategy was plainly on view - ’you buggers aren’t

getting yourselves into nearly enough debt with Barclaycard so get out

there and do some serious damage’. All very sensible. So why did I keep

hoping that the Goanese turtle would unzip itself to reveal Rowan

Atkinson and Bough inside trying to sell Terry an Indian carpet?

I’ve left Later till later because, frankly, I wasn’t quite sure what to

think and therefore assembled a jury of our creative teams who were a

bit closer to the target market. Apparently, it’s a mag aimed at blokes

who are passing from the alcoholic haze of new laddism into the maturer

pasture of serious jobs, mortgages and eventually, I guess, Volvos and

Viagra. The ads show initiation ceremonies - one in a pub, which we all

thought was weak - and the other where a bloke is passed between the

split trunk of a sapling in his underpants. Like the sapling the jury,

was somewhat split - but we eventually agreed that we quite liked it,

because it was daft and different. We all agreed we liked the press ads

better. And we all agreed that as initiation ceremonies go, being stuck

through bits of forestry was a lot preferable to having to give fellatio

to the elder members of the tribe, which is what the initiates have to

do in some African tribes.

James Lowther is joint creative director at M&C Saatchi


Project: Guinness Draught in cans

Client: Nick Robinson, senior brand manager

Brief: ’Recharge with a Guinness at home’ - boost awareness of Guinness

Draught in cans

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw

Photographer: David Hariman Exposure: National TV


Project: Barclaycard

Client: Paul Parmenter, marketing director

Brief: Emphasise Barclaycard’s indispensability and announce new savings

Agency: BMP DDB Writer and art director: Larry Barker

Director: Anthea Benton

Production company: Concrete

Exposure: National TV

Max Factor

Project: Gold Lipstick

Client: Ann Francke, general manager

Brief: Launch new Max Factor Gold Lipstick

Agency: Leo Burnett Writer: Annabelle Manwaring

Art director: Su Sareen

Director: Alec Keshishian Production company: BFCS

Exposure: National TV and cinema


Project: VW Lupo

Client: Louise O’Neill, communications manager Brief: Communicate that a

small car can still be a great quality car

Agency: BMP DDB Writer: Tim Cordell

Art director: Alex Bamford

Photographer: Mike Parsons Typographer: Dave Wakefield

Exposure: 48- and six-sheet posters, escalator panels, national press,

consumer titles


Project: Later

Client: Robert Tame, publishing director

Brief: Launch the magazine to men who are moving into a new life stage

Agency: Fallon McElligott

Writer: Andrew McLeod

Art director: Richard Flintham

Director: Jamie Thraves Production company: Jane Fuller Associates

Exposure: National TV

Pretty Polly

Project: Pretty Polly Bras

Client: Brian Duffy, managing director

Brief: Shock the world with the news that Pretty Polly is launching a

range of sexy yet comfortable bras

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer Writer: Trevor Beattie

Art director: Bil Bungay

Director: Frank Budgen

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National TV