Regular readers of this column could be forgiven for not believing me, but all material for Private View is accompanied by a letter which asks that criticism be as ’constructive as possible’. So that’s just what I’m going to attempt to do.

Regular readers of this column could be forgiven for not believing

me, but all material for Private View is accompanied by a letter which

asks that criticism be as ’constructive as possible’. So that’s just

what I’m going to attempt to do.

The first thing I see is an RAF recruitment TV commercial. No problem on

the constructive front. It’s not, as it transpires, for pilots but for

fighter controllers. It uses the limited time of a TV spot to very good

effect and allows the importance of fighter controllers to transcend the

inherent glamour of pilots. Not easy but well done in this case. My only

niggle is that the soundtrack might be a bit busy.

Carlsberg Export has a new commercial. Nicely shot with some compelling

performances in the newly fashionable Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

cool Danish style. My problem lies not with the execution but with the

premise: are you really going to fall out with your bloke and go to a

marriage guidance counsellor just because he’s delivering Carlsberg

Export to us in the UK? I know it’s meant to be a joke but ...

It ramps, it jumps, it bangs, it crashes, it’s got girls and it’s got

boys, it’s got colour and black and white, it’s got basketball, tai

kwondo and footie, it’s even got ’Hersham Boys’ (Jimmy Persey and Sham


It’s three commercials for Physio Sport, which is a range of ’grooming

aids’ for sportspeople. A massage one, a deo one and a cleaning one, if

I’m not mistaken. Well, as I said, it’s got everything - and more - and

that’s perhaps why it leaves me a bit dazed. There is an awful lot of

stuff around at the moment with heroic sportspeople doing their thing to

the sound of music and for me this didn’t stand out enough.

Constructive comment: perhaps less might have been more in this


Now a 20-second spot for Nik-Naks. Well, it’s clear: it makes its point

- Nik-Naks are tangy on your tonguey - an animated tongue gives its rock

all with a Nik-Nak to convince us of this notion. It is neither

repulsive nor unwatchable, the music is fine - it just doesn’t get up

there and really dance. Perhaps a more lateral execution of the thought

would have appealed more.

Now for the print. Some posters for Malibu Spice. They’re simple; they

use the brand colours to reasonable effect. Different executions tell me

that Malibu Spice is sharp (like a razor), has a sting (like a scorpion)

and comes in a bottle (like a drink). Some of these things are news to

me. I don’t think they will set the world alight but they are simple,

well branded and carry some information, which ain’t bad for an ad.

Finally, some posters for Odeon cinemas. The slides I got had Wolff

Olins written on them - so I assumed that’s where they came from. And,

actually, if you were to imagine posters done by a design company, you’d

end up with something quite like these.

Fairly standard headlines and an abstract piece of ’visual interest’,

all quite well arranged. However, they do not communicate anything

beyond the words in the headline, there is no resonance to the


They are perhaps a little dry. A bit more emotion would be good. After

all, the cinema is the place which produces more emotion on a regular

basis than anywhere else these days. Apart, obviously, from this very

column in this fine organ.

With that in mind, I hope I have been in the main constructive and that

the people who have worked hard to produce the ads I have reviewed are

not too peeved by my comments. They may - with good reason, possibly -

say they don’t give a stuff, but I know from personal experience that it

is always difficult to hear other people’s views on one’s work. On the

other hand, it is not always sensible, unless you are a card-carrying

genius, to ignore what everyone says.

On that suitably Delphic note, I’ll sign off and wish you all a happy

time on what remains of your holiday.


Project: Malibu Spice

Client: Peader Hegarty, marketing controller

Brief: Stimulate trial

Agency: Court Burkitt & Company

Writer: Jon Leney

Art director: Richard Donovan

Illustrator: Peter Richardson

Exposure: 16- and 48-sheet posters and postcards


Project: Recruitment

Client: Air Commodore Cynthia Fowler, director of recruitment

Brief: Focus on the team relationship that exists between RAF pilots and

the staff who provide support with information systems and technical


Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Jonathan John

Art director: Nick Wootton

Director: Daniel Barber

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV


Project: Nik-Naks

Client: Nigel Parrot, marketing manager, snacks

Brief: Establish Nik-Naks as a snack brand with a buzz

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: John O’Keefe

Art director: Russell Ramsey

Animator: Chris Butler

Production company: Tandem

Exposure: TV regions HTV, WTV


Project: Physio Sport

Client: Jeremy Kanter, brand director

Brief: Reinforce that Physio Sport is not just a badge but ’a part of

the ritual’

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer

Writer: Ros Sinclair

Art director: Sean Thompson

Director: Dominic Murphy

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV


Project: Carlsberg Export

Client: Doug Clydesdale, marketing director

Brief: Relaunch

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Ed Robinson

Art director: Dave Hillyard

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National terrestrial and selected cable and satellite TV


Project: Relaunch

Client: Ross James, marketing director

Brief: Communicate the Odeon values and personality in the first

above-the-line advertising for 60 years

Agency: Wolff Olins

Writer: Adam Throup

Art director: Adam Throup

Exposure: Regional press, taxis and postcards

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