Maybe it’s because I’m celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss this week with Vicky, the love of my life, that I found the Pearl Assurance ad with a teenage daughter advising her divorced dad to get his finances sorted out a bit odd.

Maybe it’s because I’m celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss this

week with Vicky, the love of my life, that I found the Pearl Assurance

ad with a teenage daughter advising her divorced dad to get his finances

sorted out a bit odd.

Another ad in the campaign has the older daughter getting some advice

from her old dad when she asks him whether he wants to be cremated or

buried, presumably after he dies. Meanwhile, a teenage son about to go

to college wants his single mother to marry someone rich.

These ’real-life’ dramas were probably meant to make me feel uneasy, but

even the lightest in the series, with a young boy giving his dad a quid

and some sound financial advice in the chippy, just felt a bit forced

and a tad patronising to me. But then I always did prefer the families

in the Waltons to EastEnders.

I couldn’t resist a quick check on what ads were doing the rounds 25

years ago and, to my deep joy, it was quite a golden or silver (in my

case) period. Ben and Mary Birdseye were getting to know each other; the

Cresta bear was doing Elvis impersonations; the Martians were laughing

at our mashed potatoes and a bottle of Cockburns was discovered on that

lifeboat. All still as good as they’ve always been, just like that

wonderful German Hovis music, which is so powerful I’m convinced it was

always playing in County Down when I was eating bread as a young boy

(shortly before I got married).

This current campaign is beautifully crafted with a neat ’raised the

Hovis way’ endline. There’s even a great little detail in the old

’perfectionist’ spot when you see a close-up of the young girl lighting

the gas ring and there are two used matches already lying on the


Air Canada also presents a campaign of extremely well-crafted ads with

that fat bloke in them. He goes through the benefits of Air Canada, from

no queues to good seats and showers at the airport, with wit and style

as we’re told - ’defy queues’; ’defy fatigue’; ’defy weariness’. My

favourite, as I join my boy Stuart on the school-boy humour run, is the

’long pee’ you can have thanks to all that free mineral water you’ll be

given - ’defy dehydration’.

Alan Whicker was once asked how to defy unpleasant travelling. ’When

you’re boarding a plane,’ he said, ’never turn right.’

As generous as I’d like to be on my silver anniversary, I find it

difficult with the Pantene shampoo ad. I suppose at least it doesn’t

have any of those identical hair-swirling shots that shampoo ads are

supposed to have in them, but as a ’before and after’ demonstration, it

did lack lustre somehow.

The Lea & Perrins spot did have a lot of visual gymnastics thrown at it,

and on the tape I was given I was privileged to see both the client’s

preferred cut and the agency’s. I’m afraid I couldn’t tell the


Maybe the simplicity of recipes was just so well done by Sainsbury’s or

the idea of going to all that trouble to spice up cheese on toast just

doesn’t seem worth it, but this one just didn’t appeal to me either.

I’ve always thought it should go without saying, especially in Private

View, that everyone involved in creating ads does their best. Sometimes

it’s very hard to do great ads and doing great ten-second ads has to be

the hardest place to start when you’re creating a TV campaign. So all

credit to those involved in Lynx, they’re just fantastic. Very funny and

brilliantly cast, especially the dishy doctor who tells the lad with the

bandaged finger to go behind the screen and take all his clothes


Imagine what would have happened if he’d been on Bupa as well as


(No, matron ... please!)

So to the next 25 years and the hope that all I’ll need is a little Lynx

and that the Viagra can wait.


Project: Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

Client: Kim Small, marketing director

Brief: Lea & Perrins turns an everyday dish into the ultimate snack

Agency: Young & Rubicam

Writer: Ben Carey

Art director: Martin Davey

Director: Harry Dorrington

Production company: Lambie-Nairn Directors

Exposure: National TV


Project: Hovis Squarecut Loaf

Client: Andrew Brown, marketing director

Brief: Hovis Squarecut is the only sandwich loaf which is ’raised

the Hovis way’

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Roger Holdsworth

Art director: Phil Chitty

Director: Peter Webb

Production company: Park Village

Exposure: National TV


Project: Pantene Pro-V

Client: Sarah Marsh, brand manager

Brief: The way you feel is affected by the way you look

Agency: Grey

Writer: Chris Waite

Art director: Chris Sainsbury

Director: Sara Dunlop

Production company: Annex Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Lynx

Client: Rod Connors, marketing manager

Brief: Tell Lynx’s core seduction story in a fresh media format

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writers: Marc Hatfield, Jeremy Carr

Art directors: Peter Bradly, Tony McTear

Director: Calle Astrand

Production company: The Producers

Exposure: National TV


Project: Personal welfare

Client: John Simmonds, general manager, marketing

Brief: Wake people up to the fact that they need to look after


Agency: HHCL & Partners

Project team: Axel Chaldecott, Pete Kirby, Amanda Manor, Mary Stow,

Meghan Risdale

Director: Lucy Blakstad

Production company: The Brave Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: Air Canada

Client: Natalie Chaurette, manager of advertising and promotions, Europe

and Asia

Brief: Update the campaign while focusing on the different benefits of

flying Air Canada in each spot

Agency: McCann-Erickson

Writer: Colin Selikow

Art director: Luke White

Director: Daniel Barber

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV