Private View

Baking a souffle and making a Levi’s ad are one and the same. You need a simple recipe, superb ingredients, lots of patience and, most importantly, a little luck.

Baking a souffle and making a Levi’s ad are one and the same. You

need a simple recipe, superb ingredients, lots of patience and, most

importantly, a little luck.

With experience you can serve up a perfect dish every time. Until, that

is, you get bored. Richard Shepperd, the chef de cuisine at Langan’s,

used to serve his souffle with a delicious anchovy sauce. And then he

took it off the menu before his clients stopped ordering the dish. It’s

like knowing when to leave the party. The latest offering from Chez

Hegarty is not up to the extremely high standards associated with its

signature dish. All the ingredients are there: boy meets girl, trousers

get dropped, historical product fact, distinctive music, fresh treatment

of film texture,

superb directing ... it just tastes a little bit stale.

Like charity ads, Levi’s spots are something of a poisoned chalice. The

opportunity to make a great commercial carries with it a huge weight of

responsibility - make not such a great one (it could be a gem by many

other criteria) and you might as well paint a cross on your office


And so to fish fingers. My daughter Poppy’s favourite food. At 18

months, she’d bought into our avuncular old friend, Cap’n Birds Eye, big


Now she’s two and Daddy has to explain how the Captain got lost at sea

only to be reincarnated as a stereotypical Gillette Man. Tricky. Throw

away advertising icons as good as this at your peril. It’s funny how you

don’t know how good something is until you’ve no longer got it.

Another case in point is the distinctive and consistently classy Jeep

press campaign. The striking blue-tone images have far more resonance

than the Land Rover Freeloader campaign. Someone, somewhere, felt this

look and feel to be inappropriate for TV, which is a shame as Levi’s

’creek’ gave us an indication of just how powerful a mood it can evoke.

Curiously, the final film is somewhat reminiscent of a Levi’s

commercial. A rejected script for an 80s Levi’s commercial.

Curry is the nation’s favourite food, so linking arms with a brand of

genuine Indian beer called Cobra seems like the smart thing to do. The

ads ambitiously present to the reader a world of curryholics for whom

help is now at hand. I say ambitiously because the writers (or should

that be raitas) have made life hard for themselves given the diminutive

media budget. Consequently, the beer plays merely a supporting role to

the idea. Post HHCL, I’ve noticed the use of helpline numbers has become

de rigeur when once they were the creative’s embodiment of all evil.

One minute St Luke’s is a bunch of irresponsible, new-wave nutters; the

next it’s enjoying afternoon tea at Number 11, having successfully

launched the New Deal campaign. The work is refreshingly original for

what must have been a minefield of a brief.

We see various CEOs who have signed up to the Government’s New Deal

pronouncing the benefits to an audience of stunned and embarrassed train


One man’s mission (sadly there are no women) evolves into a small group

or cult which then builds to become a whole nation of support. The use

of ’real people’ is nothing new - our own David Prideaux penned the

Superdrug campaign more than two years ago - but here they’ve gone for

people who are almost too real. They look uncomfortable and even a

little victimised.

This is a small gripe because the ads are beautifully written and by two

of the nicest and smartest people in the business. Damn them.

Finally, Age Concern. We all know the vast amount of ’free advertising’

the Wonderbra campaign created. Free advertising on that scale is what

most charities only dream about. I’d imagine it was that very fact above

all else that seduced the client into buying this poster and the agency

into writing it. It will get noticed and remembered but probably as the

’old girl in a bra’ ad and not much else. Surely there’s a more

memorable and insightful message to combat age discrimination. Over to

you, Derek Haas.

Chrysler Jeep Imports UK

Project: Jeep Grand

Cherokee Orvis

Client: Steve Gray, marketing director

Brief: Position the model as the off-the-road vehicle with the luxury


Agency: Delaney Fletcher Bozell

Writer: Paul Evans

Art director: Alan Burles

Director: Marek Kanievska

Exposure: National TV

Levi Strauss

Project: Levi’s 501

Client: Amanda le Roux, marketing director

Brief: Levi’s 501s are the original and definitive jeans

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Will Awdry

Art director: Rosie Arnold

Director: Doug Liman

Production company: Propaganda

Exposure: National TV, satellite and cinema

Cobra Beer Project: Cobra Beer

Client: Karan Bilimoria, managing director

Brief: Raise awareness of Cobra beer as the perfect accompaniment for

Indian food

Agency: Team Saatchi

Writer: Kevin Millicheap

Art director: Jim Salter

Photographer: Dean Marsh

Typographer: Mark Cakebread

Exposure: London cross-tracks and fly posters in London, Manchester,

Birmingham, Leeds

Age Concern

Project: Age Concern Awareness Week

Client: Katrina Webster, marketing manager

Brief: Highlight ageism issues

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Nick Drummond

Art director: Martin Casson

Photographer: Seamus Ryan

Typographer: John Tisdall

Exposure: Ad-van posters

Department for Education and Employment

Project: New Deal

Client: Helen Rafalowska, head of New Deal marketing and communications

Brief: Shift public opinion towards sharing responsibility for


Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Tim Hearn

Art director: Kate Stanners

Director: Vadim Jean

Production company: Beechurst Films

Exposure: National TV

Birds Eye Wall’s

Project: Birds Eye Fish Fingers

Client: Chris Pomfret, business director of frozen foods

Brief: Make the Birds Eye Fish Fingers brand more contemporary while

retaining its core values

Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas

Writer: Lichia Sideri

Art director: Maria Signorini

Director: Bob Lawrie

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV