Private View

OK, I cheated.

OK, I cheated.

I sent back the worst of this week’s sack of ads and asked Campaign to

send me the new Ford Fiesta campaign. Why be nasty when you can be nice?

This work is brilliant.

Ford is not the world’s most exciting brand, the Fiesta is not its most

exciting car and O&M is not always included in lists of the most

exciting agencies (erroneously I believe). Yet this is quite simply the

best campaign I’ve seen so far this year. All the ads feature extreme

close-ups of human beings who personify characteristics of the

gorgeous-looking car that sweeps into the pack-shot. The best spot is

the one that features a wide-lensed lady who sings staccato opera to

demonstrate that the engine tunes itself several times a second. Another

corker stars two groovy black blokes whistling at each other to let us

know that the Fiesta has a stereo. There are dozens of others but I

recommend you wait to see them on the telly (as I did, hence the request

to Campaign). Because that is where they do what great ads are supposed

to do. Stand out.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty is the best agency on the planet (well, maybe equal

best). That’s why an embarrassingly high percentage of the people I’ve

hired have come from either there or St Martin’s School of Art. They are

the two best places to pick up ideasmiths. Murphy’s is one of the best

beer campaigns gracing our TV screens. (Do you sense something churlish

brewing up behind these caveats?) But the latest Murphy’s ads sort of do

the opposite to their predecessors. The others all made you want to be

Irish. A laid-back, handsome boy who takes disappointment on the chin

and looks on the bright side while getting pleasantly drunk is surely

what most sane men would like to be. These ads show us Paddies who are

bitter. And leave that taste in the mouth.

Mini Cheddars’ ten-second commercials suffer from being only ten seconds

long. They really need to be thirties to achieve what they set out to

do. This is a universal appeal to all clients. Give us time and we’ll

make you money. Give us ten seconds and we can only really give you


Honda’s agency has sent in two press ads, one terrific, one rather


’Most of our solar car customers have yet to see the light of day’ cries

the first, while showing us a pregnant lady’s tummy and a prototype sun-

driven bacofoil shopping trolley. It’s a neat way of being a greenish

car manufacturer and reminding us that fossil-fuel-driven motors are

going to become fossils themselves within our lifetime.

The second headline is a quote from Soiohiro Honda, ’The value of life

can be measured by how many times your soul has been stirred.’ Quite


But if, as the ad implies, your soul can be moved by a car, you are a

very sad soul indeed.

Clover’s new ad is what I call a Christmas party commercial. Every

Christmas at AMV we have a children’s party. The eight floors of our

building are covered in account men and planners who look like they’ve

been left in the wash for three extra cycles. Four-year-old Chris

Thomases chase five-year-old Andrew Robertsons around the atrium in a

bizarre reversal of what goes on here the rest of the year. I sit with

my own little boy on my knee and am reminded of why we have to do the

occasional workmanlike ad. These children’s parents need paying. Now and

for the next 20 years until they are grown. They don’t care if every

single ad gets into the D&AD. So when I look at a professionally

executed, strategically correct ad like Clover I’m loath to criticise

because I know why it’s been done.

But hey, it’s not Christmas yet so I’d better just say this. Don’t play

with your food boys, it’s not very appetising. (Excellent endline, by

the way. Doesn’t it cry out to be preceded by mouth-watering food


Honda Motor Europe

Project: Honda

Client: John Kennedy,

head of marketing and

dealer operations

Brief: n/s

Agency: CDP Writer: Loz Simpson

Art director: Rob Kitchen

Photographer: Chris Cheetham

Exposure: National press

and specialist magazines

Ford UK

Project: Ford Fiesta

Client: Paul Philpott, brand manager (small cars)

Brief: Make Fiesta’s qualities stand out from the competition

Agency: Ogilvy and Mather Writers: Meg Rosoff, Vicki Maguire

Art director: Dorte Nielsen

Director: Harald Zwart Production company:

Pink Films

Exposure: National TV

United Biscuits

Project: Mini Cheddars

Client: Jude Bridge,

marketing director

Brief: Relaunch Mini Cheddars

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writers: James Rose,

Julian Borra

Art director: Adam Staples

Director: Julian Burkin Production company:

Tiger Aspect

Exposure: National TV

Dairy Crest

Project: Clover

Client: Catherine Mason, marketing director

Brief: Develop the ’food loves Clover’ campaign

Agency: Young and Rubicam

Writer: Ben Carey

Art directors: Martin Davey, Andy Cutbill

Director: Harry Dorrington Production company:

Lambie-Nairn Directors

Exposure: National TV

Whitbread Beer Company

Project: Murphy’s Irish Stout

Client: Simon McQuiggan, director of marketing, ales and stouts

Brief: Illustrate that Murphy’s is less bitter than Guinness

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writer: John O’Keeffe

Art director: Russell Ramsey

Director: Declan Lowney

Production company:

Lambie-Nairn Directors

Exposure: National TV


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