Do you read the introductions to these things? Neither do I.

Do you read the introductions to these things? Neither do I.

The new Guinness commercials arrived encased in a launch video. A

voiceover informed me that they were ‘set to spark thousands of debates

about their meaning in pubs, offices and homes up and down the country.’

Then it reassured me that ‘everyone’s views are as valid as everyone

else’s’, which came as an enormous relief. So now I feel confident in

saying that Tony Kaye and the team responsible have produced some well-

written, superbly crafted, innovative and entertaining films that didn’t

make me want to buy Guinness. It’s only my opinion but, to quote the

endline, not everything in black and white makes sense.

The Leith Agency, on the other hand, has made me want to drink beer

(quite a feat as I’m a lifelong teetotaller), and to drink it in the

company of the boys and girls in its Bass ads. The idea is deceptively

simple: disjointed and often unexplained pub conversations, shot with

real style and empathy (initially) by the supremely talented Douglas

Brothers. I sat on the D&AD TV jury this year and this campaign was one

of many that I felt should have got in but didn’t. (We were, I think,

extremely mean overall. If you didn’t get in, don’t be too disappointed,

you are in good company. One Nike ad, featuring Agassi and Sampras

initiating an impromptu tennis match in the streets of New York, which I

felt was brilliant, was voted out by a considerable margin.) Anyway,

well done to the Scots - great Irish dialogue.

Ford has done a brave, un-Ford-like thing. It’s commissioned a series of

car ads that do not show the car at all (mind you, it is a Mondeo).

Instead, they have an interesting and relevant fact in the headline and

a visual that links with Ford’s selling proposition. They are not rocket

science, but I think the team deserves a little pat on the back for, to

quote its endline, making a difference.

Rover’s agency has also tried to be a little different. Its latest

commercial gives us an unborn baby’s view of what it’s like to ride in

the poor man’s Rolls Royce. I have to call it that because I’m currently

trying to sell my 1972 Rover P5. All reasonable offers considered. (Have

you noticed that when people in advertising try to sell their cars they

always do small-space ads with a big pack-shot and the price in the

headline. Well, I do?) The new Rover has a braver ad that caught my

attention. My only niggle is that the Rover 400 is an unusual-looking

small car that warrants a bit more screen time than the baby allowed. My

Sainsbury’s client is always telling me off for letting the idea get in

the way of the strategy and generally speaking my scripts have been the

better for the reminder.

Olivio should also say a nice polite thank-you to its agency for

producing another good campaign in a difficult sector. Bartle Bogle

Hegarty has taken an interesting fact - that people in the Mediterranean

countries live longer because of their diet - and made a not

unreasonable link to their client’s olive oil-based foodstuff. The

commercial features an extended Italian family which owns a

delicatessen. The father promises the son that one day the shop will be

his, but only after he and his father and his father’s father have got

round to popping their clogs (do Italians wear clogs?) - a prospect that

is some distance from being fulfilled on account of olive oil-based

foodstuffs. There’s a nice gag at the end where the great granddad

pretends to drop dead at the table, which I’m pleased the Broadcast

Advertising Clearance Centre allowed. A clear and substantiated claim,

made with a little wit - our clients can’t ask for much more.

Do you read the sign-off paragraphs of these things? No, neither do I.


Project: Guinness

Client: Julian Spooner, marketing director

Brief: Not everything in black and white makes sense

Agency: Ogilvy and Mather

Writer: Jerry Gallaher

Art director: Clive Yaxley

Director: Tony Kaye

Production company: Tony Kaye Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Rover 400

Client: Rod Ramsay, marketing director

Brief: Underline the comforting and relaxing nature of a drive in the

Rover 400

Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas

Writer: Nick Welch

Art director: Billy Mawhinney

Director: Chris Hanwill

Production company:

RSA Films

Exposure: National TV

Bass Ireland

Project: Bass Ale

Client: Sheena McLaughlin, brand marketing manager

Brief: Continue the ‘crack’ theme

Agency: The Leith Agency

Writer: Ged Edmondson

Art director: Don Smith

Director: Kieron Walsh

Production company:

Little Bird

Exposure: Regional TV

Van den Bergh Foods

Project: Olivio

Client: Andy Duncan, marketing controller

Brief: Eating Olivio as part of a Mediterranean diet can help you to enjoy a longer,

healthier life

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Bruce Crouch

Art director: Graham Watson

Director: Carl Prechezer

Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV


Project: Ford Mondeo

Client: Brian Wade, advertising manager

Brief: Stress the product benefits in a more

emotional way

Agency: Ogilvy and Mather

Writer: Di Lowe

Art director: Stuart Gill

Photographer: Tif Hunter

Exposure: National press

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