Just after the Falklands war, Fiat brought out a car called the Argenta. Strangely enough, it was not a huge success - you don’t see too many C-Reg Argentas on the road these days.

Just after the Falklands war, Fiat brought out a car called the

Argenta. Strangely enough, it was not a huge success - you don’t see too

many C-Reg Argentas on the road these days.

There have, of course, been some strange car names since. Megane is one

that springs to mind, Cherry is another, but none as silly as the

VW Sharan. Volkswagen has decided to compare the unfortunately named

Sharan with the equally unfortunate Camper. This, for me, immediately

turns it into a bit of a niche brand - the Camper was, after all, very

much a specialist vehicle. The multi-purpose sector is a rapidly

expanding part of the car market. Is this really the best way to get a

chunk of it?

Covent Garden always struck me as being a pretty apt name for a new

soup. It says everything. So what happens when you take an innovative

new food product such as this and add it to one of London’s finest art

directors? Er, the mediocre effort shown here.

All I can say is, if you’re a new agency trying to make a bit of a name

in the world’s most competitive creative environment, you shouldn’t

waste opportunities like this.

I often wonder how some products got their names. Can you imagine some

bright spark in the new product department over at Mars shouting

’eureka!’ and cracking open the Bollinger when he or she came up with

the name, Lockets, for a new cough sweet? I think not. The new

commercial is called ’metallica’. It involves a bronze figure who takes

a tube of Lockets to lubricate his rusted throat and bring him back to

full working order. I’m not sure this would make me remember the name

Lockets when I next have a sore throat.

Nimble is a name that conjures up the 70s. It has decided to resurrect

its original ’she flies like a bird’ commercial featuring the girl in

the balloon (were ads really like this?). But to prove she’s very much a

90s woman, the girl now bungee jumps out of the balloon, leaving us with

the immortal words: ’The bread with the light attitude.’ I’m not sure

which looks the most dated, the original commercial or the new one.

Staying with balloons, we have a commercial for Richard Branson. This

time it’s for Virgin Economy (now there’s a name that could catch


Aimed at those of us who normally turn right when we enter a jumbo jet,

Virgin has obviously steered clear of the Helen Mirren/Terence Stamp


A young man is sitting on a bench, when a statue falls off a building

and plummets towards him. Enter the Grim Reaper, who waits in


Meanwhile, our victim’s life flashes before him. He sees himself as a

baby, then goes through the raunchy times, and so on.

As he’s going on this trip down memory lane, the statue stops in mid

air. We are then left with the thought: ’When your life flashes before

your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch.’ The list of Virgin

destinations then flashes up. A fine commercial from a fine new agency

that doesn’t even need a silly name on the door.

Finally, in time-honoured Private View tradition, I’ve saved the best

till last. The Adidas ’Prince Naseem’ commercial is a little


Unlike a lot of Adidas TV work, this commercial doesn’t rely heavily on

technique. It features a black evangelist who shouts from the rooftops

of New York that the Prince is coming. The footage shows New York at its

grittiest, as only black-and-white footage can. When the Prince arrives,

he somersaults over the rails of a ship in the same way he leaps into

the ring. As he’s whisked off in a limo, we are left with the message:

’Prince Naseem, here on business.’

A simple idea, beautifully executed, it could be a contender.


Project: Adidas

Client: Not supplied

Brief: Not supplied

Agency: Leagas Delaney Writer: Sean Doyle

Art director: Dave Dye

Directors: The Douglas Brothers

Production company: D Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Lockets

Client: Not supplied

Brief: Demonstate the

double-action effectiveness

of Mars Lockets

Agency: Abbott Mead

Vickers BDDO Writer: Pat Doherty

Art director: Greg Martin

Directors: Stephen and Timothy Quay Production company: Brothers Quay

Exposure: National TV, Sky, VH-1 cable, Granada, Carlton

The New Covent Garden Soup Company

Project: Soup range

Client: Caroline Jeremy, marketing director

Brief: Demonstrate NCGSC is passionate about fresh soup

Agency: Bean Andrews Norways Cramphorn

Copywriter: Jane Brooks

Art director: Joe Hosp

Illustrator: James Marsh

Typographer: Carlos Piris

Exposure: National press review sections and Underground cards

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Project: Economy class

Client: Alison Copus, general manager, marketing

Brief: Encourage young people to travel on Virgin Agency: Rainey Kelly

Campbell Roalfe

Writer: Richard Beesening

Art director: Andy Blood

Director: Frank Budgen Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV, cinema

British Bakeries

Project: Nimble bread

Client: Andrew Brown, marketing manager

Brief: Reposition Nimble as ’the light bread’

Agency: Wrightson Dale

Writers: Barry Wrightson, Michele Teboul

Art director: Barry Wrightson

Director: Michael Milburn-Foster

Production company: Production International HIM

Exposure: National TV


Project: VW Sharan

Client: Nigel Brotherton, advertising manager

Brief: Demonstrate the heritage of the VW in the family vehicle sector

Agency: BMP DDB

Copywriter: Mike Boles

Art director: Jerry Hollens

Model-maker: Gavin Lindsey

Exposure: 48-, 64- and 96-sheet posters nationwide.


Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content