Private View

I’m writing this after finally getting around to reading Mark Wnek’s interview in The Sunday Times. Now, I know Mark didn’t intend the piece to come out the way it did but inevitably a couple of comparisons spring to mind.

I’m writing this after finally getting around to reading Mark

Wnek’s interview in The Sunday Times. Now, I know Mark didn’t intend the

piece to come out the way it did but inevitably a couple of comparisons

spring to mind.

I don’t think of myself as a ’life commando’ - more like a life member

of the SAS (Special Ad Service) - and if someone at our place wasn’t

delivering we’d do our best to inspire them, not fire them. After all,

they were talented enough to get the job in the first place. On the

subject of underwear, not all my kit comes from one designer but I have

to admit to owning a couple of very fetching pairs of Calvin Kleins

(long leg).

Talking of pants, first up is a commercial for Fuller’s London


Four men sit in a pub discussing the merits of going to the gym and how

regular trips could improve their performance in horizontal


A promising area for some funny dialogue. Sadly they never convince me

that they’re not actors in an ad delivering lines from a script.

Next out of the bag is a new Nike commercial. In a beautifully crafted

epic, football stars raid the headquarters of some robotic baddies who

have stolen their ball and defeat them using their greater skills. But,

hang on a minute, haven’t we seen this idea before in the much awarded

’good versus evil’ ad from the same people? There are enough repeats on

TV without advertising joining in. This one seems like an expensive own


The Volkswagen Lupo press and posters all work towards the endline

’Concentrated Volkswagen’. A blindingly simple idea for a small car

showing more simplicity of thought and execution from the boys and girls

at Bishop’s Bridge Road.

Perhaps not up there with the Polo price ads but better than most of the

stuff out there.

In the Everest commercial we see a lot of ropey old garage doors

compared with some shiny new electronic garage doors. It’s a charming

and timely reminder to do up the garage. When you remember all those old

Everest double glazing ads, this should win something for best change of


Sky Digital has hired Matt Groening (or someone very like him) to

animate its commercial. A presenter who looks a bit like Fry from

Futurama walks and talks us through the brief with wall to wall words.

It’s very slick but I’ve now watched it three or four times and still

couldn’t tell you one thing the presenter said. The ad doesn’t try to

refine the offer into a single thought - maybe that’s something to do

with the product. You get so much with digital TV that it’s hard to pin

it down. Still, I think someone should have tried.

Finally, what’s got to be the dottiest of all dotcoms.

is a personalised funeral service which allows you to, as the endline

says, ’Go your own way’. In a series of examples we see a coffin that’s

cut in half being carried to the cemetery with the title ’magician’s

assistant’, a hearse hurtling along a country track with the title

’rally driver’, and a coffin on a conveyor belt with a cuddly toy and

the title ’gameshow host’. You’ve got the idea. It’s a funny 30 seconds

and using the theme tune to This is Your Life as a track is an inspired

choice of music.

My favourite scene is the one of the body in a black bin-liner being

chucked unceremoniously into a grave by four dustmen (or waste transfer

executives as they’re now being called in Wandsworth) as the relatives

look on. Okay, this is a gift of a product to write an ad for but it’s

been well done on what I’m sure wasn’t a budget to die for. And it has

made me think about how I might want to be sent off when it’s my time to

go to that great creative department in the sky. Perhaps other creative

directors might want to lie in state at The Ivy, suited and booted in

their finest Armani. Me, I’ll just go for a simple yellow pine box, in

the shape of a pencil of course.


Client: Rupert Rohan, director

Brief: Launch a website that organises and registers your final wishes

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Clive Pickering

Art director: Neil Dawson

Director: Who?

Production company: Great Guns

Exposure: Cinema and cable TV


Project: Sky Digital

Client: Scott Menneer, marketing director

Brief: Digital vision for everyone

Agency: St Luke’s

Writer: Tim Hearn

Art director: Kate Stanners

Director: Jonas Dahlbeck

Production company: Nexus

Exposure: National TV


Project: Volkswagen Lupo

Client: Catherine Fordham, communications manager

Brief: Communicate that despite its diminutive size, the Lupo has all

the build quality you’d expect from a VW

Agency: BMP DDB

Writer: Simon Veksner

Art director: Nick Allsop

Photographer: Dave Stewart

Exposure: National press and magazines

Fuller Smith & Turner

Project: London Pride bitter

Client: John Roberts, marketing director

Brief: London Pride, like its drinkers, is deep down genuine

Agency: Doner Cardwell Hawkins

Writer: Damian Simor

Art director: Lee Ford

Director: Mark Mylod

Production company: Channel X

Exposure: Carlton and LWT


Project: Everest

Client: Duncan Bland, marketing director

Brief: Sell off the screen by launching Everest garage doors as the best

on the market

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Kieran Knight

Art director: Max Clemens

Director: Simon Drewitt

Production company: BFCS

Exposure: National TV


Project: Nike

Client: n/s

Brief: n/s

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam

Writers: Ned McNeilage, Oriol Villar

Art director: Judith Francisco

Director: Tarsem

Production company:

Exposure: National TV

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus