It’s awards time again. The season when the fortunate few polish their walking boots while the rest gnash their teeth, curse the world and drown their sorrows in another vat of house white.

It’s awards time again. The season when the fortunate few polish

their walking boots while the rest gnash their teeth, curse the world

and drown their sorrows in another vat of house white.

But if jurors are hard-nosed bastards and top awards rarer than a Tom

and Walt hangover, what chance have this week’s offerings of making it

big at next year’s bashes.

First up, Jaguar. Not a bad idea. But not a great one either. Ordinary

people dream of being rock stars. But what do rock stars dream of? In

Sting’s case, apparently, it’s being chauffeured around in a Jaguar

listening to his new album. I’d have thought a spot of tantric with

Trudie in a Lear jet might be more up Sting’s strasse, but what the

heck. As far as gongs go, the ad feels a tad too much like a pop promo

with car attached and the jury remains untroubled.

Maltesers. In the notoriously difficult confectionery sector, Maltesers

has carved out a nice little niche for itself. The new set of ads are

well cast, well shot and well paced, but none of the scripts quite live

up to last year’s roundabout ad. So I’m afraid it’s Bordeaux and not

bubbly for the Maltesers team.

Fiat Brava Trofeo. A family heads for the beach and lots of Fiat

features are put across to bouncy soundtrack. Then, shock horror, mum

realises she’s left one of the brats behind. If only they’d kept driving

they might have been on to something, but the BACC probably slammed the

brakes on that one. This Home Alone homage is harmless, but still no

chance to stretch your legs.

Matalan. These are the type of ads that finance directors love. They

save the agency a small fortune on entry fees. The series of ads feature

various people using Matalan products, all set to a schmaltzy

soundtrack. The aim of the campaign seems to be that Matalan is the

store offering reasonable prices on everything from clothes to games.

Unfortunately, the ads are done in such a way that Matalan will only

ever be remembered for cheese. A series of animated ads telling me to take control of

my money by clicking my way to their website. The ads are lively and

simple, but they fail to give me one good reason why I should go to this

site. It would be nice for a dotcom ad to tell us something one day. The

jury moves quickly on.

This week’s winner, but perhaps not next year’s, is Xfm. A cool-looking

dude is irritated by members of the public speaking in DJ-type voices as

he secretly craves the vocal-free delights of Xfm. In another ad, a guy

at a bus-stop has to listen to a bloke talking like a wanky DJ. Our hero

does what anyone would do in such circumstances to silence the annoying

git. He snogs him.

Good stuff. But good enough to get those chair legs scraping?Probably


Making great ads has never been easy. But, as someone once said, nothing

easily achieved was ever worth having. So should you find yourself

gongless at this year’s awards as you sit staring at a drink you don’t

really need, take solace in this tiny crumb of comfort. There’s always

next year.


Project: Spring/summer 2000 collection

Client: Mike Morrison, head of marketing

Brief: Position Matalan as the low-cost fashion retailer

Agency: CDP

Writer: Neame Ingram

Art director: Paul Westmoreland

Director: Mike Taylor

Production company: Bliss Films

Exposure: Satellite and national TV (excluding London and Northern



Project: Fiat Brava Trofeo

Client: Roberto Zuccato, director of advertising and image

Brief: Position the Brava Trofeo as a family car with loads of features

Agency: D’Arcy

Writers: Angus Macadam, Paul Jordan

Art directors: Angus Macadam, Paul Jordan

Director: Andy Lambert

Production company: Spectre Films

Exposure: Pan-European TV


Project: Jaguar

Client: Jonathan Browning, managing director

Brief: Capitalise on Sting’s choice of the Jaguar S-type and add further

excitement and momentum to the brand

Agency: Jaguar Global Communications Group (J. Walter Thompson/Ogilvy

& Mather)

Writer: Kim Olsen

Art director: Antone Crone

Director: Paul Boyd

Production company: Propoganda Films

Exposure: Global



Client: Catherine Edmondson, marketing manager

Brief: Launch the new personal finance website for the FT

Agency: BBH Unlimited

Writer: Mike Kearney

Art director: Andy MacLane

Directors: Daniel Greaves, Mike Bell

Production company: Tandem Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Maltesers

Client: Michele Oliver, brand manager

Brief: Continue to show Maltesers’ physical lightness in a lighthearted


Agency: D’Arcy

Writer: Trevor Webb

Art director: Steve Campbell

Director: David Hartley

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: London’s 104.9 Xfm

Client: Charlotte Soussan, marketing manager

Brief: Present Xfm as the real choice of radio station for music lovers

in London

Agency: Quiet Storm

Creative team: Trevor Robinson, Becky Clarke

Director: Trevor Robinson

Production company: Quiet Storm

Exposure: London TV, cinema