Whassup? Still smarting from getting beat by our colonial cousins down in Cannes?

Whassup? Still smarting from getting beat by our colonial cousins

down in Cannes?

Anyone telling you they’re not sure about the new Bud campaign doesn’t

mean they don’t think it’s funny or clever. They’re not sure about it

because it comes totally out of left field and it scares them in the way

Quentin Dupieux’s ’flat Eric’ did.

Creativity that doesn’t belong in a box and has no obvious reference

point is what it means to be original. For most creatives, the words

’original’ and ’advertising’ only appear in the same sentence during

conversations with their therapists. So when someone creates something

as fresh but as deeply rooted in the essence of the brand as this is,

they deserve to have a phenomenon on their hands. And they do.

Less of a phenomenon, but still rather appealing, is the Penguin-funded

campaign for Marian Keyes’ latest novel Last Chance Saloon. It features

charming posters using illustration and white space to great effect.

However, I’m not used to books being promoted in this way and it makes

me suspicious as to why this particular novel requires such ambitious

promotion. Are book reviews and word of mouth not selling it?

Perhaps Penguin just isn’t taking any chances.

Another brand that’s decided to make the most of what good advertising

can offer is The Carphone Warehouse. Until recently, the confidence

radiated by its retail presence was not being leveraged across all its

communications, but that appears to be changing with this new campaign.

This very pretty commercial uses the analogy of a box of chocolates to

demonstrate how mobile phone customers will be guided through the

massive choice of tariffs available. If only it were that simple.

Now, think of a really silly word and the chances are it’s trading as a

bank or an internet business. Marbles is a division of HFC and more than

just a credit card. When it isn’t testing the foundations of my hall

with a very determined direct mail campaign, it has been running an

Adshel campaign featuring giant credit cards with even sillier

fictitious customers’ names on them. I liked those. I also enjoyed the

new TV campaign, but there seems to be a lack of connection between the

two - or three, if you count the DM. Different messages is one thing but

a totally different tone of voice is worrying. Perhaps their cousins at

First Direct should share their learning.

Committed sex offenders, specifically paedophiles, can travel to the UK,

freely able to re-commit similar crimes due to an ineffectual sex

offenders act. So write to your MP and protest. That’s the message that

follows an extremely harrowing tale expertly filmed to the strains of

Barber’s Adagio for ECPAT.

The performances are chilling, the story is gripping, but I worry that

the action it inspires is likely to be less dramatic. To mobilise the

public and rally opinion, you need to stand apart. May I refer you to

the recent Barnardo’s and NSPCC campaigns.

Virgin Net deserves a huge pat on the back - here is an online service

described in such a way that you can actually understand what it’s


Innovative, certainly, and while Virgin’s advertising could never be

described as cutting edge, it somehow doesn’t matter. It’s fun, it’s

frivolous, it’s really likeable. It’s so Virgin.

And if I like Virgin, I also like Sony. I’d go so far as to call myself

a fan - I’ve just ordered the new PlayStation 2. But I don’t like


You can’t like both. You choose one. So it’s annoying that I find that I

like the new ’xenophobic’ Sega Dreamcast campaign. For it to work,

you’ve got to like football, be up for playing games online and you’ve

got to not mind 40 seconds of noise, graphics and stock video. It might

just do the job.

Like most of the work this week, I can tell where this came from, it

feels familiar and it doesn’t scare me. And it was all probably a lot

easier to sell than ’whassup?’.


Project: Last Chance Saloon

Client: John Bond, marketing director

Brief: Launch Marian Keyes’ novel Last Chance Saloon

Agency: Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy

Writer: Rosie Elston

Art director: Mary-Sue Lawrence

Typographer: Unreal

Illustrator: Emma Dodd

Exposure: Posters


Project: Marbles

Client: Mark Robinson, group marketing director

Brief: Demonstrate the absurdity of people’s fears about the internet

Agency: Mother

Writer: Mother

Art director: Mother

Director: Mother

Production company: Mother

Exposure: National TV


Project: The Carphone Warehouse

Client: Charles Dunstone, chief executive

Brief: Position The Carphone Warehouse as the leading enabler of choice

in the mobile communications market

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer

Writer: Ben Priest

Art director: Brian Campbell

Director: Pete Salmi

Production company: Joy Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Virgin Net

Client: Jo Peat, head of marketing

Brief: Cut through the plethora of internet advertising to communicate

the benefits of using Virgin’s entertainment service

Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton

Writer: Matt Morley-Brown

Art director: Steve Stretton

Director: Jon Greenhalgh

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National cinema/regional TV


Project: ECPAT UK

Client: Helen Veitch, co-ordinator

Brief: Highlight the loophole in the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and call for


Agency: D’Arcy

Writers: Simon Impey, Jon Daniel

Art directors: Jon Daniel, Simon Impey

Director: Tony Kaye

Production company: Tony Kaye Productions

Exposure: London cinema


Project: Sega Dreamcast

Client: Giles Thomas, European marketing director

Brief: Launch Dreamcast’s European online capabilities during Euro 2000

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Alex Grieve

Art director: Adrian Rossi

Director: Danny Kleinman

Production company: Spectre

Exposure: UK, French, German and Spanish TV and cinema