Private View

Decisions, decisions. There are so many ways to categorise advertising these days, it’s hard to know which way to turn. Is it TV or print? Consumer or trade? Direct response v brand? Or, as is increasingly the case, dotcom or not dotcom?

Decisions, decisions. There are so many ways to categorise

advertising these days, it’s hard to know which way to turn. Is it TV or

print? Consumer or trade? Direct response v brand? Or, as is

increasingly the case, dotcom or not dotcom?

Personally, I can’t wait for the day when we’re over this hypnotic

fascination with e-commerce. I look forward to a time when we can look

past the ’mechanic’ and focus on the brand itself.

The brief on a Sainsbury’s ad doesn’t say: ’As long as people know it’s

a big shop with a car park, anything else is a bonus.’ Yet how often do

we hear people say: ’I know it’s a dotcom but I don’t know what it

actually does/sells/stands for.’ The web may be rewriting the rules of


The need to engage the consumer, however, remains unchanged. So how

about we fall back on the only category that matters, good advertising

or bad advertising.

Let’s start with some good(ish) stuff for McDonald’s. You have to admit

these are funny. And anything that takes the piss out of DFS and its’

ilk gets my vote. I certainly know there’s a sale on at McDonald’s and

that frightening clown isn’t in evidence. So far so good.

However, there seems to be a move within Leo Burnett to imbue the

’golden arches’ with a sort of post-modern, zeitgeist, irony thingy. I

have to express a personal sadness that they are leaving behind the

warmer, more human stuff (the girl asking about the facts of life, the

guy shopping with his bird etc). It strikes me that they are the sort of

ads that build brands, long term. This sort of stuff is a bit


They are a hoot though.

There’s nothing worse than seeing a good technique nicked, then failing

to deliver. That, I fear, is the fate that has befallen

Guys, when someone asks for it quick, cheap and good, send up a distress

flare. Something has to give, and I’m afraid it was the good part of

this particular equation. The saddest thing is that no-one else can use

’antz’ now. It’s gone forever. The proposition is quite a tricky one to

grasp, but they make a pretty good fist of it. But the execution leaves

me cold.

More dotcom with I think these are for a women’s mag on the

web. Pictures of lots of women being themselves in all sorts of

meaningful ways. I’m not the target, so the fact that I couldn’t care

less is probably a good thing.

Another press campaign for an internet brand, this time

They have all the hallmarks of a rushed-out campaign (ie dotcom). These

ads gamely soldier on with a few puns and the art direction is, I

shouldn’t wonder, based on the site. The ’get leaving’ ad made me laugh

because the pun is so terrible, it’s brilliant. One of those pun’s that

makes you giggle because it’s so atrocious. But a pun and a colour

palette do not a brand make, just another dotcom on the horizon.

The words ’moving the campaign on’ spring to mind when you look at TBWA

GGT Simons Palmer’s work for Equitable Life. Gone are the cheery old

duffer and favourite grandson. Enter stage left moody celebrities

insisting that we ask questions of our pension providers. These look

fab. Probably to the point where the cold logic of the argument (they

don’t pay out to shareholders) might be lost. I hope not. Full marks

though for avoiding the usual old cack that is served up in this sector.

And even more marks for using John Peel, the ’godfather of punk’, and

the man responsible for me being late for school.

Finally, the best of the bunch. There are two ads for Beat 106 FM, a

north of the border radio station. One is average, the other


The girls in the flat don’t cut it. The ’fire engine’ execution is a


Everyone I play it to laughs out loud. The timing is flawless.

Want a prediction for 2000? We’ll see kilts at the Grosvenor for this

one. And remember this is the guy who is collecting his winnings on the

Guinness ad. Oh ye of little

Beat 106 FM

Project: Beat 106 launch

Client: Bobby Hain, managing director, Mike Marley, sales and marketing


Brief: Beat 106 is foreground music, not background music

Agency: The Leith Agency

Writers: Gerry Farrell, Dougal Wilson

Art directors: Gerry Farrell, Gareth Howells

Director: Martin Wedderburn Production company: MTP

Exposure: Satellite TV, Scottish TV, Channel 4, Channel 5

IPC Electric


Client: Lucie Scott,

marketing director

Brief: Announce the launch and drive traffic to the new women’s website

Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren

Writer: Malcolm Green

Art director: Gary Betts

Exposure: National magazines and posters

Equitable Life

Project: Equitable pensions Client: Nick Cook, advertising manager

Brief: Raise the profile of Equitable Life and encourage those buying

pensions to think about the issues before purchasing

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer Writer: Dave Woods

Art director: Pete Harle

Director: Gregory Rood

Production company: Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Client: Soames Hines, global marketing director

Brief: Explain and demonstrate the concept

of collective buying Agency: In-house

Exposure: National TV


Project: McDonald’s January sale

Client: John Hawkes, senior vice-president, chief marketing officer

Brief: n/s

Agency: Leo Burnett Writer: David White

Art director: Stephen White

Director: David Hartley Production company: Brave Film Company

Exposure: National TV

Reed Business Information


Client: Jane Burgess, marketing director

Brief: Position as the definitive job site

Agency: CDP

Writers: Noel Hasson, Loz Simpson

Art directors: Rob Kitchen, John Cook

Typographer: Mark Osborne

Exposure: National outdoor and press

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