PRIVATE VIEW

Well, when it comes to big, do you reckon Barclays dropped a big bollock with its ’big’ campaign? When I reviewed it in Private View at the time, I really wasn’t sure, but the amount of opprobrium it has attracted in the press and, to a lesser extent, in the ad business might indicate that nobody’s done particularly well out of it, with the exception of The Big Issue. I must, in fairness, note that it picked up a silver Lion at Cannes, although several pundits considered that a salute to Anthony Hopkins’ excellent performance rather than the strategy.

Well, when it comes to big, do you reckon Barclays dropped a big

bollock with its ’big’ campaign? When I reviewed it in Private View at

the time, I really wasn’t sure, but the amount of opprobrium it has

attracted in the press and, to a lesser extent, in the ad business might

indicate that nobody’s done particularly well out of it, with the

exception of The Big Issue. I must, in fairness, note that it picked up

a silver Lion at Cannes, although several pundits considered that a

salute to Anthony Hopkins’ excellent performance rather than the

strategy.



The Big Issue’s ad, however, more than salutes the strategy: it mimics

it in an intensely disturbing manner. The hero, if you could stretch

language enough to call him that, does not bestride the world like the

actors who symbolise Barclays. In fact, he doesn’t even bestride his own

street.



He’s a small man from ’a big estate next to a big dual carriageway, with

a job in a big factory’, his ’big mouth’ gets him into strife with a

’big bouncer’, his ’big debts’ are getting him into ’big trouble’ and

he’s ’looking at a big sentence’.



The man is carefully cast, not in the Ray Winstone, Gary Oldman school

of gritty East End reality, more like the gentle losers who people Mike

Leigh’s early films. So when he takes the lift to the top of a building

and, looking over, says ’big drop’, you don’t laugh - you feel for him

and his kind, which is precisely the objective of this clever and

sensitive parody of big business ethics.



Leagas Delaney, Barclays’ agency, also created this spot for BBC

Sport.



Here, the agency’s now unparalleled visual coolness and verbal dexterity

slip into the muscular strategy like an athlete into Prada leather.

Messrs Seaman, Dallaglio, Dettori and Rusedski, and many more sporting

greats, all shot with Irving Penn-like simplicity, claim they will make

us ’sing, wonder, cringe, pray, cheer, sigh, grit our teeth’ etcetera,

in a timely and tasty reminder of BBC’s biggest summer of sport.



Anyway, back to world-bestriding capitalists - and Charles Schwab. For

anybody who has lived in America, Charles Schwab is the familiar face of

smart money. Here, we see this almost mythical figure of financial

sorcery wobbling up and down on a roller coaster. For me, it was like

seeing Merlyn Lowther (the chief cashier of the Bank of England,

according to my pounds 20 note) racing down Threadneedle Street on one

of those pounds 99 silver scooters. I know shares can go up as well as

down, but buying shares from a man on a roller coaster is about as

reassuring as buying contact lenses from a clown.



In the wonderful world of Kellogg’s, everyone smiles and the sun always

shines, so full marks to the team who upheld the edict but slipped a

camp low ball between the posts, if you’ll pardon the expression. Carmen

Miranda’s I, I, I, I like you very much has always been a favourite with

the Danny La Rue school of drama and diction, and Fruit & Fibre’s a

catchy ad, but perhaps it could have been camper and edgier. In short,

more fruits and a bit more fibre.



I didn’t realise ScottishPower sold TVs, did you? So full marks for

message, but personally I’d deduct a few for style. Is it really

necessary to have a ScottishPower sign that would dwarf Wembley’s

scoreboard? I wouldn’t call the noisy neighbour a ham, that’s a bit

thick, I think - prosciutto is nearer the mark. The shop assistant,

however, is very nicely underplayed and admirably carries off the spirit

of the endline: ’We can’t help but help.’



You’ve probably noticed how Private Viewers always save the best up for

their big finale. Unfortunately I started with my best and I’d forgotten

about the press work for b4baby.com. Looking at it again, you can

probably imagine how I forgot it. Not that there’s anything wrong with

it - the lines are very clear, it’s well branded and the illustrations,

if a bit layout-ish, have charm. Oh, if I’m any fairer you’ll just think

I’m bending over backwards not to be bitchy, or that I’m just trying to

pad out the 700 words - so I’ll stop.



The Big Issue

Project: The Big Issue

Client: Matthew Collin, editor

Brief: Show the big problems faced by the ordinary man on the street

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writers: Sara Dunlop, Will Goodchild, Rosie

Arnold

Art directors: Sara Dunlop, Will Goodchild, Rosie Arnold

Director: Sara Dunlop

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: London cinema


BBC

Project: BBC Sport

Client: Andria Vidler, head of marketing and business development, BBC

Sport

Brief: Demonstrate the BBC’s commitment to sport

Agency: Circus Writer: David Prideaux

Art director: Tim Ashton

Director: Tom Connolly

Production company: Sneezing Tree

Exposure: BBC TV


Kellogg’s

Project: Kellogg’s Fruit ’n’ Fibre

Client: Guy Longworth, marketing director

Brief: Position Fruit ’n’ Fibre as a fruity breakfast

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Andrew Singleton

Art director: Jono Wardle

Director: Tom Merilion

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: National TV


Charles Schwab

Project: Roller coaster

Client: Russ Shaw, senior vice-president marketing

Brief: Launch Charles Schwab as the experts in self-directed investing

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Tim Riley

Art director: Rob Oliver

Director: Roger Woodburn

Production company: Park Village

Exposure: C4, C5 and ITV, London only


ScottishPower

Project: ScottishPower Retail and Energy Supply

Client: David Clarke, marketing and strategic services director

Brief: ’We can’t stop our staff from giving great service: they’re

ScottishPowered’

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Alex Grieve

Art director: Adrian Rossi

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


Helpful Media

Project: b4baby.com launch

Client: Harry Hobson, managing director

Brief: Launch b4baby.com as the most authoritative and comprehensive

resource for UK parents on the web

Agency: AMVadvance

Writer: Dave Smith

Art director: Mike Holmes

Illustrators: Mike Holmes, Anne-Marie Wilkins

Exposure: 48-sheet posters, women’s and parenting press, national

weekend supplements