They’ve got Richard E. Grant banged up in a sound booth, right, and they’re force-feeding him plums and playing old Donald Sinden VOs through his cans. They wait, that’s what they do, until the gasping thesp is well luvvied-up and banging his head against the sound-proof glazing.

They’ve got Richard E. Grant banged up in a sound booth, right, and

they’re force-feeding him plums and playing old Donald Sinden VOs

through his cans. They wait, that’s what they do, until the gasping

thesp is well luvvied-up and banging his head against the sound-proof


Then, and only then, do they press the RECORD button.

’Bendicks of Mayfair. Because special people deserve special


Up to that Swiss Tony moment the ad had displayed a sort of naive


Chap lists the idiosyncratic qualities of the object of his desire; she

can touch her nose with her tongue, she has a naughty tattoo etc. Then,

just as you think he’s some kind of voyeuristic sicko waiting for the

Rohypnol to kick in, she gets the chocs out and we realise that they’re

in lurve all along. Aaaah.

For Woolworths this Christmas there’s no business like snow


As we cross the store threshold we step into a ’winner wunnerland’ where

keenly priced gifts rain down like meteorites. Such is the breadth of

choice the ads suggest ’we’ll forget what we popped-in for’. This idea,

of course, is grounded in a fundamental truth. I’m sure all of us have

at one time or another found ourselves in a Woolworths and suddenly

thought, ’What the fuck am I doing here?’

The wonder of Boots is that nobody likes them. No amount of Motown

tracks and ’Love Boots’ lines will give Britain’s most essential and

ubiquitous retailer a brand personality we can warm to. This latest

attempt features portraits of ’real people’ reacting positively to the

wide range of keenly priced gifts available at Boots. It’s all going

well enough until some joker decides to dub canned chuckles on the end.

I daresay the shoot was a hoot for cast and crew, but I’m afraid we

punters are not included in this joke.

I’m proud to say I was an early adopter of the Gap campaign. I have

defended it, often to the death, against carping creatives who ’just

don’t get it’. They resent the fact that it was created by civilians and

find its essential simplicity unnerving; as if these ads somehow lack a

sufficient degree of difficulty. This Christmas the choreography and

effects are perhaps a little too busy.

I know it’s supposed to be a hip reworking of Busby Berkeley, but it

looks a bit more like hip-replacement Lionel Blair to me.

I love Selfridges too, especially the food hall. Many a lunch hour will

find me there looking for what, I don’t know, solace, a reason, some

kind of answer. After an hour or so one of the white-coated assistants

will take me gently by the arm and point me back up Baker Street. It

seems churlish to repay this simple act of kindness with an unfavourable

review of its ad but I’m sure the work reflects neither the new store

nor the standards of its excellent agency. You’ll be familiar with the


Five naked young people cover their embarrassment with the shop’s

emblematic carrier bags. On this occasion I fear the embarrassment is

somehow connected with the ad not the nudity. On a positive note,

though, the model fourth from left does bear a striking resemblance to

Andrew Robertson. Not that I’ve seen Andrew naked, of course. Not since

the last time they had a lock-in at the Ivy and Andrew and I won the

karaoke with a spirited duet of Somethin’ Stupid. ’I’ll be Frank, you’re

Nancy,’ was Andrew’s gruff introduction. But I digress.

Tia Maria is the ad of the week, if not quite the millennium. It’s the

old girl-lures-boy-to-lair-by-running-moistened-finger-round-rim-of-Tia

Maria-glass scenario meets the boy-opens-stubborn-jar-of-gherkins

routine but given an extra twist! The boy is Stephen Dorff! For me, the

real casting coup is the girl, not model pretty but very striking, a

brave but brilliant choice. She can run her moistened finger round my

rim any (that’s enough - Ed).

May I wish all of you everything you could possibly want for the next

thousand years!


Project: Christmas campaign

Client: David Clayton-Smith, director of customer marketing

Brief: The perfect gift equals the perfect reaction

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Meg Rosoff

Art director: Frank Houston

Director: Tessa Sheridan

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Tia Maria, Princess of Darkness

Client: Trudy Lloyd, brand director

Brief: Build identification with the dark power of the Tia Maria brand

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Writer: Mike Boles

Art director: Jerry Hollens

Director: Walter Stern

Production company: Academy

Exposure: National TV and cinema


Project: Selfridges

Client: Nicola Lloyd, marketing manager

Brief: n/s

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Paul Fraser

Art director: David Cloke

Typographer: Ali Augur

Photographer: Robert Wilson

Exposure: n/s


Project: Holiday TV campaign

Client: Lisa Prisco, creative director/vice-president

Brief: n/s

Agency: In-house

Writer: In-house

Art director: In-house

Director: Michel Gondry

Production company: Partizan

Exposure: National TV


Project: Woolworths Christmas

Client: Jo Kenrick, brand communications controller

Brief: Reinforce Woolworths’ role as the shop for the family at the

heart of the community every Christmas

Agency: Bates UK

Writer: Neil Pavitt

Art director: Andy Rott

Director: Gregory Rood

Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV


Project: Bendicks Christmas campaign

Client: James Tschortner, marketing manager

Brief: n/s

Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Tim Delaney

Art director: Tim Delaney

Directors: Tom Pollock, Tom Connolly

Production companies: Sneezing Tree, Outlaw Films

Exposure: National TV

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