My gran was full of sayings. A sort of Dave Trott of the 1890s.

My gran was full of sayings. A sort of Dave Trott of the 1890s.

Her words, ’Charles, there’s a bit of good in everything’, ring in my

ears as I put finger to keyboard. Thanks gran, but you never had to

review today’s bunch of ads.

So knowing that it’s easier to criticise than praise, let’s look for the

good bits.

First out of the bag we have Caroline Quentin, the new Philadelphia

girl, asking us, ’What’s your idea of heaven?’ A question that taxed my

saintly gran for all her adult life. She shouldn’t have bothered because

now we know. It’s cheese on toast.

Good bits? This is easier than I thought. This ad has everything. Lots

of product. Sex. A famous personality. What more could a client


Well, apart from an idea, a good script and a spark of originality.

Moving on swiftly to Sunny Delight. I’m looking gran, I’m looking. Ah

yes, the product. Now that’s good. It’s one of the most successful

product launches of recent times. In this ad a team of basketball

players prance about to last year’s film technique. Seeking refreshment

they down some Sunny Delight and then one of the players plucks the sun

out of the sky and proceeds to slam dunk it. (Don’t try this at home.)

Curiously, he doesn’t get his fingers burned, and nor will the client in

this safe, anodyne ad. Will it sell Sunny Delight? Yes. But think what

good advertising could have done.

From Sunny Delight to Tiberian Sun. Here the good bit is the


Hurrah! It’s eccentric. It’s witty. It’s got good attitude and


The problem is though that it’s fighting for brand supremacy in a

crowded market, with a none too original strategy. Good luck, but as

gran used to say, and have embroidered above her bed: ’Never

underestimate the power of PlayStation.’

The good bit in the next ad is the brief. I am told by Women Against

Rape that in two out of three rapes the victim knows the offender. A

shuddering fact that has lead to an OK ad. I am shown a film of a man

and a woman during the course of an evening, and titles tell me that ’I

call’, ’I meet’, ’I dance’, ’I drink’ and ultimately I go too far. Then

it asks me, ’What am I doing?’, and tells me to pick up a postcard on

the way out of the cinema. It seems churlish to be critical of any ad

done for a good cause, and seen in context of the film Eyes Wide Shut

this ad may work. I hope so.

After his recent auto accident Rik Mayall, disguised as Richard Branson,

makes a comeback in the new ads for Virgin Trains. In the best of the

set he’s featured driving a car irresponsibly while using a mobile phone

and drinking a cup of coffee - if only he’d taken a Virgin train. The

strategy of train versus car is not new, and tells us little about


But the best of these ads, when they don’t veer into slapstick, make

their point and are well acted.

Finally, a poster campaign from the agency that is reinventing the


This time the client is Habitat. But hang on, this is more than a


It’s a crusade. (I know that because Trevor Beattie said so in Campaign

two weeks ago.) We are to spend less time at work and more time at


The good bit here is the strategy. It’s a big thought, and one that has

real potential. It’s just a shame that the writers believed the strategy

and went home before they came up with any good ideas.

’Charles, good things come to those who wait.’

OK, gran. Let’s keep waiting.

Charles Inge is creative director of Lowe Howard-Spink

Kraft Jacobs Suchard

Project: Philadelphia

Client: Mick Shepherd, general manager, coffee and food

Brief: A little taste of heaven

Agency: J.Walter Thompson Writer: Richard Saunders

Art director: Peter Celiz

Director: Graham Rose Production company: Rose Hackney Barber

Exposure: National TV and satellite

Electronic Arts Westwood

Project: Tiberian Sun

Client: Graeme Struthers, European sales and marketing director

Brief: Launch Tiberian Sun

Agency: Banks Hoggins O’Shea FCB Writer: David Alexander

Art director: Rob Fletcher

Director: Solan & Livermore Production company: ad Cow

Photographers: Paul Wakefield, Yoshio Otauka, John Cumming and George


Exposure: Channel 4 and 5, gaming and style magazines

Habitat UK

Project: Habitat brand

Client: Richard Millar, group marketing manager

Brief: Re-establish Habitat’s core belief that everyone should have

access to good design that adds to their quality of life

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer

Writer: Ben Short

Art director: Cameron Short

Photographer: Annabel Elston Exposure: National press and posters

Women Against Rape

Project: Date rape

Client: Lisa Longstaff

Brief: Raise awareness on the date rape issue

Agency: GGT Direct/TBWA

Writer: Barney Cockerell

Art director: Nick Platt

Director: Michael Massey Production company: N/S Exposure: Cinema

Procter & Gamble

Project: Sunny Delight

Client: Gino de Jaegher, European marketing director

Brief: Dramatise the refreshing effect of Sunny Delight

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Writer: Steve Heath

Art director: Jeff Clinch

Director: Tony Tremlett Production company: Serious Pictures

Exposure: National TV and satellite

Virgin Trains

Project:Business campaign

Client: Mark Furlong, commercial director

Brief: Persuade business travellers to take the train

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Writer: Pip Bishop

Art director: Chris Hodgkiss

Director: Peter Richardson Production company: Jack Strong

Exposure: National TV