Private View

Well, whaddaya know.

Well, whaddaya know.

Greetings from ’the most influential agency of the past ten years’. And

to think that when we first launched this place, people laughed at


(Actually, when you see the picture of what we looked like at the time,

that becomes perfectly understandable.)

OK - ET for BT.

I always thought the strategy was a bit tenuous here - taking a line

from a movie and building a campaign on it. Like taking the ’hill of

beans’ line from Casablanca and making Humphrey Bogart the spokesman for


I admit that when I first saw ET, I wept. And, despite some valiant

copywriting on some of the ads, this latest example makes me want to

weep once again.

ET - don’t phone home. Go home. Please. And if I was BT, I’d be looking

for some fresh strategic thinking on telephones.

The Halifax has tried to move on from a big, famous campaign; which is a

difficult trick to pull off, because research will always tell you that

you were better off with the previous campaign.

They’ve started to think about the role of money in people’s lives but

they’ve got to push it a lot further than this. This ad goes all round

the houses to tell you, well, not a lot really.

BT talks about being big, Halifax talks about being big - it’s all a bit

predictable, isn’t it? The only ad I’ve ever liked that made a big deal

about size was the Renault one with the sexy French lady talking about

extra centimetres.

Marvellous advertising, that was. And very clever too because if you

expressed any doubts about it, people would just assume you’ve got a

small todger. Personally, I love the work.

Talking of car ads takes me on to Land Rover. And here’s the familiar

concept that the Land Rover (like every other 4x4) doesn’t want to be

cooped up in town - it needs the wide open space. Maybe that’s a fantasy

that appeals to all the sexy mums on the Wandsworth school run. Or maybe

it’s time to offer them something different? The ad looks very good,

it’s got some lovely touches, but it misses being great. Great usually

needs a strategic breakthrough.

Michelin. A series of ads ask you to ’Make sure they show you the logo’

- which is a bit transparent as a strategy, isn’t it? I mean, what

product wouldn’t that be appropriate for? Mind you, the same accusation

could be levelled at ’Don’t say brown, say Hovis’. However, that was in

the days when Lord George Hovis was Chancellor. In the more complicated

days of Gordon Hovis, I’m not so sure it would work any more.

I like slogans but I’m not confident this one will take off. Given what

the logo is, I’d prefer something such as ’Let’s see the fat guy’.

Something they can chant on the terraces when Paul Gascoigne plays. Or

in the House of Commons when John Prescott stands up. Or at the

Grosvenor House when ... no, don’t go there, Steve.

Sony Walkman. This is a very stylish series of posters which really

works a treat down in Oxford Circus tube station. The ads take you

through 20 years of brilliant designs for the product given the accolade

of ’best product ever’ by the highly estimable Stuff magazine.

It makes me feel good about Sony because it demonstrates how committed

it is to looking for new takes, new ideas. And don’t forget - this is

the product that bombed in research. (Something to bear in mind the next

time you let research make a decision for you.)

And finally, First Direct. We launched this brand and I normally find it

hard to like work done on accounts that have moved on from here. But, in

this instance, I’m happy to make an exception. This is lovely pared-down

animation and an inspired use of Harry Hill. And I love the writing -

they’re right about the cheese and onion.

Definitely the most influential ad of this week. At least, I hope


Steve Henry is a founding partner of HHCL & Partners


Project: Sony Walkman

Client: Geoff Muge, group marketing communications manager

Brief: Celebrate 20 years of the Walkman

Agency: BMP DDB

Creative director: Mark Reddy

Graphic designer: Mary Lam

Exposure: London, 4-sheet and 16-sheet posters


Project: Brand campaign

Client: Philip Hanson, general manager, group marketing

Brief: Demonstrate that the Halifax gives you the extra help you need to

get on with your life

Agency: Bates UK

Writer: Jerry Gallaher

Art director: Clive Yaxley

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National and satellite TV


Project: Michelin tyres

Client: Robin Worthington, marketing communications manager

Brief: Communicate that branding matters for tyres

Agency: TBWA GGT

Simons Palmer

Writer: Joanna Perry

Art director: Damon Troth

Director: Simon Cellan-Jones

Production company: And Howe Films

Exposure: National TV

Land Rover

Project: Land Rover Freelander

Clients: Colin Green, marketing director, Les Knight, marketing

communications manager

Brief: Reinforce the Freelander’s ownership of freedom

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Steve Little

Art director: Andy Dibb

Director: Ivan Zacharias

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV, cinema

First Direct

Project: First Direct

Client: Mike Phillipson, brand communications manager

Brief: Capture what it feels like to bank with First Direct

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Stefan Jones

Art director: Tom Burnay

Director: Mark Nunneley

Production company: RSA/Realise

Exposure: National TV


Project: BT Together

Client: Tim Evans, head of marketing communications

Brief: Communicate the low prices and free call-time of

BT Together

Agency: Abbott Mead

Vickers BBDO

Writer: Nick Wray

Art director: Peter Gausis

Director: Otto Bathurst

Production company:

Byfield Films

Exposure: National TV

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