St Luke's unveils £4m adult education drive

The prime minister Tony Blair's pledge to improve adult literacy

and numeracy is at the forefront of St Luke's £4 million campaign

for COI Communications' Department for Education and Skills.

The new campaign for the DfES addresses the first pledge in this year's

New Labour election manifesto. It will aim to appeal to adults with

literacy and numeracy problems by removing any sense of personal fault,

while encouraging them to act.

The campaign introduces gremlins - played by actors in prosthetics and

dressed in boiler suits - to represent the embarrassment and frustration

people feel over their poor basic skills.

In one spot, a woman is holding a magazine in her friend's kitchen, and

is embarrassed when the friend asks her to read an article. As she

searches desperately for a diversion, various gremlins pop out to laugh

at her discomfort.

In another ad, a man is laying down a carpet, but because of his poor

numeracy skills he has misjudged the length needed. Again, a gremlin

appears to mock his incompetence.

The campaign will run across TV, press and radio.

Seyoan Vela, a creative director at St Luke's, said: "The accepted view

is that illiteracy is a very sensitive subject and any advertising

should be about making people feel better about themselves. But research

showed that we have to make them feel uncomfortable about their

illiteracy while still engaging them - it's the only thing that


The campaign was written and art directed by Vela and Colin


It was directed by David Hartley at Stark Films. Media planning is by

Manning Gottlieb Media and buying is by MediaCom.