TBWA creates Npower campaign

Npower is aiming to capitalise on its sponsorship of this summer's

cricket Test series with a pounds 3 million brand-building campaign

through TBWA/London.

The 30-second ad, which breaks next Monday, concentrates on the year's

showpiece cricketing event, the Ashes series against Australia. It

features the England cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, who returns to his

London apartment to find a series of goading answering machine messages

from his Australian opposite number, Steve Waugh.

Living up to his team's reputation for 'sledging' its opponents on the

field, Waugh has left Hussain a stream of messages boasting that England

has no chance of winning the series and recapturing the Ashes. 'We're

gonna take you to the cleaners, mate,' he predicts. 'And that's after

Pakistan have ripped you apart.'

As the phone rings again and Waugh begins another message with 'I just

wanted to offer you the chance to surrender', Hussain seems to rise to

the bait. He walks over swinging his cricket bat, but instead of

smashing the machine in a fit of pique, he begins to practice his


A voiceover then cuts in, announcing: 'Whatever happens in the cricket,

now there's a test that's really easy. Take the Npower test to find out

how much you can save on your gas and electricity bills.'

The campaign, which launches three days before England's first Test

against Pakistan on 17 May, will run throughout the summer across

Channel 4, Sky and the Tyne Tees, Granada and Central ITV regions. Media

planning and buying is by Manning Gottlieb Media.

'Our investment in cricket for 2001 is a key element of the Npower

brand-building strategy and the Nasser ad is an extension of this,'

Npower's divisional director, David Andrew, said.

The ad was written by Pat Burns, art directed by Gav McGrath and

directed by Ed Sayers through Godman.

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