WCRS 1979-1999: Private view - A cross-section of WCRS employees reveal both their favourite ads and the reasons they were memorable

First Direct I hate queues

First Direct I hate queues

I like the ad because I hate queues too. Don’t we all? It’s a waste of

time, and as we say in the finance department, ’time is money’. WCRS and

First Direct proved that bank advertising need not be boring and nor do

finance departments. Bob Mortimer does what we would all do if only we

had the guts. It’s clever advertising that should encourage all people

to do the same - bank cleverly.

Qualcast A lot less bovver than a hover

The reason I like this is because, like most memorable ads, it’s


Whenever you hear people saying, ’did you see ...?’, it’s not because

the ad was artistic, creative or informative, but because it made them


Secondly, it was one of the few ads that refers to a specific

competitor, and takes the mickey in the process. It highlights the

absurdity of mowing the lawn and then spending time raking up the

resulting mess afterwards. Who would buy a hover mower after seeing

this? The final scene shows how much better the finished result is using

the Qualcast mower compared with the earlier attempt.

Still humourous, but making an important point.

Carling Black Label Dambusters

Coming from South Africa, I’d never seen this ad before, but now I think

it’s just about the best I’ve ever witnessed. It’s not often you laugh

out loud when someone tries to sell you beer, although as Friday night

wears on, everyone does laugh at my jokes more easily! I love everything

about this ad: the ridiculous bloke catching the ridiculous bombs, the

stupid voices, the wonderful music and, of course, the ubiquitous

football imagery - written by a bloke perhaps? Why aren’t all ads like

this one?

Orange Launch

The thing I liked about the Orange launch ads was that they were

something totally different. I might have been reading more into the

commercial than I was supposed to, but the baby floating in water

immediately brought thoughts of a new birth and a new product, without

any need for boring pictures of mobile telephones and technology. ’The

future’s bright, the future’s Orange.’ Well, you can’t argue with that,

can you? It all added to the feeling that this was a new, exciting


Having said all that, I still don’t have a mobile phone and continue to

do my best to avoid them!

BMW Drawing pins

I don’t pretend to be an expert on advertising, but there are two things

I know a lot about: Robin and BMWs. Robin, I’m still figuring out, but

what I don’t know about BMWs could be written on the back of a cigarette

packet. I drive one around for Robin every day, I sit and gaze at the

dashboard for hours on end waiting for him, and I’ve got just about

every gadget and accessory BMW has ever produced. Picking my favourite

ad was a close-run thing for me because there have been some great BMW

ads. But in the end, my absolute favourite has to be ’drawing pins’.

It’s simple, it looks great and it’s not too far up its own arse. In the

words of another great BMW press ad, ’enough said’.

Electricity privatisation Frank N Stein

I actually love this ad; it shows how all-pervasive electricity is in

our lives and how even the oddest people need it. Being an avid user

myself, it jolted me into buying some shares, whereas normally I would

just turn off!

Sharwoods Palette

The first thing I think when I see this ad is, ’blow filling the

cupboard up with 30 different spices, I can have them all in one’. For

me, cooking is an art form, and a good curry is a work of art. This ad

appreciates that. Just looking at it makes my mouth water! It encourages

me to spice up my daily offering in the wine bar, so all my daily

punters at WCRS benefit. It’s a fabulous ad for a fabulous product,

which I still use.