So here I am: sat on my settee in an ill-fitting lime-green polyester-mix pully next to an 800lb adult male silverback with the word DEREK painted on his nose in Tipp-Ex. This, my friends, is the power of advertising.
He may be a great ape but he's a bloody awful flatmate. Still, at least having a gorilla in my midst has helped me discover where Peperami Firesticks (5) come from. I've been shovelling the stinking little buggers off my living-room floor ever since Big Del moved in.
For me, there's something strangely 1980s about Peperami (and its advertising).
They may no longer use Ade Edmondson's voice, but his shouty, farty Young Ones spirit still wafts over proceedings like Thatcher's aftershave.
So it came as a nice surprise to be directed towards a new-fangled website (www.toohotfortv.co.uk). Once there, I entered a cyber cinema, packed to the gunnels with steaming, animated, meat-headed lunks of reconstituted animal matter. A bit like the Trocadero on a Friday night. But cleaner.
Together we watched the aforementioned hotty. Hmmm. It's Peperami alright, but exactly as we knew it. Website or not, it's a bit of a tired animal, I'm afraid. Someone should have a word.
And I think I know just the fella. Have you seen the bloke in the new Guinness (2) commercial? Part Doctor Dolittle, part David Blaine. When he's not whispering sweet nothings into wild mustangs' lugholes, he's making one of the finest TV ad campaigns of recent years vanish without trace from our collective memory. And that's no mean achievement, you'll agree.
Now. Lucozade (6). What's the word I'm looking for? Bonkers. I love it. And so does Derek. We just can't explain why.
HSBC (3) continues to support beautiful advertising. The latest is a beautifully told tale of English boy falling for Italian girl with resultant floral misunderstandings and calamitous consequences. I could watch it and her all day long. (Derek grunted something about "aping Stella", but I think that was more a sexual peccadillo than a stylistic quibble.)
All the chimpanzees with all the world's PCs and all the time from here to eternity on their hairy little hands could never come close to creating the worrying filmic masterpiece that is the new NSPCC (4) campaign.
Do something civilised for the human race today. Call 0800 801 837 and pledge some money to the NSPCC.
Or I'll send the big fella round to Peperami your patio.
TV PRODUCER - Peter Bazalgette, chairman, Endemol UK
The Calgon ad is impossibly naff, isn't it? The voiceover on the Orbit ad (as a woman tries to clean her teeth with Sellotape) is unfeasibly patronising, surely? But, much as we rage at campaigns, the real question is: do they work? In this bunch, we have two brilliant ads, two very good ones, one OK and one baffling. Here they are, in descending order of genius:
HSBC (3) "flowers" is by far the best of the "local knowledge" themed ads so far. Shy, maladroit boy puts bunch of chrysanthemums on beautiful Italian girl's scooter. It's knocked over by a lorry and everyone thinks she's dead. Chrysanths in Italy are a funeral flower. This is humorous and utterly charming. It makes me seem sadly naive, but I could actually feel more warmly towards a grey, financial institution having watched this.
The ventriloquist's dummy is an enduringly spooky motif. This is given an inspired twist here for the NSPCC (4). Schoolgirl dummy sits with male ventriloquist in busy classroom. He answers for her when questioned by the teacher. There's already a sense of dislocation since he talks normally, moving his lips. The revealed punchline is: "Abused children can't speak up." You realise that the ventriloquist might be an embodiment of the manipulative abuser. A chillingly delayed time-bomb in a powerfully emotive message.
Next, horse-whispering convict tames unbroken stallion in prison ranch.
The hard man has a soft heart, the horse is a wild spirit imprisoned just like him. Both are capable of redemption. An extraordinarily concise and emotional piece of story-telling. Does the switch by Guinness (2) from trendy tricks and taglines to narrative mean they're now aiming the black stuff at women? As we know, the ladettes are now knocking back more than the lads. But the mystery remains - how can you square the glossy, upmarket Guinness ads with the unshaven tinkers you see drinking it in pubs?
In Peperami (5), a group of dirty, old sausages gather in a sleazy club to watch an ad for a new breed of hot bangers. The animation includes the amusing conceit of bleeped expletives from a beer-snaffling Peperami.
Funny, well-designed, easily accessed with embedded, viral marketing come-ons and free samples. No wonder internet ads are drawing close to the value of radio ads.
Call me pedantic, but every good joke, however surreal, needs its own internal logic. These animated amoeba are orange and they dance groovily under the microscope in a dull science class because they take Lucozade (6). But how did they get the sugared water in the first place?
Benetton (1) publishes pictures of four chimps in print media called Pumbu, James, Jackson and Bonny. Are they a new boy band? I haven't a clue. Time Benetton got itself an agency. But what do I know? I just work in TV.
Project: "James and other apes"
Client: Paolo Landi, advertising director, Benetton
Creative: James Mollison
Photographer: James Mollison
Exposure: Press and posters, Europe and the Far East
Client: Nick Robinson, marketing director, Guinness GB
Brief: Make the Guinness pint synonymous with being your own man
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writers: Paul Brazier, Nick Worthington
Art directors: Paul Brazier, Nick Worthington
Director: Anthony Minghella
Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Project: Global brand campaign
Client: Peter Stringham, group general manager, marketing, HSBC
Brief: Continue HSBC's "world's local bank" campaign
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Writer: Jason Berry
Art director: Jason Berry
Director: Ivan Zacharias
Production company: Stink
Exposure: Global TV
Client: John Grounds, director of communications, NSPCC
Brief: Make every person feel they have to give their money or support
to be a part of the "full stop" campaign
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Leo Premutico
Art director: Jan Jacobs
Director: Danny Kleinman
Production company: Large
Exposure: National TV
Project: "Too hot for TV"
Client: Iain Brooksbank, brand manager, Peperami
Brief: Shout about the insane heat of the new Firestick to 18- to
Writer: James Capp
Art directors: James Capp, Andrew Tuffs
Production company: Picasso Pictures
6. LUCOZADE ENERGY
Client: Simon Kemp, marketing category director, Lucozade
Brief: Celebrate the infectious energy that Lucozade Energy gives to its
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Writer: Dale Winton
Art director: Hamish Pinnell
Director: Alex Budovsky
Production company: Passion Pictures
Exposure: National TV