The Work: Private View

CREATIVE - Robert Campbell, executive creative director, McCann Erickson

Transport for London (3) has been responsible for some wonderful advertising in its time. And some truly iconic design. However, these posters betray that heritage. The art direction appears to have been carried out by a bus driver, the typography and copywriting by a traffic warden. Sorry, but advertising of this quality is not what I pay my Congestion Charge for.

OMSCo (1) Altogether Better is a new brand of milk. Its packaging is retro. So is its advertising. These posters are witty, stylish, nicely put together and totally vacuous. Surely, if a client has the balls to name its milk Altogether Better, it is the role of the advertising to equally aggressively tell us why its milk is altogether better. Missed opportunity.

Maxim (4). We open on two lads French kissing each other. Mid-slobber, they get caught by their girlfriends. Their girlfriends are deeply shocked and dump them. The triumphant lads are now free to "text and date" girls from Maxim's Little Black Book. Sad. The ad is almost rescued by its endline: "Maxim. So wrong, it's right." Almost.

Debenhams (6). Fashion clients are control freaks. So are advertising agencies. Consequently, it is not always easy to do good fashion ads.

This commercial walks the tightrope elegantly. Well done to the advertising agency for not trying too hard. Well done to the client, too, for letting the advertising agency add a bit, but not too much, of an idea.

Carling (2) and Foster's (5). At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I look at these two commercials and conclude that things ain't wot they used to be.

Remember when the arrival of a new Carling commercial was an event - literally - of national importance? "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label" was about as popular a saying here in the UK as "have a nice day" is in America. I was watching Kes Gray's "Dambusters" the other day. What a commercial! If it were my money, I'd run it again tomorrow. It spanks the pants off this new ad. Go on, Mr Client. I dare you to research "Dambusters" and "spot on" side-by-side and see.

And as for Foster's ... well, for 25 years now, Foster's has been trying to come up with a better campaign than the Paul Hogan ads that Jeff Stark wrote. So here's an idea. Why not ring up Jeff and ask him to have a crack at the brief? He's still got all his teeth!

MEDIA - Marc Mendoza, chief executive, MPG UK

As a Private View virgin, I feel obliged to be slightly nicer than normal, while aiming for a personal perspective on what cuts through. As well as a view on whether I believe this week's ads score on this criterion, I can't resist mentioning where they should be seen to do just that.

The work for Transport for London (3) will presumably appear on all things London Transport and is clean and tidy, if a little anaemic. Futurology references work as a device to warn how stressed, late and skint you'll be by the time you get to work, but I can't help think that the money would be better spent on the product.

The rather sweet attempt to brand organic milk is hampered by the OMSCo (1) logo but the packshot of a milk churn-shaped container will look nice in weeklies. The artwork is gentle and the media agency is going to have to buy serious frequency to get through to the page-flickers and persuade them that a brand is best.

Beer wars pitted Foster's (5) against Carling (2) for my affections.

First up was the latest cheeky Foster's Aussie putting his lager before common sense in the sun. This time, he rejects the advances of a blonde beauty, preferring to use her as shade to keep his beer cool. The first couple of these were inspired, especially the one with the dodgy quiff.

The acting is fine in this one but the idea is a little thin and it only just sustains a short commercial.

As someone who grew up on Carling ads at WCRS, it is unfair to compare.

The films Sliding Doors and The French Connection are drawn upon to dramatise a desperate race for the comfy chair to watch the footy in with a cold can. Perfect for the live football it's produced to appear in, it mines a recognisable seam of the daft games that pissed-up blokes play. Entertaining the first time you see it, but felt long, a touch indulgent and would be better as a cutdown on telly. I hope the long version makes it to cinema, though.

Maxim (4) kept the laddish quota up with a sharp, intrusive commercial that will look great on Bravo, Men & Motors, etc. Assuming Maxim uses the version where the blokes actually snog, most male viewers will feel obliged to squirm dramatically when the tongues come out. Nice.

Debenhams (6) has resorted to getting people to dress as furry animals and shout at shoppers through megaphones to come into the store, so I was dreading the commercials for its spring sale. The photographer shooting models with designer clothes was a stylish way to squeeze a lot of product into a short ad - I bet the suppliers paid for it.

I hope I have not upset anyone. Now, I'm off to buy some cheap media.

1. OMSCo

Project: What goodness tastes like

Client: David Whiting, marketing director, OMSCo

Brief: Altogether Better tastes the best because it is the best

Agency: Fallon

Writer: Sam Heath

Art directors: Frank Ginger, Mark Elwood, Sam Heath

Photographer: Jonathan Kitchen

Illustrators: Jason Holley, Harry Wingfield

Exposure: Six-sheet posters


Project: Race

Client: Des Johnson, Carling brand director, Coors Brewers

Brief: Carling is central to the best time with your mates

Agency: Leith London

Writers: Lou Bogue, Pete Cain

Art directors: Lou Bogue, Pete Cain

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Production company: MJZ

Exposure: National TV


Project: Travel updates campaign

Client: Nigel Marson, head of group marketing and communications,

Transport for London

Brief: Encourage users of London public transport to register for e-mail

travel updates giving the most up-to-date information on potential

disruptions to their regular journey

Agency: Chemistry

Writer: Matt Price

Art director: Seb Hill

Exposure: Transport for London-owned media


Project: Maxim's Little Black Book April issue

Clients: Hero Davison, group marketing manager; Ben Golding, marketing

manager, Dennis Publishing

Brief: Increase sales of April issue by promoting Maxim's Little Black


Agency: Flint Creative Solutions

Writer: Milo Campbell

Art director: Sonny Adorjan

Director: Paul Morgans

Production company: PSA

Exposure: National TV


Project: Shadow

Client: Sarah Warby, marketing manager, Scottish Courage

Brief: Launch Foster's Super Chilled

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: James Lowther

Art director: Bill Gallacher

Director: Colin Gregg

Production company: Therapy Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Designers at Debenhams spring 2005

Client: Jess Burnett, brand manager, Debenhams

Brief: Launch the new spring designer collection

Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy

Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw

Director: Brian Walsh

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: National TV

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