The Work: Private View

CREATIVE - Sam Cartmell and Jason Lawes won a gold award for Tesco at last month's Campaign Press Awards.

Private View. Always puzzled us, that. Because, actually, it's all on public view. Your work. Your name. Your reputation. And, worse still, you know it's coming. Thursday dawns. You rip open Campaign and there you are. As the room starts to spin, your eyes search frantically for something positive. A sentence. A phrase. Even just one blessed word that you can take comfort from and cling on to as people slap you on the back all day with those dreaded words of consolation: "Hey, at least it provoked a reaction." We've tried to be positive, so you can simply enjoy the good (the bits you tell your mum) and ignore the bad (the sordid secrets you'd rather keep from your wife).

First up, a mailer for Smart (4), which promises to show us "how to run a car on peanuts". The foil peanut pack is well designed, with pack weight, ingredients and even barcode harnessed to show off the Smart car's qualities.

But open the pack and you find a leaflet written by someone who must be allergic to nuts, as the peanut theme gives way to a straight hard sell.

The website offers the chance to join an online virtual gardening community to promote Zopa (5) - the web's first lending and borrowing exchange. There's plenty of togetherness, beautiful design and soothing music. It's a great idea. But all the registering and persuading friends to log on and water your plants proved back-breaking work.

Then a mailer for Gardeners' World (2) featuring a mug-shot of Alan Titchmarsh.

After the Zopa analogy, we wondered what product this mailer could possibly be for - another trendy, global investment company promising financial "growth"? But on closer examination, it turned out (refreshingly) that it really was for Gardeners' World.

Next, Remington (1) is trying to persuade us chaps to use its men's body hair trimmer and shaver on our backs, cracks and sacks - a clever strategy as we witness what planners call "the diminishing socio-demographic acceptability of facial hair". However, the ads feel homemade. Forget something for the weekend - here's something for the rear end.

O2 (3) promises us a brave new world. Beautiful people mill about, surrounded by moons, planets and general happiness, knowing they can get 10 per cent off their top-ups. It's majestic looking and all very Utopian. But mobile phones have been around a while and it would be refreshing if a company in the sector took a more humble stance. Now that would be a brave new world.

Finally, a skilfully put together ad for Volkswagen Touareg (6). It might not be the greatest-ever Volkswagen ad, but it's still head and shoulders above the majority of car ads on TV.

CREATIVE - Steve Harrison, creative partner, Harrison Troughton Wunderman

I'm sure your creative department has its own modus operandi. At Harrison Troughton Wunderman, ours is called "relevant abruption". The work must have a sudden, arresting impact (an abruption), which must dramatise or demonstrate the consumer benefit (relevant). Let's see how it applies to this week's selection.

The O2 (3) ad opens with: "Imagine a world where loyalty is rewarded." Impactful? Ermm. The voiceover hums along unobtrusively, while strange worlds circle what I assume is Planet O2. Problem is, the vast majority of O2's prospects are resident here on Earth. And only those who haven't been taking their lithium might buy the sign-off: "O2. The world revolves around you."

The Smart (4) insert tries admirably hard to be abruptive. It comes wrapped in a foil peanut packet with the line: "How to run a car on peanuts." It sounds interestingly like an alternative to the gas-guzzler. Unfortunately not. What the insert meant to say was "How to run a car for peanuts" and inside makes passing reference to economical driving before disappearing in several other directions.

The Gardeners' World (2) insert makes absolutely no attempt to be abruptive.

It is well-presented and has some good offers. Pity that few people will ever notice them.

Gardening is the theme for the Zopa (5) viral campaign. The site is clever but the idea falls on stony ground. It's too slow to be abruptive, because you have to sign up and give the names of three mates before anything starts to grow. Worse still, all this has no relevance to Zopa's proposition, which is, in fact, a novel way of making and saving money from cheap personal loans.

One of the ads for the Remington (1) men's body hair trimmer has an abruptive shot of a barber holding a mirror to a customer's newly trimmed backside.

The line "For all the places you don't want your barber to go" explains the benefit. Mission accomplished, then. Well, maybe not.

For, in advertising as in life, it's relatively easy to be abruptive when you're being mildly unpleasant. It doesn't, however, mean people will like you. Usually, to be successful, you should try to be abruptive and charming, too. Take the Volkswagen Touareg (6) spot. Amid the sound and fury of the typical commercial break, this film is arrestingly still.

It starts with a boy alone in school assembly. His long, solitary vigil continues until the final bell goes and he rushes out across a deserted, snow-covered playground to his mum who is waiting in her Touareg 4x4.

If you've ever wondered how the wife of the man who drives the snowplough does the school run, here's the answer.


Project: Chest, bum, groin

Client: Mitchell Simpson, UK shavers brand manager, Remington

Brief: Launch the first male body-hair trimmer to tame unruly male body


Agency: Grey London

Writers: Jimmy Blom, Jonathan Marlow

Art directors: Jimmy Blom, Jonathan Marlow

Photographer: Paul Reas

Exposure: National men's magazines


Project: Open up

Client: Dominic Murray, publisher, Gardeners' World magazine

Brief: Relaunch Gardeners' World magazine

Agency: DS-J

Writer: Paul Snoxell

Art director: Andy Todd

Exposure: Direct mail to 40,000 gardening enthusiasts

3. O2

Project: Orbit

Client: Rus Shaw, marketing director, O2

Brief: O2 is a world that revolves around you

Agency: Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest

Writer: Rooney Carruthers

Art director: Rooney Carruthers

Director: Ivan Bird

Production company: Serious Pictures

Exposure: National TV


Project: Smart peanuts

Client: Su Paver, marketing communications specialist, Smart UK

Brief: Generate enquiries for the Smart Fortwo and Forfour and

communicate the class-leading economy statistics that support the model


Agency: Rapier

Writer: Liz Franklin

Art director: Alex Naylor

Designers: Ross Hanson, Mike Joseph

Exposure: 360,000 inserts in automotive titles


Project: Garden of Zopa

Client: Sarah Matthews, chief marketing officer, Zopa

Brief: Create a viral campaign to launch Zopa

Agencies: Naked, Hyper Happen

Writers: Ty-John Roberts, Jim Richards

Art directors: Ty-John Roberts, Jim Richards

Production company: Addicted2TV

Exposure: Viral seeding, e-mail


Project: School

Client: Heidi Cartledge, communications manager, large cars, Volkswagen

Brief: Position the Touareg as a luxurious and truly capable 4x4

Agency: DDB London

Writer: Matt Lee

Art director: Peter Heyes

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous

Exposure: National TV, cinema