The Work: Private View


Ben Priest, creative director, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Yikes... I'd forgotten I'd agreed to do this Private View. Still, all that's needed is 450 witty, well-chosen words. Trouble is, I've got three pitches on the go, campaigns for existing clients coming out of my ears and an agency that seems to have been working a seven-day week for months.

With this in my mind, my reaction to this week's work is going to be instant and instinctive (much like a punter's, so no harm there).

I don't know what the idea in the Sol (5) print campaign is. There's a bit of sunshine, semi-scantily clad women and a pack shot. I'm afraid I feel the brand has been let down here. If this was the route you had to go down, couldn't it have had a bit more sex and glamour, a la Suede's old album covers?

I love the Video Arts (6) direct mail piece. The plastic dinner tray is a real showstopper and the idea that "if employees are reluctant to accept change, give them school dinners" is a good one. It's easy to see the link with change and more entertaining training, so an extra helping of pud for all concerned.

The new Citroen (1) C1 print ads are OK. I like the strategy, but the executions could have been better. They do contain one key truth, though: only someone daft enough to buy a Citroen would also think it was a good idea to keep a giraffe in the back garden.

The Axa (4) TV idents try very hard to be funny but, alas, come up short.

They use well-known TV drama genres but all the characters ever talk about is Axa products. I'm afraid the woman bursting in on the wedding yelling "I've just got Axa insurance" really did make me cringe.

Next up is Alan Sugar in a National Savings & Investments (3) ad. There's nothing wrong with using celebs in ads (think Terence Stamp for Virgin Atlantic) but I'm afraid Big Al's wooden performance and all the horse-racing imagery got in the way of a brilliant product being explained.

Finally, a nice digital campaign for T-Mobile (2). It's easy to navigate and offers da yoof tons of good stuff to do, courtesy of the brand.

Blimey, still 75 words needed.

Wait, I know.

Thanks to Chris & Pip, Mike & Jerry, Dave & Mark, Dan & Andy, Paul & Ted, Rich & Zac, David & Simon, Greg & Nick, Alex & Tim, Andy & Yu, Rob & Mike, Phil & Tim, Stuart & Graeme, Phil & Deen, James & Mike, Maj and everyone else at Rainey Kelly for working well above and beyond the call of duty in the past couple of months.


Rory Sutherland, deputy chairman and executive creative director, OgilvyOne Worldwide

Frank Zappa's view of music journalism was "people who can't write interviewing bands who can't talk for kids who can't read". If so, the T-Mobile (2) site may well be brilliantly written. It is certainly based on a brilliant idea. Street concerts or gigs are organised by T-Mobile, with the only notification being MMS messages sent exclusively to T-Mobile subscribers, flash-mob style. I can't think of anything more likely to improve the loyalty and peer-group standing of T-Mobile users. And perfect for a brand aiming to be the most metropolitan of the mobile networks.

Next up, we have a beer laying claim to a territory - in this case, not "street" but "beach". Sol (5), it seems, is to be associated with sun - something that will come as little surprise to the linguists among you.

Not a bad aim, but I doubt these ads alone will achieve it.

By contrast, these next two pieces should succeed, with both enjoying the following wind of a hit TV series. Using the notoriously hard-headed Sir Alan Sugar as the unpaid spokesman for National Savings & Investments (3) Premium Bonds successfully differentiates them from other gambling.

And Video Arts (6) taking Jamie's School Dinners as the basis for a training video on "change" is also a timely idea. But, in the latter's case, the product is a much bigger idea than the mailing, which has one of those headlines that sounds cleverer than it actually is. That said, the high impact of the piece probably helps justify the high price of the video.

Citroen (1) has the opposite task: it needs to justify a low price. As easyJet, Ikea and Target know, the trick is to offer low prices without the stigma of seeming cheap. One way to do this is to suggest that intelligent and prosperous people buy your brand because they prefer to spend their money on other things. It was with this in mind that David Ogilvy wrote the 1952 ad "I am sending my son to Groton with the money I have saved driving Austins".

Now Citroen is reprising this with the words: "Why spend all your money on a car?" It's a quirky, engaging approach and a useful reminder that price advertising can communicate much more than price.

Last, Axa (4) uses idents very sensibly by a) not asking more from them than a little name-recognition and b) exploiting the fact that you have a captive and consistent audience to make a series of executions. Individually OK, they are cumulatively very funny. So it seems the TV campaign lives on in the shape of the ident, which is nice, as it's the only bit of the ad break we Sky+ owners actually see.

Which makes me wonder... what would Frank Zappa say about our business?

1. Citroen Project: Citroen C1 launch Client: Mike Ibbett, marketing director, Citroen Brief: Show how buying a C1 leaves customers free to spend extra money Agency: Euro RSCG London Writer: Steven Nicholls Art director: Matt Anderson Photographer: Nick Meek Exposure: National daily newspapers and weekend supplements 2. T-Mobile Project: T-Mobile street gigs Client: Toby Hester, sponsorship manager, T-Mobile Brief: Promote spontaneous live sets from the UK's hottest artists Agency: Glue London Writer: Kevin Ebbutt Art director: Laura Jordan Exposure: Online, MMS 3. National Savings & Investments Project: Premium Bonds Client: Karen Jones, marketing director, National Savings & Investments Brief: Build greater awareness of National Savings & Investments to generate additional investment Agency: Walsh Trott Chick Smith Writers: Dave Trott, Murray Chick Art director: Gordon Smith Director: Patricia Murphy Production company: Patricia Murphy Films Exposure: National TV 4. Axa Project: Axa ITV3 drama sponsorship Client: Philippa Tate, assistant brand manager, Axa UK Brief: Create credits for Axa's sponsorship of British dramas Agency: JWT London Writer: Freddy Mandy Art director: Rob Welch Director: Peer Lydon Production company: Hungry Man Exposure: ITV3 5. Sol Project: Summer posters Clients: Zoe Smith, brand manager, Ubevco; Christian Eschenbach, commercial manager, CCM Brief: Make Sol synonymous with fun in the sun Agency: Cdp-travissully Writer: Nick Clement Art director: Chris Butler Illustrator: Jason Cook Exposure: Outdoor 6. Video Arts Project: Jamie's School Dinners Client: Martin Addison, marketing director, Video Arts Brief: Launch the new Video Arts training programme Jamie's School Dinners: A Recipe for Managing and Living With Change Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge Writer: Ross Newton Art director: Sarah Richards Exposure: Direct mail to 10,000 existing Video Arts customers and 3,000 prospects.