The Work: Private View


I had the great fortune to be sitting next to Sir John Hegarty at lunch last week.

His achievement made me feel pretty proud and also pretty jealous.

It's a good feeling being jealous of something great. It makes you appreciate how much it takes to achieve it. Bartle Bogle Hegarty produced its best work when the competition in the creative department was at its fiercest.

Jealousy helps you raise your game. So, in this week's work, I'm looking to get my jealous juices flowing.

Up first is a spot for Starburst Choozers (5). We see a young kid using an old visual-perspective trick to manipulate innocent people in a park. He finally squeezes a Choozer all over a bloke and the juice inside covers him. The ad's harmless enough and does get the product benefit across, but, in all honestly, this is an old gag and the idea feels like it's been spawned from a research group. Sorry, not really doing it on the jealousy stakes.

Next up, we have a gargantuan humdinger of a spot for Vodafone (6). It explains that this great provider can provide you with more time in your life, by turning your mobile into an all-you-need communicating machine. This is conveyed to us through a stunning visual analogy - pieces of watches falling to earth as if they were raindrops. It's beautiful, memorable and rewarding as a piece of communication. My only gripe is that it seems a bit too familiar. That aside, I am still very jealous of the meticulous craft that's been put into this spot.

Next, I have a print campaign for Beck's (3). Instead of trying to flog their beer to us, they've sponsored something cool in the hope that the great drinkers of this country give them credit for a selfless deed. Great brief. Beer and Rock and Roll.

The ads show a visual idea that mixes body parts and musical parts, with the slogan "art & music unite". For me, it's disappointing that with these two great ingredients, all that's been conjured up is something as potent as tap water. Sorry.

Next is a spot for Vauxhall Corsa (2) featuring some cool-looking soft-toy characters.

My son loves these guys and I must say they do get you watching. We see this crazy bunch trying to stop a sexy lady from stealing their Corsa. After a long chase, they finally succeed when one of the little chaps is left with his trousers down. The campaign line "C'mon" then appears. All in all, it's a mixture of 20 or so different strategic messages and I am sure it will get the AI score soaring. So I guess I feel a tinge of jealously. But it leaves me with a "So what?" Especially compared with the latest Skoda ad.

Next comes a campaign for Asda (1) featuring an ageing Paul Whitehouse. He takes us around a farm and store and explains how fresh Asda's milk is. Paul cracks a few jokes as he does, and the endline says: "There's no place like Asda." It's a well-used formula and if you are going to use it you should really have a celebrity with some food credentials. The only thing I'm jealous of here is Paul Whitehouse 'cos he's funny and I am not.

Last is the Radio 1 (4) website. It lets you hear and see who the DJs on BBC radio are. More than this, it gives them a chance to tell you who they are and what they believe in. I found this site both entertaining and informative.

The technology was easy to navigate through and fun to use. All of this made me tune into the BBC yesterday morning and instantly made me very jealous.

So have a jealous day. It's good for you.


"Borrowing" the work of others is a fairly victimless crime but show me a creative who claims never to have done it and I'll show you a big, fat liar.

I'm such a frequent offender that, sooner or later, I'll be carted off to Texas and plugged into the mains. When talking to people from outside advertising, I will often mention those award-winning ads I did for Levi's, Nike and The Economist. Only last Saturday, I was telling my wife's friend how I came up with the idea of baking a life-sized Skoda-shaped cake. Knowing my addiction to The Sound of Music and to all forms of confectionery, she didn't doubt me for a moment

So that's the sole criterion on which I'll judge this week's offerings - will I be tempted to "borrow" them?

First up is a lengthy epic for Vodafone (6). Bits of old clocks rain down from the sky to symbolise how a mobile internet will give us all more time. I won't be stealing this one because people being showered with shrapnel not only looks rather painful but isn't a big enough idea to be spun out over a minute-and-a-half. Beautifully shot but pointlessly long. Perhaps Vodafone thinks it has made us all so time-rich that we can afford to spend 90 seconds watching a 40- second idea. Not really what you'd call "making the most of now".

I don't think I'll be hot-wiring the new Vauxhall Corsa (2) ad either. It's not that I'm immune to its wacky, frivolous charms; I just wouldn't want anyone saying to me: "So, as the writer, what did you actually do?"

The team responsible for the new Starburst Choozers (5) ad can rest easy too. I can't nick this one because it was clearly created by people whose childhoods are a lot more recent than mine. They obviously know that a man getting covered in red gunk will ding all the right bells in school playgrounds. Mind you, I could always pinch a little credit-by-proxy by saying: "Well, of course, this is heavily influenced by the famous 'You've been Tango'd' ads I did back in the 90s."

You have to go online to see the latest work for Radio 1 (4), which involves "meeting the DJs", a dreary and laughably self-important bunch, telling us why their shows are so cool. Unfortunately, the fact that these shows go out around 2am during the week gives you some idea of what the station really thinks of them. I know this stuff is aimed more at the Starburst generation (even though Annie Nightingale, one of Radio 1's paragons of style, is old enough to be my mum), but it's all so sullen and self-consciously "street". I won't be borrowing it because it achieved the near-impossible feat of making me yearn for Tony Blackburn, Bruno Brookes and, dammit, even the Hairy Cornflake himself. Which I bet, in her quieter moments, dear old Annie does, too.

On the other hand, I would happily purloin the latest press work for Beck's (3) - quirky visual embodiments of the marriage between music and art. Sadly, I can't pretend I did them because everyone knows I have the visual sense of Gordon Brown with an eye patch.

Swagbag still empty but wait ... I'm about to go shoplifting in Asda (1). Following on from Victoria Wood in the bakery, we have Paul Whitehouse in the dairy. This is a great campaign, so I'm nicking it. I'll start by saying how I persuaded Asda to make Sharon Osbourne an ex-factor, and bring in much warmer, funnier people. I'll go on to explain how I made the current ads so engaging by standing back to allow charming, natural performances from Paul and the punters. Best of all, though, I can then reveal how my initial trip to the Asda bakery gave me the idea to bake that big Skoda-shaped cake.

Project: Milk
Client: Rick Bendel, marketing director, Asda
Brief: Promote Asda's milk
Agency: Fallon
Writer: Phil Cockrell
Art director: Graham Storey
Director: Patrick Collerton
Production company: Yipp
Exposure: National TV

Project: Joyride
Client: Opel/Vauxhall
Brief: Develop the new Corsa launch campaign
Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
Writer: Jon Elsom
Art director: Keith Terry
Directors: Dom & Nic
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV

Project: Beck's Fusions
Client: Richard Ingram, Beck's marketing manager, InBev UK
Brief: Announce the Beck's Fusions event in Trafalgar Square, where fine
artists will perform with recording artists
Agency: Leo Burnett London
Writers/art directors: Nick Pringle, Clark Edwards
Exposure: National press

4. RADIO 1
Project: Meet the DJs
Client: James Wood, head of marketing, Radio 1 and 1Extra
Brief: Help listeners get to know Radio 1's specialist DJs
Agency: Agency Republic
Writers/art directors: Gavin Gordon-Rogers, Gemma Butler
Production company: Agency Republic
Exposure: Online

Project: Choozers
Client: Stuart Woollford, UK sugar segment leader, Mars
Brief: Launch the new Starburst Choozers and drive trial and awareness
Agency: TBWA\London
Writer/art director: Tom Chancellor
Director: Lenny Dorfman
Production company: MJZ
Exposure: National/satellite TV

Project: Raining watches
Client: Dominic Chambers, head of brand, Vodafone UK
Brief: Launch Vodafone's mobile internet and refresh the brand
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Simon Veksner
Art director: Nick Allsop
Director: Simon Rattigan
Production company: HLA
Exposure: TV, online, press, poster