VOLKSWAGEN: ‘Abbo’.

In 2009, we pitched for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. As the recession was just starting to bite and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles were generally dearer than non-Volkswagen commercial vehicles. I thought we needed to find a writer who could write. Someone who could put together a reasoned argument as to why businessmen should pay more for something they could buy for less. It’s a tough brief. I tried to think who’d fit it, but couldn’t think of anyone. I’d recently picked thisRead more

ADNAMS: Pictures.

“It’s Simon Loftus on the phone, he says he’s a chum of John Hegarty.” It turned that he needed some advertising for his family’s brewery and had been given our phone number by John. (Fortunately, BBH had a conflict, Boddington’s, so couldn’t help him.) Simon was the Chairman Adnams and a totally inspirational, lovely guy. I had a cottage in Suffolk, so I knew of Adnams and although they were pretty small, I thought they were quite classy and upmarket,Read more

THE ECONOMIST: Bouncebackability.

I just found this batch of rejects for The Economist. I was surprised at how many shots we’d had at the brief. I knew the work was getting past the Creative Director, because I was he. It must’ve been the client. I can’t remember who first coined that phrase ‘bouncebackability’, (I think it was a footballing Ian, Holloway or possibly Dowie), but it’s a crucial, if unglamorous skill every creative needs. Your ideas are torched every single day. As good as youRead more

BTA AWARDS: Don’t over think it.

Whilst at AMV/BBDO Sean and I got a brief to write an ad for the British Television Craft Awards. The BTA Awards with the word ‘craft’ inserted are less desirable than the ones without that word. But they’re awards none the less. It got us thinking – what creatives would enter an awards scheme aimed at recognising everyone but the creatives who came up with the idea? Initially it said ‘Shit at ideas?‘, but the word ‘shit‘ was felt to beRead more

ADIDAS: Rough Vs Polished?

I used to work with a very smart writer called Alastair Wood. One thing he said left a lasting impression on me; ‘None of my proofs are as good as the roughs’. I realised it was a common complaint amongst writers. Ideas, when first expressed have an energy, vitality and humanity, because people only write or draw the key elements. There’s no fat. The process of bringing ideas to life often kills them. Firstly, because it’s easy to get seduced by hotRead more

CHRISTIAN AID: The client may be right.

I once pitched for Christian Aid. It’s an emotional subject matter, I got emotional. Sean Doyle and I wrote lots of very angry ads, essentially trying force people to reach into their pockets and save a starving child’s life. We won the pitch. We met our brand new client, Claire. She said, rather sheepishly, ‘The ads… we like them, but they look so gloomy, and… well, we’re all quite positive around here and wondered whether they could look a bit more upbeat?’Read more

ARTICLE DUMP: Is this thing on?

  1. How I did the 2012 D&AD cover (Campaign – September 2012)  2. Dave Hieatt: “What influenced you?” 3. Commissioning Photography (Photographer Magazine Vol 5, No.3)    4. Food Advertising (Lurzers Archive) 5. Great Illustration (Lurzers Archive) 6. My Photographic Month (Image, The Association of Photographers Magazine ’08)  Read more