Newspapers deal in stories, they have to find them and write them up every day.
If they find good ones their sales increase.
So when agencies try selling them brand campaigns, they tend to think it’s a lot of namby pamby nonsense.
Instead they prefer their marketing to be based on specific content.
That could be anything from a scoop to a serialisation of an autobiography.
The problem is that the stories are rarely on brand, they are often the kind of thing that any newspaper could print, it just depends on who gets there first.
So having a very branded template is crucial to tie that story with your newspaper.
Here’s some stories we had to promote:
MARLON BRANDO’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. EXCLUSIVE EXTRACTS.'Ever Worried' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpgWhy, when it’s about Brando, by Brando would you not lead on Brando?
This was much better, it has a much higher percentage of Brando.'From The Wide One' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg

THE GUARDIAN NOW HAS A BIGGER SPORTS SECTION.The Guardian Is Increasing' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg
The idea above was rejected in favour the one below. Shame.'Was:Now' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg

It’s six o’clock when Tim Delaney walks in: ‘We need to send some ads over to The Guardian…in about an hour, new book on the Fred West case…what are you waiting for?’
Some people would hate that kind of brief, I loved it.

The Guardian have to buy, they’ve no time to fiddle with the ideas or the art direction.
The only issue is actually coming up with something good within the hour.
Two ideas were bought.
'Since 1972' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg
(It’s odd how much of an icon that cheesy house sign became.)
The second one looked very dramatic in the paper.
The idea was to say “xx people go missing every day, this is the only mention it will get in a newspaper.”
I can remember thinking “Shall I put one ‘x’ or two? I’ll put two, it makes the headline more dramatic.
15? 16? Who knows? Hopefully the information department won’t come back with a number too miniscule.”
(Note to editor: He hopes more people go missing because it helps his little ad? TWAT!”)
The information department came back and the ad ran. It said: “273 people go missing every day, this is the only mention it will get in a newspaper.”
273!'Blank Page' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg

What strikes me most about these now is how aggressive they are.
We had a couple of goes at Jeremy Beadle.
Once on a 96 sheet.'Go Out, Beadle' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, 48.jpg
And once on 6 sheets. (Sorry Jezzlington.)'Gets You Out The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpg
Then Tottenham.
Not so personal but did we pick them for any other reason than myself and the writer Tony Barry were both Arsenal fans? I can’t remember.'Find Out The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpg…and Lady Porter, although to be fair she had just been caught robbing London.'Lady Porter The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpgThen we implied everyone reading our posters was boring, or bored.'Nothing Better The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpgWe spoofed this very famous BBH campaign of the time.

3.boddingtons_0boddingtons-bitter-milk-bottle-small-82975 boddingtons-bitter-scoop-small-38264

Like this.'The Cream of London' The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpgWe made a naff old, Benny Hill style joke, looked good though.'Bill Stickers' The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpg

Got this one rejected for being too clever.'Your Chance' The Guardian, Leagas Delaney****.jpg

And finally, had another pop at Tottenham, well their diving new striker.'See What's The Guardian, Leagas Delaney.jpg'Either This Poster' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg

PREVIEW: 'Music. Find Out' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg
(Morrissey wouldn’t give his permission.)

Even in the trade we were having a pop at various individuals and companies.
A newly disgraced Politician gets it in the neck.'Looking For A New Job?' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpgHere, a whole agency is abused.'Saturday's Guardian' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg

We zoom straight to the pages that say he stole and went to brothels.'Tomorrow, John' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg

'Throughout His' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg
Brothels again.

'Pablo Picasso' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpgPresumably, a bad joke about Damien Hirst’s shark, sheep, cow stuff?

'Back In The' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpg
Terrible, terrible gag.

'Pablo Picasso Often' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney, Rough.jpgA bad gag, implying his models  looked  in real life like the do in his pictures.

And then the finished ad.
Somehow, unlike all the others, (which look like they were done by a couple of giggling schoolboys).'The Other Side' The Guardian, 'Leagas Delaney.jpg

SO THE QUESTION IS: Why were we having a pop at all and sundry?
Who was the culprit?
Tony Barry?
Tim Delaney?
Leagas Delaney?
The Guardian?
Or was that just an attractive vibe in the 90’s?
Answers on a postcard to…


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