Taste that vibe.

Alcohol is weird.
People are happy to pay three times more than they need to simply because of the words on the bottle.
Most can’t even tell the difference between what’s in them.
We pitched for an alcohol brand recently, and we did a vox pop film asking for opinions of various liquids.
We lied about the prices.
Everyone preferred the most expensive one; ‘Smoother’, ‘flavour lingered longer’, ‘velvety’, etc.
Obviously it was the cheapest one.
People buy the vibe as much as a liquid.
So when you’re advertising it your vibe, or personality is key.
At BMP, people would say: “People drink the advertising.’
Take the Gilbey’s Gin campaign.
Strategically, the agency could’ve banged on about the unique recipe, its Britishness or heaven forbid, the bloody Juniper berries.
Instead, they gave it a personality that positioned it clearly against the competition.
The ads simply gave the impression that Gilbey’s weren’t one of those God awful, boring, old-fashioned Gin’s.
And they did so in a way that got noticed, because they looked nothing like ads.
It’s no accident they used illustrator Glen Baxter.
tumblr_lw1uj4qoi31r5zbdgo1_500the-bogus-rothko

(Glen is still creating very funny drawings/Art and exhibiting: http://www.flowersgallery.com/exhibitions/flowers/2013/glen-baxter/ )

Baxter was, and is, quintessentially British, eccentric and irreverent.
Perfect ingredients for a Gin.
The biggest compliment I can give the creative team is that I can’t see what they did.
It looks like they just gave Glen the brief and printed what he gave them back.
It’s rarely that simple.

(Note to Editor: Is there any mileage in a ‘Ads that don’t look like ads’ series?)

N.b. David Horry has just got in touch with a bit of info on the development of this work:
‘The Gilbey’s was very odd.
As you suggest Baxter basically did all the work in 
his own mystical way – we never saw a layout – sketch it was fait accompli.
and the suit – Mike Robinson did a pretty good job persuading the clients to buy the campaign – who being CDP we didn’t meet.
But in order for Baxter to have this creative freedom, (and get paid), We insisted that the first ad we ran was entirely the agency line.
He was not to deviate – Dave Brown and I first met him at The Chelsea Arts Club which I felt was Bohemian enough for The Colonel.
He told us that he’d spent his early life in Leeds teaching mathematics and football!!
He liked the idea but was most reticent about the first concept.
Fortunately his agent, ‘Naughty Nigel’, made sure the money talked and it all happened without any stress or quibble.
The original ad was ‘It was the largest Gilbey’s and tonic they had ever seen.’
It was lovely – I think privately he hated it.
But he penned all the others and the client changed absolutely nothing – nothing – nothing!! And ‘Naughty Nigel’ got his 20%.
But the next year the campaign was dropped and we moved on to other things.’

Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Brenda'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Spilling'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Uncle George'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Largest'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Bosun'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Robin Hood'-01Gilbey's Gin, Glen Baxter, CDP 'Waterfall'-01

Nb. Here’s an old bit of ephemera from the Dave Horry’s collaboration with Glen Baxter:af589bf76b2655f88de9bde1165f87f6

 

 

THINGS I’VE GLEANED 6: Know stuff.

hqdefault
After twenty top ten hits ’58 and ’62, Neil Sedaka’s hits dried up.
His publisher gave him one last shot.
Neil, anxious, sweaty, his weave starting to unravel, decided to order in every No. 1 record from around the globe.
He played them over and over, analysing every detail.
He then borrowed, or as we say in Advertising ‘was inspired by’ the melody from one, the hook from another a guitar sound from another and so on and so on.
Essentially, creating a mash-up before the term existed.
BINGO! No.1 record. (Can’t remember which one, if anyone knows let me know, I promise I won’t out you.)
True,  it’s not the way Nick Drake made music, but it’s probably a better way of creating for our business than Nick’s, Joni’s or Neil’s.
We can’t wait for the muse to strike.
We can’t experiment because we want to grow as individuals.
We can’t put stuff out there because it means a lot to us.
We’re expected to make something happen.
Random isn’t helpful, reference points are.
If you know what’s out there you can decide whether it’s of any use for the brief  you’re currently working on.
The more reference points you can draw on, the more appropriate your work can be.
As the cliché goes; If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Knowing history doesn’t sound as cool as knowing what’s happening today, but often what’s happening today is often a corruption of what happened yesterday anyway.
Coco Chanel puts it better: ‘Anyone who thinks their work is original just hasn’t got a good memory’.

It’s only in retrospect are you reminded of all the reference points you’ve used.

PENHALIGON’S.
They came to us a few years back with the familiar problem: ‘Who are we?’
They were a very old company, (pre-Sedaka), yet run by young, cool people who doing surprisingly contemporary things, e.g. fragrance launch was themed like an illegal Speakeasy held in an NCP car park.

Not the quite the Granny brand their marketing might lead you to believe.
Penhaligons-taxicar-muguet-penhaligons-D
Penhaligons old packaging-01

So how do we position them?
Are they old or new?
Well the most accurate answer would be ‘yes’.
Traditionally, that’s not a brief, it’s schizophrenia.
But it’s differentiating, and more to the point; true.
So how do we straddle these two opposites?

STRATEGY.
Attract the opposite sex.

(Lynx, in other words, or virtually every other fragrance brand out there. Except Penhaligon’s, ironically.)
lynx_bullet_ad
‘Attract the opposite sex’ translated into a Victoriana becomes:
Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.26.01
TONE.
How can we do sex Penhaligon’s style? Well, Victorian style?
The Victorians were prudish and sexually repressed, so let’s use innuendo.
Which is very British, and that is a very important ingredient in Penhaligon’s appeal around the world.
We could use innuendo like the illustrator Donald McGill did in his saucy seaside postcards.
article-2003783-0C922D9800000578-508_634x96683431497_3236492_DonaldMcGillWEB
Or maybe like Sid James and the gang in the Carry On films.
abroad1024

LOOK: Even though ‘sex’ is quite racy for a company like Penhaligon’s to talk about, there’s still a danger it could come across as old-fashioned.
We need to inject a bit of energy, irreverence and anarchy.
Jamie Reid’s unstructured work could be useful, random fonts, clashing colours, things ripped out.
PUNK-POSTERS-001sex-pistols-5
Also, the found art and neon colours used in the posters of Sister Corita Kent.
One of my top 5 poster designing Nuns.kingsley_corita_newsweekcorita-kent-cagDSC_0346

FONTS.
Maybe we should use some exotic looking wood fonts?'Type Options - Malabah' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg

SO, HERE’S OUR INGREDIENTS:
1.Merchants of Attraction’ end line.
2. A bucket of neon inks.
3. Random scraps of torn out paper.
4.  A big box of stylish but distressed Victorian fonts.
5. A large bunch of funny, repressed ways of saying ‘get laid’.
6. A handful of  inexpensive Victorian etchings.
Swirl them around a mixing bowl and they look like this:'Enables - Blenheim Bouquet' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'A Splash - Endymion' Penhaligon's, DHM**'Ensures A Gentleman - Malabah' Penhaligon's, DHM'Bequeaths A -  Endymion' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'Pearl Necklace - Artemisia' Penhaligon's, DHM..jpg'Gentlemen - Blenheim Bouquet' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'Should It Meet - Orange Blossom' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'Perfect For - Malabah' Penhaligon's, DHM'Ladies Apply - Artemisia' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'Its Aroma - Orange Blossom' Penhaligon's, DHM*.jpg'A Light Mist - Artemisia' Penhaligon's, DHM.*.jpg

This one was rejected for being excessively cheeky, but ended up finding its way into the ‘Sex Cells’ programme.Penhaligon's %22Pearl Necklace' ad-01

The harsh graphic treatment worked particularly well on ‘Store opening’  hoardings, which were starting to be needed more and more regularly.'Singapore Store Hoarding' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg
We then had a new fragrance to launch; Juniper Sling.
As it was inspired by gin and the Jazz Age, it would make sense to swap periods, out went Victorian in came the roaring twenties .
The first requirement was a piece of content-cinema ad-website-film thing.
An old and new film thing?
Zelig! The Woody Allen film made up it’s own version of history, but did so in a serious, believable documentary style.
images
We wrote up a fictitious history Juniper Sling in the twenties; The bob haircut was created to allow Juniper Sling to waft more freely, the flapper dance craze began after girls would flap their arms to around to waft the fragrance towards a guy, it was outlawed due to its aphrodisiac qualities, etc.
Mark Denton came on board to help us create and make this bit of old news footage.
Here’s his storyboard:juniper fizz board(2)
We wrote a lot of lies.
Then used them in mock-ups of old newspaper pages.Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.57.51Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.25.14Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.59.12Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.58.32Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 09.57.16

In terms of the posters, the debate was how far do we move from the style we’d created, Victorian, to 1920’s style?
We tried a few twenties tests.
Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 17.40.43Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 17.40.56Penhaligon's %22Handful' ad-01
But in the end we linked back visually to the first campaign.Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling 'Handful'-01Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling %22partners%22-01At Christmas we got a chap, like the late great Stanley Green to patrol Regent Street.??????????????3. 'The End Is Nigh' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpgWe made discount vouchers look like old bank notes.Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.15.10We made self deprecating posters mocking Penhaligon’s posh heritage.PEN000 50% ORF 1800x1200mm.indd

MOVEMBER.
Every year we’d collaborate with the Movember guys and produce a poster.2. 'Grow One - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM..jpg3. 'Type Moustache - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg'Certificate 2 - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpgWeirdly, the last starred that film director I mentioned earlier, Mark Denton.

1. A rough to show the client.5. 'Control Scamp - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg
2. Photography test for Mark’s position.6. 'Mark Test Shot 1 - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg
3. Photography test to check the background.7. 'Mark Test Shot 2 - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg
4. The final ad.10. 'Control It - Movember' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg

Gradually, the briefs started to move from brand to fragrance specific work.
Some of the executions were cool, but in describing the unique story of each fragrance the unique story of the brand gets lost.4. 'A Fragrance' Penhaligon’s, Vaara, DHM, FINAL.png3. 'A Delightful Blend' Penhaligon’s, Vaara, DHM.jpg'The Spirit' Penhaligon's, DHM.jpg

I’m not sure how many points of reference I’ve mentioned on this one client, but I’m sure Neil Sedaka would be proud.

Hands up who’s heard of Tom McElligott?

1991_main_mcelligott
He should be better known.
He ushered in a new, sassier way of talking.

His work felt like it was written by a very smart lawyer with a wicked sense of humour.
He influenced a generation.
But there’s almost no evidence of his existence on the internet.
In a Stalinesque style purge, Lurzer’s Archive have retouched the Fallon McElligott work to read Fallon. 
Even the publishers of Luke Sullivan’s great book “Hey Whipple” seem not to know him:
Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 15.20.08
I can’t find a lot of information on him out there, so it’s difficult to offer up too much, and I certainly can’t vouch for the chronology of the work below, but I’ll have a first stab and update it if complaints come in. (If anyone does know more, has higher res images or can spot errors please get in touch or leave a comment.)

So here’s what I know:
Minneapolis legend Ron Anderson hired Tom to work with him at Bozell’s.
They did some very good, very Fallon McElligott style work together:
Tom McElligott %22United Way. Bozell
(http://ampersandvertising.com/2013/10/17/we-pulled-an-all-nighter-perhaps-the-only-time-our-wives-didnt-mind/)

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.56.45 Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.58.51 Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.56.17 Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.54.52lhl-symsScreen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.55.55Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.57.16 Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.57.08 Tom McElligott, 'Crowded' - Minnesota.Nancy Rice-01 Tom McElligott, 'Graffiti' - Minnesota.Nancy Rice-01 Tom McElligott, 'Running Water' - Minnesota.Nancy Rice-01Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.57.28Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.58.16 Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 15.58.26

Whilst at Bozell, Tom started taking on freelance projects with the young, Head of Media Research at another Minneapolis agency, Martin/Williams.
They called it Lunch Hour Ltd.
Tom McElligott, Pontillo's - 'Cut It'-01 Tom McElligott, Ki Clayton - 'Material'-01 Tom McElligott, Ki Clayton, 'Material',-01

They got so busy, they took it to the next level, setting up an agency in 1981, along with Art Director Nancy Rice.

This is their first ad.
It ran on August 3, 1981, in the Minneapolis Star and Minneapolis Tribune.

Fallon McElligott, House ad-01
Bob MacDonald spotted it.

Fortunately for the new agency Bob MacDonald was the Marketing Director of ITT Insurance. 
Even more fortunately, Bob couldn’t find an agency who would ‘make the big insurance companies look like shit’.
They were awarded the account and Tom started making the big insurance companies look like shit. Fallon McElligott, ITT 'Fat'-01 Fallon McElligott, ITT 'Waists'-01 Fallon McElligott,ITT 'Cartoon'-01Fallon McElligott, ITT 'Rice'-01
F Mc; 300-01
They start picking up local accounts, very local;  hair salons, lumber yards, no account appears to be too small.
Or another way to look at it, and my guess is it’s nearer the truth; no opportunity to create, however small the budget, was turned away.

4.8621c_l 4.8627d_lFallon McElligott, Vander 'Two Times'-01Fallon McElligott, KSJN 'Brains'-01
Fallon McElligott 'Einstein'-01Fallon McElligott 'Bride Of Frankenstein' -01Fallon McElligott 'Coin'-01
Fallon McElligott '£ Stooges'-01Fallon McElligott, 7th South 'Medussa'-01

Fallon McElligott, 7th South 'Nixon'-01Fallon McElligott, Transtop 'How much'-01Fallon McElligott, 'Stop A Bus'-01
3.8801b_l
3.8801c_lTom McElligott, PR Project 'Why?'-01 Tom McElligott, PR Project 'Money'-01 Tom McElligott, PR Project 'Indicates'-01 Fallon McElligott, Hockey 'USA v USSR'-01Fallon McElligott 'Chiropractor' 1-01 Fallon McElligott,, First Tennessee 'Oils'-01Fallon McElligott, MAX 'Letter'-01 Fallon McElligott, Allnet 'Record'-01Tom McElligott,  'Obscene'-01Tom McElligott, PR Project 'Skeleton'-01 Tom McElligott, PR Project 'Naked'-01 Tom McElligott, PR Project 'Mary'-01Adler3 Adler2 Adler1

Fallon McElligott, Murray's 'Knife'-01Fallon McElligott, Murray's 'Excuse'-01Fallon McElligott, Murray's 'Match books'-01Fallon McElligott, Murray's 'Fixtures'-01Fallon McElligott, Murray's, 'Institution', -01-01Fallon McElligott, Murray's, 'Vietnam'-01Tom McElligott, Murray's 'Juicy', -01F Mc; ll256-01Fallon McElligott, Continental 'Plastic'-01Fallon McElligott, Continental Illinois 'Note'-01Fallon McElligott, MedCentres 'Which 20%' -01Fallon McElligott, First Tennesee-01
Fallon McElligott, Minnesota Hockey 'Defense-01

Fallon McElligott - Country Cottage 'Poo' -01Fallon McElligott 'Icecream' -01Fallon McElligott, AMF 'Handles'-01Fallon McElligott, AMF 'add 2lbs'-01Fallon McElligott, Mr Coffee 'Tea'-01
Fallon McElligott 'Pytka'-01
Fallon McElligott, Dublin 'Lion'-01F Mc; 288-01
Fallon McElligott, Minnesota Zoo 'Monkeys'-01Fallon McElligott,Minnesota Zoo 'Emissions'-01Fallon McElligott, Gym 'Mountains'-01

  Fallon McElligott, Casting 'Huggies'-01 Fallon McElligott, Casting 'Snow'-01Fallon McElligott, Casting 'Weights'-01
Fallon McElligott, Wimbledon It Ain't'-01Fallon McElligott 'Da Moon' -01Fallon McElligott, W32, 'Young Clint'-01Fallon McElligott 'See What The Networks'' -01Fallon McElligott 'Underground'-01
Fallon McElligott, KRON 'Birds'-01Fallon McElligott,W32, 'Grant'-01Fallon McElligott, W32 'Cut'-01Fallon McElligott,W32 'Plot'-01Fallon McElligott,W32 'Train Robbery'-01

Fallon McElligott, %22Jane Fonda%22-01 Fallon McElligott, W32 'Hitchcock Cast'-01Fallon McElligott, W33, 'Dallas'-01 Fallon McElligott, W32, 'Assembled'-01 Fallon McElligott, W32, 'Woody Allen'-01 Fallon McElligott, W32, 'Jet'-01Fallon McElligott 'White Sox'-01 WFLD3
Fallon McElligott, Starkey 'More than'-01
The first time I saw the name Fallon McElligott was underneath these ads, in The One Show.

They’d be bold for a beer, but for a religion?
Also, who knew The Episcopal Church guys were such a fun bunch, maybe I should sign up?
Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian, 'Singles Bar'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian 'Son of'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian 'Bomb' -01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian 'TV'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian, 'Strong Men'-01   Fallon McElligott, Episcopal 'Carson'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopal 'TV'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian 'Lions'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopal, 'Taped'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian, 'Contrary'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopal, 'Tablets'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian, 'Lions'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopal, 'Pastures'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian %22Santa'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian 'Doubts'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian '1500 Years'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian, 'Sustain'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian, 'Garden Variety'-01 Fallon McElliigott, Episcopalian, 'Vicious'-01 Fallon McElligott, Loaves & Fishes'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian, 'Henry 8th'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian 'Desciples'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopelian 'Cake'-01 Fallon McElligott, Episcopal 'How many'-01Fallon McElligott, Episcopalian, 'Easter'-01 Fallon McElligott, 'Speech'-01 Fallon McElligott, 'Mercedes'-01

Fallon McElligott, 'Gold Speech'-01Fallon McElligott, God The Client-01
The name Fallon McElligott started to turn up more and more, especially in books like the One Show.
4.8624a_lFallon McElligott, U.S. West 'Backwards'-01Fallon McElligott, U.S. West 'Carry'-01


Fallon McElligott, U.S. West 'Growth'-01 4.8613a_lFallon McElligott, Bob Lambert 'Hitler'-01Fallon McElligott, Bob Lambert 'Viet Cong'-01Fallon McElligott, Bob Lambert 'Schnozzle Durante'-01
People were taking notice of this agency in an odd location beginning with ‘M’.

One of them was Ed McCabe.
%22I wish I'd done That%22 Ed McCabe, McElligott-01Fallon McElligott, D'AMICA 1-01Fallon McElligott, D'AMICA 2-01Fallon McElligott, D'AMICA 3-01
They did this ad for the Art Centre.

But all their work seemed to be infused with this attitude.Fallon McElligott %22adcentre%22-01Fallon McElligott, Rick Dublin, 'Dull'-01Fallon McElligott, 'Squeezed Type'-01Fallon McElligott, News Centre 11 'Monuments'-01Fallon McElligott, Minnesota Federal 'Toasters'-01

Love this.Fallon McElligott 'No Penis'-01
It looks horrific, sad and disturbing.
It’s an announcement card for the birth of someones daughter.Fallon McElligott Vander 'Dog'1-01

Fallon McElligott, Vander, 'Tomato'-01Fallon McElligott, Vander, 'Where', -01Fallon McElligott, Vander, 'Where Speakers', -01
Fallon McElligott, Anti Smoking 'Exhale'-01Fallon McElligott, Anti Smoking 'First Sign'-01
The Hush Puppies campaign.
Very influential at the time.
Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies, 'Casual'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies, 'Corporate'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies, 'Classic'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies, 'Sophisticated'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies 'Sporting'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies, 'Ventilated'-01Fallon McElligott, Hush Puppies %22Baby'-01glasnost_ad_smtbimage_4212

3.8715a_l 3.9117a_l
But they didn’t just do humour, they tackled difficult subjects head on.

 Fallon McElligott, The Children's Defense 'Pimple'-01 Fallon McElligott, The Children's Defense 'Period'-01 teenpreg1Screen shot 2014-03-02 at 08.59.28Fallon McElligott, 'Warranty'-03
2.8710b_lUl7GU

Fallon McElligott, Child Defense 'Sleep Around'-013.9118b_l3.9118c_lScreen shot 2014-03-04 at 08.54.20Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 08.54.47Fallon McElligott, The Children's Defense'Grounded For'-01Fallon McElligott, 'Defense Fund 'One On The Left'-01Fallon McElligott, 'Defense Fund '125, 000'-01Fallon McElligott, 'Defense Fund 'Subtract'-01

The Penn campaign.

(I remember drooling over the croissant execution at the time.)
Fallon McElligott, Penn 'Croisant'-01Fallon McElligott, Penn 'Snake'-01
Fallon McElligott,Penn 'Canadian Open'-01

3.9005b_l

They made a convincing case for Advertising itself.
Fallon McElligott, Advertising, 'Shaving'-01Fallon McElligott, Advertising, 'Icecubes'-01F Mc; 2ood6-01Fallon McElligott 'Newspaper'-01Fallon McElligott, Advertising, 'Machine'-01Fallon McElligott, Advertising, '5c'-01

There were also a lot of these Wall Street Journal ads, unfortunately this is the only one I can find.
I’m sure they influenced The Economist campaign.
At the moment, this is the only one I can lay my hands on.
Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'Translate'-01Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'Get It'-01Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'Fast Track'-01Fallon McElligott, Wall Street Journal, 'On The Way'-01 Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'Diary'-01Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'Trains'-01Tom McElligott, Wall Street Journal 'Title'-01Fallon McElligott, Wall St Journal, 'Weekly'-01Fallon McElligott,Wall Street Journal 'Country'-01Fallon McElligott, Wall Street Journal 'Fabric' -01Fallon McElligott, WSJ 'President' -01
Fallon McElligott, Time-01
Then the Rolling Stone campaign.

The Rolling Stone’s problem was that it struggled to sell its ad space, advertisers thought it’s readers were hippies.
The solution was so simple.
So smart.
So unlike any other ads at the time.
Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Hippe'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Coins'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Shoes'-01Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'CamperVan'-01Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Pill'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Bra'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Barbers' -01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stones 'Tyre'-02Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Soap'-01

A cool scratch and sniff version. (I’m guessing smelly & fresh?)
Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Sniff'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone, 'Brownies'-01 Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Racquet'-01 2.8707b_lFallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Post It'-01
Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Symbols'-01Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Keg'-01
Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Map'-01

   Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Mousse'-01Fallon McElligott- Rolling Stone %22Mouse%22-01Fallon McElligott- Rolling Stone %22Surf%22 Fallon McElligott- Rolling Stone %22Wolfe%22-01Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stones 'Naked'-01Fallon McElligott, Rolling Stone 'Grape Nuts'-01
It felt new, neither headline or visual lead, it had its own structure.

As did the Jim Beam campaign.
I’d not seen a campaign  like this; A list of dates and ephemera.
As much social commentary as advertising.
But it was great advertising, positioning Jim Beam as a classic.
Not only was it incredibly distinctive, it engaged and made you think.
It’s the kind of work that could give advertising a good name.
It wasn’t done by hucksters, it was done by smart guys having fun.
I presume this was the first one. It’s neat…
Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Drink DPS'-01JIM BEAM 'Drinks' adFallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Haircut'-01Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Trousers*'-01
…but who’d have thought it would’ve lead to all these?

Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Stadiums'-01 Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Hands'-01 Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Signs'-01 Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Badges'-01Fallon McElligott- Jim Beam %22Balls%22 Fallon McElligott- Jim Beam %22Barbeque%22   JimBeam_Lures JimBeam_Pets Fallon McElligott- Jim Beam %22Pants%22 -01JimBeam_Sandwiches Fallon McElligott- Jim Beam %22Playbills%22 -01tumblr_mzil336MWq1rpgpe2o5_r1_1280
Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Salt & Pepper'-01Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Graffitti'-01Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Lipstick'-01Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Made In...'-01
Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Balls'-01Jim Beam _Golf_
Fallon McElligott- Jim Beam %22Games%22
Fallon McElligott-Jim Beam %22Xmas%22
They did a Christmas version.Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 12.17.37Fallon McElligott, Jim Beam 'Name Tags' -01
They subverted the whole campaign idea with this responsible drinking ad.Screen shot 2014-02-15 at 12.20.05

They tackled a different aspect of drinking with the campaign for Windsor Canadian,
perfectly capturing the emotion of that first drink of the evening.
Fallon McElligott, Windsor Canadian 'Trolley'-01 Fallon McElligott, Windsor Canadian 'Tube'-01 Fallon McElligott, Windsor Canadian 'Tyres'-01Fallon McElligott- Windsor Canadian %22Boxes%22 Fallon McElligott-Windsor Canadian %22Cement%22$_3 $_58

As well as coming up with distinctive, own-able, visual devices for campaigns, they also did the same with words.
The way this Lee campaign is written looks familiar now, it wasn’t at the time.
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Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Nails'-01 Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Places To Go'-01 Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Police'-016.8849b_l Fallon McElligott, Lee '36'-01Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Separate'-01Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Private'-01

Fallon McElligott, Lee 'Moving Out'-01
Fallon McElligott, Lee, 'Better Jeans'-01Fallon McElligott, Lee, '10000000'-01Fallon McElligott, Lee, 'How Jeans Companies'-01Lee1

Tom McElligott, Lee 'Blue, Blue'-01Fallon McElligott, ACA JOE 'Shrink' -01

They enlisted Stevie Wonder in the war against Drink Driving.
Very ballsy.
Fallon McElligott, 'Stevie Wonder'-01

They went visual with Power Pack.

Their work started to get National attention.
The clients they attracted got bigger, but the way they treated them stayed the same; ‘We don’t research creative  work.’
They won Penn tennis balls and produced this:

http://youtu.be/ZU375bFUHHg

They won Porsche, and with a few black letters and a pack shot, gave it attitude.
(If you’ve never tried writing three word headlines, try it, it’s really hard.)
Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'It beats'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Unclogs'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Fire'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Decals'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Corvettes'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Children'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Nothing'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Porsches'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Weld'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Maybe not'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Rocket Scientists'-01 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Compromise'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche  'Compete'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Ivery Tower'-01porsche-010Fallon McElligott- Porsche %22Tabasco%22Fallon McElligott- Porsche %22Patents%22Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 08.58.15Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Crazy'-01
Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Leg'-01

INTERLUDE: Fallon were absolutely dominating the creative awards at this time,
One Show annuals of the period look like house brochures.
Here’s a mailer for a talk Tom gave around this time:
Tom McElligott Speaks ad-01

784f3e08f4eb32f48b0c034e98a21fb6 porsche_rs-america_ad_93 Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Scream'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Dead'-0112aaf6ce93e26db117b1f3941394bf18Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Pavlov'-01Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 08.58.32 tumblr_m7nq9vnT1f1r2nad3o1_500 tumblr_mw2p5mMWzK1sxs2gto1_500

Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Airline'-01Fallon McElligott-Porsche %22Joneses%22-01Porsche3 Porsche5Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Lid'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Solar'-01Fallon McElligott, Porsche 'Knuckles'-01
Pat Burnham, Carl Cedergren 'Stud fees'-01

They needed to hire to deal with all their new business.
Having exhausted the local supply of talented ad folk they’d have to attract talented people from the East and West Coast too. But why would they go to Minneapolis ?
Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 10.32.27Fallon McElligott, 'Liquor Account'-01
Fallon McElligott, House Ad-01

It’s possible Tom had just left by the time these ads ran, but they seem very Fallon McElligott.
Fallon McElligott- Horst %22Bow%22Fallon McElligott- Horst %22Ex%22 %22Fallon McElligott- Horst %22Hate%22

An awards show ran this ad when it was announced that Tom was leaving Fallon McElligott.
Fallon McElligott- House ad 2jpg
In 1987, this ad ran. Cheeky, but relatively harmless right?Fallon McElligott 'Bitch, Bitch...' -01
WRONG.
It was shown at a lecture on P.R. given by Fallon McElligott’s design arm; Duffy & Partners.
A member of the audience was offended, Dr. Neala Schleuning, so she sent Duffy & Partners a letter expressing her outrage.
In return she received the letter and photo below.
It’s signed by Duffy & Partners’ Charles S. Anderson, but its widely believed to be the work of Tom McElligott.
 dinkaletter dinka
Dr. Schleuning started showing the letter around to friends, then to the women’s consortium and they had contacts.
US WEST, a Fallon McElligott client, had a big active women’s union.

It snowballed, getting more and more exposure.
It became known as the “Dinka incident.”
First US WEST pulled its account.
Then Wall Street Journal, then FedEx.
It was a very expensive mistake, colleagues say it affected Tom very deeply.
He started to spend more time away from the agency and miss meetings.
Within a couple of years he quit.

I’d love to update this post, to show more work, make the chronology or information  more accurate, and simply to write more about Tom and Fallon McElligott.
So come on, get in touch, send me scans or leave comments, let’s make sure the next time someone searches ‘Tom McElligott’ on the internet, Google know where to find his work.

n.b. A bit more reading:

1. Tom & Ron Anderson get quizzed by Communication Arts.McElligott_Anderson article-page-001 McElligott_Anderson article-page-002 McElligott_Anderson article-page-003 McElligott_Anderson article-page-004 McElligott_Anderson article-page-005 McElligott_Anderson article-page-006 McElligott_Anderson article-page-007 McElligott_Anderson article-page-008 McElligott_Anderson article-page-009 McElligott_Anderson article-page-010

2. An interview with Inc. magazine from 1986: http://www.inc.com/magazine/19860701/1527.htmlA couple of articles

3. Introducing Tom and his gang to us Brits. (Direction magazine.)

Tom McEllgott. USATom McEllgott. Direction, 2

4. Catching up after he left Fallon McElligott. (Also Direction magazine.)
Tom McEllgott. Direction 3 Tom McEllgott. DirectonTom McEllgott. Directon 2

5.  A profile of Dean Hanson.
Dean worked very closely with Tom in the early years and created a lot of the great work in this post.
Fallon McElligott 'Dean Hanson Profile'-01Fallon McElligott, Readers Digest, Stevie Wonder-01

THINGS I’VE GLEANED 5: Copying is good.

I wanted to do this ad.
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Everybody who saw it laughed.
Why didn’t I do it?
It was so bloody annoying.
I wanted to create something that had the same effect on people as it’d had on me.
So whenever I’d get a brief I’d do something in that style, something that felt like it was from that world: Models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way.
Then, over at BBH, Chris Palmer and Mark Denton started producing ads using models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way.
Damn them.
Why didn’t I do those!
I could’ve done.
If I’d have had that brief.
Been at BBH.
And thought of those ideas.
Asda %22Stork%22-01Asda %22Snowman%22-01Asada %22Cow%22-01Asda %22hicken%22-01

FROZEN FISH.
Like the previous twenty briefs I’d worked on, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do some posters using models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way.
Findus - %22Best Pieces%22-01Findus %22Whitebait%22-01Findus - %22Spneless Haddock%22-01

CLIENT: “They’re cute…but no.”
Damn it!
How do I get some of that ‘models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way’ action?
Chris and Mark go to Lowes and produce another hilarious poster with models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way.
Heineken %22Hedgehog%22-01
I didn’t do that one either. Annoying!

I never got to make a poster with models of animals making a single product point, in a funny way.
But trying to do so was helpful.
Whether you want to learn how to play guitar, paint or advertise, the best way is to copy the people you love.

p.s. If a team showed me the Seafish concept today, I couldn’t help but ask why a cat, smart enough to go out and buy an oxy acetylene torch, with paws are dextrous enough to operate the thing, doesn’t just open the fridge door?

N.b. Here is a piece by Guy Gum giving a bit more insight into the Seafish poster:
Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 12.03.06

How to knob up some Short Film Festival ads.

“Can you do me an ad for Rushes Short Film Festival? it’s to go in my Gongs magazine, it’s an opportunity!” – Mark Denton.
411a4c9728bd42a9e475fdfa8d256f9e

DISSOLVE TO THE FOLLOWING YEAR:
“Can you do me a campaign for my Short Film Festival? it’s to go in my Gongs magazine, it’s an opportunity!” – Mark Denton.
(The Therapy Short Film Festival was one of a number of ideas Mark has had over the years to redistribute money he’s built up in his savings account.)
Looking back on my previous short film effort, it was simple, dead clear, mildly humourous, BUT…it just reeked of ‘average’.
I decided it was because it was a bit small and addy.
It wasn’t aspirational, it didn’t celebrate the world of film.
Afterall, the people who enter short film competitions dream of one day entering long film competitions, like The Oscars.
Linking our little festival to the big, glamorous world of cinema would be a good start.
So how could we say they’re the same but much, much smaller?
Change the names of films that mention time to a smaller amount of time, e.g. ‘Groundhog Hour’.
Film Shorts %22Less Time List%22-01
Typed they just looked like half ideas, but maybe if we turned them into film titles they might feel more substantial.
I started looking at film titles to understand how they used images.
2
Patterns started to emerge.
I started to turn the doodles into film titles with typographer Andy Dymock.
We noticed images are often used to capture the mood of a film…
4
They may take a key icon to link to the title…
Short Film Festival %228 Days%22 -01
Sometimes the opening credits will travel around a film’s location.
Short Film Festival %22Remains Of...%22-01
Mocked up, they appeared funnier.
It’s the clash of serious, almost pompous visuals with silly, almost childish words.
But I wondered whether sticking to time related films was a bit too literal, all we needed to do was suggest this film wasn’t very long.
Film Shorts %22Won't Take Long  List%22-01
We mocked up a few more.
Retouching Boy Wonder, Oli Carver, took my crisp, shiny Mac layouts and started making them look ropy. By degrading the pictures, putting noise and a whole load of other layers on top of the image, it knitted all the elements together.
It made it look like a piece of old film.
Short Film Festival %22Partial Recall%22-01

It looked better, but the type didn’t feel cheesy enough for a Hollywood blockbuster.
Short Film Festival %22Partial Recall 2%22-01

Mark Denton showed me a whole scrapbook of his full of old film titles using shadow against a two-dimensional background, they were very evocative, but this was the deal closer; dirt cheap to shoot.
I wasn’t sure of the “Mr Smith Goes To Wash” idea, I loved that by simply cutting off the last few letters of the film’s name it suggested a smaller film. But my worry was it might suggest a ‘sillier’ rather than ‘smaller’.
Short Film Festival %22Mr Smith...%22-01

The next strand we looked at was smaller versions, e.g. instead of ‘Jungle Book’ it could be ‘Jungle Pamphlet’ or ‘Jungle Booklet’.
Film Shorts %22Reduced List%22-01

A cheap shot of a few palm leaves and some anaglypta wallpaper…
bit about eve3ddss5

The ‘Green Inch’ looked good, it scored well on greenness, but felt a bit small for the big screen.
Short Film Festival %22The Green Inch%22-01
We turned to God.
We used one of his best sky arrangements to give the film scale and a sense of mysticism.
Short Film Festival %22The Green Inch 2%22-01

We went all graphic with the ‘Half Monty’.
Short Film Festival %22The Half Monty%22-01 2
Another area for ideas could be ‘less’, literally suggest less things in the film, that could imply less time in a different way.

Film Shorts %22Less List%22-01

In terms of style, it’s always better with an idea like this to visually show variety, old-fashioned and modern, black & white and colour, animation and film.
So ‘Oceans 3’ was a chance to look contemporary…
Short Film Festival %22Oceans 1%22-01

‘1 Angry Man’ was an opportunity to get all fifties-ish.
Short Film Festival %22One Angry Man%22-01

Snow White was Hollywood Technicolor, 40’s style.
Short Film Festival %22Snow White%22-01

And ‘Thelma’ was pure, brash 80’s.
Although the first version felt like it was hot off an Apple Mac.
Short Film Festival %22Thelma 2%22-01
This felt less so.
1
And this, even less still.
Short Film Festival %22Thelma%22-01

Putting all the client bits into a title seemed like a good way to tidy the layout up.
Short Film Festival %22Therapy%22-01

Together, they looked like this on film:

Unfortunately, I got a bit arty, so they ended up looking like this in print…
therapy DPS2therapy_2therapy DPS3

To be fair, Helmut Krone was as much to blame as me.
All that ‘Create a new page’ stuff he used to bang on about.
Yes, it’s great to create an unusual striking looking page, but not at the expense of the content.
Why, in this case, go minimal?
Having spent ages crafting lots of little gags and pastiches, why bury them in a big black space? And why make the pictures so small.
I should’ve just got out-of-the-way of the ideas.