How the ads were done
Most great ads have an interesting story behind them: how the writers and art directors dreamed up the ideas, and what inspired them. I thought it would be an interesting idea to research some of these stories and describe the process behind their creation. I pitched this idea to Stephen Foster at the advertising website ‘More About Advertising’.
Mixing it with Nate Brown at Merchant House.
What happened when Merchant House’s head mixologist got to work with Asterley Brothers new amaro – and what Mark Andrews and I thought of the results.
Rob and Jim, the Asterley Brothers, have created Dispense. ‘A modern British amaro’ is how they describe it. However, its roots are firmly Sicilian.
Having been invited to take part in the beta testing, Mark Andrews and I took two sample bottles down to Nate Brown, head mixologist, at Merchant House, a bar in the City near St Paul’s.
Wandering through the world of wine.
We spent two days visiting the London Wine Fair. And before you snigger – ‘bet there was plenty of free wine to sample’ – our purpose was deadly serious.
Is this the best-ever demonstration commercial for a car?
Before they were thrown off air, Top Gear thought so. Here’s the story of how we made the film, way back in 1986.
I was thrilled when Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond chose as best car demonstration commercial one of the many films I produced during my days as Head of Television at Collett, Dickenson and Pearce (CDP). I knew they were planning something of the kind because the BBC had phoned me last year to […]
The lost art of copywriting.
Are you a business owner who often has to write your own publicity material?
Are you somebody who works in a marketing department, who is called upon to judge copy?
Are you somebody who works in a marketing agency who hasn’t been taught how to write persuasive copy?
Then read on.
Where the prime minister got his latest sound bite.
Now it would appear that Prince Charles isn’t the only member of the establishment to make use of an advertising line. David Cameron, no less has got in on the act. The other day, in what’s been generally described as ‘an unguarded moment’, David Cameron likened being prime minister to eating Shredded Wheat.
A lunch with
Sir Alan Parker, former advertising copywriter, cartoonist, distinguished director of feature films, and now fine artist, proves to be an entertaining lunch companion.
Raising a glass to Leonard Nimoy
I had spent much of my youth eagerly watching the adventures of the Starship Enterprise. But, being an advertising man, Nimoy’s death brought to mind something else: a poster that I consider to be the greatest-ever created for the famous ‘Heineken refreshes the parts campaign’: Mr. Spock’s pointy ears in need of refreshment.
A disappointing way to view the year ahead.
Nick Asbury, a fellow writer, has produced a masterpiece of negative thinking. It’s called the Perpetual Disappointments Diary.
How the West can win.
It isn’t only creative people who should attend creative training sessions. Everybody should.
A short while ago I completed a project that I undertook on behalf of D&AD, the international creative awards organisation. It involved me interviewing 20 of the country’s top creative people and then writing about the D&AD training courses that they conducted. I wasn’t surprised to learn that creative professionals who wish to brush up their skills take up the lion’s share of places on these courses. But increasingly D&AD find that a significant number of non-creative professionals are signing up, too.
The power of simplicity.
Why I chose posters for my Desert Island ads.
Recently the advertising news website ‘More About Advertising’ published my choice of ads to take to a desert island. Many people have chosen their Desert Island Ads before. Often they select ads, (usually TV commercials) that others have previously chosen, which is fair enough. If you’re going to be alone, stuck on a desert island, you’re entitled to take whichever ads you want, even if a bunch of other people have picked the same ones. But I wanted to be different.
The ghost writer of Christmas present
For the second year running, I have been asked by Stephen Foster, editor of advertising news website, More About Advertising, to ghost-write an article on behalf of one of the site’s more unusual contributors. The contributor in question is Ebenezer Scrooge, the Victorian miser. Unlike his creator, Charles Dickens, Scrooge isn’t much of a writer. So the task falls to me. And what a task it is.