Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dear Ikea

Dear Ikea,

Thank you for showing us the glorious simplicity of insight based problem-solution innovation.

You see a problem, you solve a problem.

This time with Uppleva – an IKEA TV.

Simple. Practical. Functional.

I want it.

I know I’ll never get it.

The creative director of my household prefers stuff that’s old, impractical, totally unfit for purpose, but that looks like it’s got a story or two to tell…as do I, if truth be told.

But I want Uppleva all the same.

All that simplicity, practicality and functionality is beguiling.

Head says yes. Heart says no.

Please can you do a version that looks like it’s been rescued from a skip in Bradford-upon-Avon or Cheltenham or somewhere like that?

And thanks for re-running your glorious Kitchen spot, here in the full 3 minute version.


Thanks again.



Dear Hamlet

Dear Hamlet,

Thank you for your wonderful Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet adverts – they are advertising gold:


Like Fawlty Towers, you look unbelievably dated now, but the actual content is sublime.

Despite enjoying your ads (not to mention admiring the ingenuity of the post TV advertising ban work by Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges), I fundamentally believe that the war on tobacco communication has been, and continues to be, a very good thing.

I also concur with those that have argued in favour of the tobacco display ban that are coming in now, on the grounds that displaying cigarettes near to things like chocolate and crisps makes smoking seem like an everyday part of life…which in the interests of the health of the nation, it shouldn’t be.

Having said that, I’m less convinced by the rumoured plain packaging legislation, as I think that opens up a whole world of black-market and counterfeit crime which is damaging in a totally different, but equally impactful, way.

So anyway, thanks Hamlet, for the good old days, for making me want to listen to J. S. Bach’s Air on a G-string in full, and for giving me a laugh.

So long.


Dear Sainsbury’s, easyJet & Nectar,

Dear Sainsbury’s, easyJet & Nectar,

Thank you for casting “confused bloke” in your latest very clever conceit of an ad – he doesn’t have to do much, but he does it brilliantly:

Less is most definitely more.

It’s often the case in ads that the slightly-better-than-average-looking-but-nonetheless-dimwitted bloke/Dad is portrayed as frustrating or being easily out-smarted by an eye-brow-raising-multi-tasking-super-popular-trim-figured-glossy-but-practical-haired woman/Mum.

So thanks for not going down that well-trodden road and just giving us a plain old confused bloke. The advertising archetypes are there, but they’re interacting in a different way. Which makes for a refreshing change.

And thanks for branding the ad so skilfully – all 3 brands stand out and are clearly memorable once the 30 seconds are up…a deft touch.

Thanks again,


Dear Cesar

Dear Cesar,

Thank you for making me look twice with your Films on 4 “ident” which accompanied the trailer for The Last Exorcism.

I was only half watching and for a second, I thought I was watching one of your ads…your bold and shiny logo caught my eye, you see.

And boy was I momentarily impressed with the bravery of the Marketing Director that I believed had overseen such a radical repositioning. Not quite such a sweet doggy-woggy after all.

But then I realised what was actually going on and had a good chuckle to myself.

Overall, I think that your series of idents are OK:

But it does all feel a little bit “forced”. Especially as every member of the “crew” appears to be the doting owner of the same on-brand (but with a different name) Westie…

Now I’m all for idents, but only when they’re a good fit or strategically sound.

Seven Seas sponsorship of iTV weather is a great example of getting it right.

People watch the weather daily, people take supplements daily (well actually they don’t, but they should, and Seven Seas want them to).

People get run down in the winter, people take supplements to keep themselves feeling fit and healthy.

People feel energetic and sprightly in the summer, Seven Seas Health Oils help people feel energetic and sprightly.

A great fit.

And with the current ident borrowing from the traditional 30-sec ad campaign of late last year, the brand memory structures created at that point are reinforced and reinvigorated too.

So thanks Cesar, not only for giving me a laugh, but also making me think about the various pros and cons of idents / program sponsorship.