Ads – positively prehistoric

I had hair when a lot of these were written.  Though not a full head of hair, admittedly.


Still the most successful campaign I’ve written, in terms of both awards and the effect it had on the client’s business. Once or twice, the campaign had to be paused because they couldn’t ship over enough printers and computers to keep up with demand.

The client soon came to trust us completely and gave us a free hand to write whatever we wanted. If only I’d appreciated at the time how unusual that is.

Milton Keynes

These posters ran in the London area, with the aim of attracting people to the new city of Milton Keynes. The ‘Welcome’ execution appeared on a large hoarding at Clapham Junction, to catch the attention of fed-up commuters packed inside trains heading in to work.


Financial Times

These two posters ran as teasers for a week before hidden messages were revealed.  Click on the images to see the second stage of each execution.


The commercial that launched the brand. The words were loosely based on the Emma Lazarus poem ‘The New Colossus’, written for the Statue of Liberty.


Another launch.  At the time, LG wasn’t a well-known brand in the UK and they were finding it hard to get stocked by large electrical retailers.  This simple, low-budget TV campaign created a demand for their leading washing machine and they never looked back.


In addition to Volvo, I’ve worked on a number of car accounts over the years: Kia, Mazda, Skoda – and the three brands featured here. The Peugeot ad won an award for copy at the New York Festival, while the Chrysler commercial launched the Neon model in the UK.


The first of these ads was for a fun run; the second ran in the programme at a NABS boxing evening.  The photo came from an incident which had happened the month before, when a boxer’s mother jumped into the ring to hit his opponent with her shoe.

Pork Farms (1)

This ad, featuring a deliberately unintelligible and made-up rustic-sounding language, won Gold at the Creative Circle Awards for Best 30-Second Commercial.

Pork Farms (2)

Several years later, I found myself working on the account again, at a different agency.  This time, a punchier approach was called for, though we weren’t allowed to be too punchy.  ‘Don’t be a salad tosser’ was one headline they turned down.  And ‘Stick this in your hole’ never appeared on the pump nozzles at petrol stations either.  Still, at least we got these through – though we weren’t allowed to say ‘arse’…


The Pork Farms commercial above wasn’t the first spot I’d written with builders in it.  In fact, these are the first TV ads I ever made…

St Bruno

These appeared on the actual packs rather than in press or print.  (This was shortly after tobacco advertising had been banned.)

Moss Car Alarms

For the benefit of younger readers: there was a big TV campaign for the AA breakdown service at the time which featured the line ‘He’s a very, very nice man…’

The Street was a stock market analysis site with an irreverent attitude. The campaign below won the pitch, though the bigger battle was to get it presented in the first place. The agency’s planning director was convinced that other agencies would also present a ‘punchy headline’ route, and didn’t like the idea of taking part in a ‘caption competition’. I backed us to win such a competition – and we did.

Majestic Wine

I still like the copy on this ad – click to enlarge if you want to have a read.


Three test spots (hence the irritating time clocks) for a Japanese beer.

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