Ads – relatively recent

When you’ve been writing ads for over thirty years, I think ‘relatively recent’ can cover a fairly lengthy period.

For the really old stuff, click the ‘Positively Prehistoric’ link above.

BOXT Weather Sponsorship Idents

These are pretty recent, though – they’re still showing on Good Morning Britain.

They’re pretty simple and were made for about 50p, but I think they’re still fun for first thing in the morning.


A commercial from a couple of years ago. Research feedback indicated that it was very popular with the target audience – though my dance-mad daughter is still annoyed with me for not getting her a part in it.


Although I devised the whole set-up here – the ‘Lights, Kamara, Action!’ theme, the use of Chris Kamara commentating on sporting action from the circle in the corner of the screen, the choice of music – it was Kammy himself who came up with most of the commentary.  Turns out that his ad libs work better than a carefully-devised script.

And here are some idents for Ladbrokes’ sponsorship of BT Sport’s FA Cup coverage:


Vodafone – ‘Stop the Clock’ campaign

Yes, there are quite a few of them – but they’re only 10 seconds long.


Cross-track posters – click to enlarge and read.

Wainwright Ale

A campaign for the ale named after the renowned fellwalker and author Alfred Wainwright, intended to appeal to a younger market than previously.  It seems to have worked; sales are up 61% year on year.


A simple, low-budget (but very effective) print campaign for Bacofoil baking paper.


The TV campaign features one of my favourite endlines: ‘Put Knorr in, get more out’.

The print ad is an example of a quick-turnaround topical ad; having heard the Marco Pierre White quote in question, we got the ad in the papers by the end of the week.  He went on to become a spokesman for the brand on TV.

Vodafone – ‘Make The Most Of Now’ campaign


Advertising Competitions

I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of success with advertising briefs thrown open to the general public – aka the ‘crowdsourcing’ method.  Perhaps the biggest win was on Peperami; 1100 people from around the world entered the competition run by Idea Bounty and I came out on top.  The finished commercial wasn’t quite what I wrote – the script was altered without my involvement before production – but here it is anyway.

I also had a winning entry in a national poster competition run by Oxfam; the ad ran on digital billboard sites around London. And recently, I’ve been successful on a number of briefs posted by Team Darwin, Crowdiate and CrowdPharm / United Nations.

Vodafone – Small Businesses radio campaign

Bill Nighy seems to do quite a few voiceovers now, but I believe this was one of the first radio campaigns he worked on. There were a lot of ads in the series, but these three will give you a flavour:

Kellogg’s Special K

Malta Tourism

If you click on these ads to read them, you’ll notice that they don’t actually say which location they’re promoting.

Research showed that most people immediately dismiss Malta as a boring destination as soon as they see or hear the name, so we set out to intrigue them enough to visit a website to discover the identity of this fascinating holiday destination.

Vodafone – Christmas

World Child Cancer

Kit Kat

British Transport Police

First, a long, thin, blue poster execution for the thin blue line.

Then, a leaflet handed to people asked to walk through a metal detector as part of an anti-knife initiative.  (Click on the image to read the copy on the reverse.)

Finally, a couple of posters which appeared on rail and underground stations.

Jeeves of Belgravia

I’ve written plenty of hard-nosed retail ads in my time – the most sustained period being when I worked on the Lloydspharmacy account and we had to produce promotional press ads every week.  (One that comes to mind is ‘Pantene for under a pound ten’, when the shampoo was reduced to £1.09.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any copies of work from that campaign.  But I do have the following retail ads, for upmarket dry cleaners Jeeves of Belgravia.

The following were written specifically for the branch near St Paul’s Cathedral:


A spec campaign for the formula milk brand.

Suite (Film Editors)

T6 Water Dispenser