This Week’s Awards - 24/10

Bouquets and Brickbats

Jon Allen
24th Oct 2014

Getty + JWT/Oxo

This week’s glorious bouquet... awarded retrospectively to JWT and one of their clients for an epically long-running campaign. When Lynda Bellingham’s untimely death was announced in the media this week, she was often referred to as ‘the Oxo mum’.  She last appeared as Katie in the rather poignant final commercial in 1999 - 15 years ago - and that was the culmination of a campaign which ran for 16 years from 1983. JWT’s original TV spots featuring Katie and husband Philip actually date back to 1958. So this rather simple, slice of life approach promoted the product for over 40 years. Back in the 80s, I thought the Lynda Bellingham commercials were as annoyingly uncreative as any contemporary TV sitcom featuring a twee 2.4 children nuclear family. But I wasn’t the target audience. Watching a selection of Oxo films this week, I was struck by how beautifully crafted and acted they were - and vastly superior to the Findus (or is it Bird’s Eye? I really can’t be bothered to check) slice of life TV campaign aired recently.

...And a solid blue glass brickbat

...goes to Diageo for Haig Club, launched with a TV commercial directed by Guy Ritchie (famous at Stuff & Sense for being the son of an adman). The award is not for the blue bottle which looks like a perfume container, but for the brand's chosen spokesperson. David Beckham – a very public teetotaller. And the waffle attempting to explain Beckham’s involvement could be more honestly be replaced with one word: money. (I have since heard from people who claim to have had a drink (Becks?) with Beckham. So maybe the brickbat belongs to Team Goldenballs.)

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