Good Ad Bad Ad

In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. This week, Paul Simons, chief executive officer of the agency TBWA Simons Palmer, on television commercials high and low

First Direct

WCRS

There are two executions in this campaign, each featuring Bob Mortimer: one where he's saying he hates queues, and another where he says he hates it when everything's closed.

In the past has been quite precious in the way it talks to the public: the big criticisms that have been made historically about the advertising is that it's been a bit "up its bum" and very much for the chattering classes. This has probably held them back, but it's a great brand, and this new work from Wight Collins moves away from all that and gives it a more universal feel.

The great thing is that it tells you very clearly about the two basic benefits of banking with : that because it's done over the phone, there is no queuing and the service never closes. It's done with an enormous amount of wit, and it gives the viewer a compelling, persuasive argument for calling - it makes you say to yourself: "Yes, I do hate queuing, and I do hate missing the bank because it's closed."

I like the way Bob Mortimer is used to dramatise the points - pushing in at the front of queues, telling diners the restaurant they're in is closing in a few minutes - and you don't get offended that it's putting other ways of banking down in trying to sell itself. It's well-observed, succinctly done, and is made by people who treat consumers as intelligent peoplen

Direct Line

The Media Business Direct

Direct Line's ad is trying to do exactly the same thing as the commercial - get you to pick up the phone - but the differences between them are vast.

Whereas the ad is stylish and witty, the Direct Line work is hamfisted: it attempts to tell you lots of different things and by the end of it you haven't got a clue what you're supposed to take from it. Then that red telephone comes out of nowhere, and you're left feeling like it was put together by a group of chimpanzees. Also, while the ad is filmed beautifully, this is shot on video and looks very amateurish.

Like , they want to tell you a very basic thing: if you have a crash, talk to us and we'll sort it out. But, unlike , which tells it simply, this confuses the issue with about 10 other thoughts. There's a woman wittering on in the top left-hand corner of the screen, and at the same time the man who's had the crash is discussing it all with his wife. It's a jumble of disjointed thoughts.

You certainly aren't made to feel good about the company. I think this is a great example of the wrong people trying to do TV - people just trying to put a sales pitch on to television - and what it ends up saying is: "Here's a list of reasons why they should use this service - and if you don't like those, we'll throw in a free gift"

Interview by Scott Hughes

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Analytics Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup