Good Ad Bad Ad: In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. This week, John Bacon, executive creative director of the agency Foote Cone Belding, on television commercials high and low

Royal Mail

Bates Dorland

This is the second time the has made a really beguiling ad - the first was one called "Letters of Love", and ran a few years ago. This is a treat too, and it really takes you by surprise.

It starts in the back of a chauffeur-driven car, where a lady mayoress- type figure is sitting with a man who could be her assistant, or even her son. She starts to recite a list of things he'll need to do - take a mirror, and a crucifix, and do everything during the day - and you wonder what's going on. He then suggests adding silver bullets to the list, but the woman says: "No, Brian - that's for a werewolf."

Then he suggests a wooden stake, and the woman says "I'd take several", before telling him to "drive it right through his heart". Brian asks what'll happen if he misses. She says: "Well, let's put it this way, Brian: you won't be getting a second chance." There's then a shot of four special stamps celebrating famous horror tales - Dracula, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Hound of the Baskervilles - followed by the end-line "Stamps Stimulate".

Stamps are pretty bloody dull really, but this ad has a great sense of fun. You think of all the cliches they could have gone with, but they've sidestepped all of them; instead they've re-examined the vernacular of Hammer Horror films. I thought this ad was genuinely subversive, and I can't wait for the next onen

RAC

BDDH

I suppose this ad is trying to take the high ground, but it's high ground that is utterly irrelevant and mind-numbingly pompous. It's a waste of the client's money and my time (it's about two minutes long).

It's a series of talking heads, each giving their thoughts on the role of technology in the future. It's the sort of corporate guff I'd expect from a large computer company; equally, it could be from a car giant.

The first person is someone from the Centre of Advanced Technology in New York, followed by a man from the Science Museum. After that comes someone from the Henley Centre, then a woman from USA Networks who rather alarmingly looks like one of the Spice Girls, and then an environmental adviser. At the end a Japanese pundit comes up, subtitled, but by that time you've lost the will to live. The end-line is "Welcome to the future in motion", followed by an 0800 number - I'd be interested to know how many calls they got on the back of that.

And in between the heads there's all this pointless footage: overhead shots of New York and Chicago, a woman wandering through a London cityscape, American railroads, and street-life in Japan. But what has any of this got to do with the RAC? I could forgive it a lot if any of it was interesting, but it's all so pompous. Obviously, the RAC is setting out its stall to have an opinion on all aspects of technology. But buying membership of a motoring organisation is a distress purchase, and what you want to hear is practical stuff.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
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

SEO Executive

£24 - 28k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical SEO Executive to join one ...

Research Analyst / Insight Analyst

£25k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Research Analyst / Insight Analyst to joi...

RTB/ Programmatic Campaign Manager

35,000 - 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Our client is the world's largest...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence