Let's do lunch inside the world of advertising

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The Independent Online
BMP DDB has come to the aid of its client, Vodaphone, by solving that age-old problem of what to do with your pager. For years, busy people have walked about with the devices attached to their belts, or inside their briefcases - but somehow that never quite felt right.

The solution, from BMP creatives Simon Leaman and Brian Fraser? Put your pager in your pants. If it vibrates, like the VodaZap, this could prove rather thrilling. But hang on. Is this some craven attempt to render telecoms hardware sexy? You decide: consider the new ad, which breaks during the UK cinema launch of Striptease, featuring a sweaty woman dancing herself into a frenzy with a pager in her pants, and the endline, "VodaZap. Are you turned on?"

Last week, we revealed John Gummer's dastardly plan to secure himself a peerage by turning the whole countryside into a vast poster site. Now we can reveal another new media opportunity. Launched this week, Adlids will offer 600 million ad sites a year, on the top of take-away meal cartons. Tango, Dry Blackthorn Cider, and Rock Circus have already signed up for space.

When adfolk decamp from Soho for some conference or awards ceremony, work is never going to be high on the agenda. But normally participants will at least feign some interest in the official proceedings. Not so at Kinsale last week, for the 34th International Advertising Festival. Did they view ads? Did they discuss hot issues confronting the industry? Did they heck. "Delegates" spent three days soaking up Guinness, driving to quaint beaches in open-topped Rollers, and guzzling in many of the town's plentiful gourmet restaurants. Several top creatives managed to miss the actual awards ceremony, by oversleeping. Just for their information, then, the overall winner was Wieden and Kennedy's "good vs evil" football film for Nike.

Until recently, clever folk liked to chortle about soap operas along the following lines: "Yah, sensationally gritty they might be, and oh- so-close to everyday life, but I am never truly taken in because the characters themselves never seem to watch any television." And with that, clever folk switched to Newsnight, or Radio 3. But nowadays, soap stars watch telly all the time. On ITV, it's a rare ad break indeed that doesn't show the Duckworths of Coronation Street agog before a small screen overflowing with other ITV shows. It's all part of ITV's ingenious self-branding exercise, you understand.

And now the golden-oldie satellite channel Granada Plus has added its own revivalist twist. The station, which will run programmes from the libraries of Granada and LWT, has persuaded actress Jean Alexander to don her hairnet and rollers once again, and sit in character as Hilda Ogden, watching old episodes of Coronation Street, featuring, um, Hilda Ogden. Just in case you missed the point, the ad will first be aired in the middle of Coronation Street.

But will this draw in massive audiences? Or just a handful of former soap-opera stars and Post-Modernists?

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