Patrick Collister Reviews Adland at The First Post

Patrick Collister is posting weekly advertising reviews in his column, AdLand, at The First Post, a free independent daily online magazine based in the UK. Here’s an approach that honestly evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of campaigns and is prepared to give credit where credit is due.

Patrick Collister

Patrick was executive creative director and vice chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, London, from 1993 to 2000 before taking on a similar role at EHS Brann Group. In 2001 he started up a training/consulting business, Creative Matters, a company focused on agencies and clients. Patrick is the person who has compiled the Won Report over the last three years – an annual analysis of the world’s best direct marketing and digital advertising as measured by the quantity and quality of awards won.

Recent articles at The First Post

Beer Ads today: a load of XXXX.

Collister laments the dearth of decent beer ads in the UK, suggesting the Australian beer Carlton Draught should launch in the UK.

“I don’t know what’s happened to beer ads. There was a time when you’d watch any old bollocks on telly in the hope of catching the Hofmeister bear or a new John Smith’s ad. Guinness has had its moments, I suppose – but as the only creative director to have been fired by Guinness twice I’m bound to be a bit snippy. John Smith’s did give us Peter Kay about four years ago – but that’s about it. There is a dearth of decent beer ads. I mean, what is Beck’s on about? Bragging about being a pissy four per cent is a bizarre strategy for starters, but the commercial is just dull. Four blokes dance. Zzzzzzz. Kronenbourg have given us a sad geezer who wants to be left alone with his beer and Fosters is way off the pace with a couple of guys following a cloud to keep their pints cold.

It is said that in the beer market, you drink the advertising. Good campaign, good sales. Rubbish ads, rubbish sales.

I can only presume, then, that people out there are drinking gallons of Smirnoff. The triple-distilled campaign idea comes straight out of how the product is made and gives a reason for why you should pay more than you would for Tesco’s own label vodka. It’s a sound strategy and it comes with a great commercial to deliver it.

Maybe the Australian beer Carlton Draught should launch in the UK. In Cannes in the summer, their “Bloody Big Ad” commercial was cheered to the rafters by the audience when it won Gold. This new commercial is not as good, but it’s a laugh, which is more than can be said of 99.9 per cent of UK advertising.”

In Love with Dove – Collister believes the recent ‘Evolution‘ campaign from Dove Canada will generate a couple of million Canadian women who say “Yes” to the question, “Are You With Us?”

Paint: Good but no masterpiece – Collister suggests the best part of the Sony Bravia Paint campaign is the capacity to download the ‘making-of’ video.

Greenpeace: Divide and Sneer – Collister suggests the Greenpeace City Guzzler campaign is making the sad mistake of reinforcing prejudice.

It’s Time Ad Agencies Grew Up – Collister points to Tim Delaney’s Nationwide Football campign as a reason agencies should hang on to excellent creatives despite their age.


The First Post was acquired by The Week in 2008. Patrick Collister’s last column was in March 2008.

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