This was my last full year at HHCL, and my last proper year of showboating. A pinnacle of sorts, but every year since has had something to celebrate.
When our Tango client David Atter moved to the BBC, he was quick to award us the job of launching the Beeb's online shopping portal, beeb.com. It was tough concept to explain so we "wrote" a Ladybird Book to explain it.
Beeb.com print ads
The classic 1970s Ladybird book style worked so well in 1994 for Mercury that we used it's easy, explanatory style to tell Beeb.com's story in some press ads.
Beeb.com: 'Ladybird Book'
When we approached Ladybird to ask permission to used their style, they suggested we actually write a n actual Ladybird book. And so I did. The result was a 50,000 seller that you can still pick up on eBay .
The book is now a collector's item and kick-started the Ladybird revival. Ladybird in 2000 saw themselves as catering to the under fives and seemed oblivious to the vast heritage they owned and the huge love that the public had for Ladybird books. I encouraged them to merchandise their iconic illustrations and they have never looked back.
Beeb.com: 'Angela Rippon'
We then shot a whole lot of 10 second ads simultaneously by using ten cameras in a cafe, hired ex BBC newsreader Angela Rippon and rewrote the lyrics to Bizet's Carmen.
Sony Playstation: 'the Future of Gaming'
This was a collaboration with Sony and RSA. The animation was the work of Jonny Hardstaff and all they needed was some kind of disconnected voice to keep it all together. This was the last piece of work that I was involved in that made it into the D&AD annual.
Sean was back in 2000 with three more commercials in which we embarrass him in front of a pretty girl, continue Stephen's obsession with his mum and show Sean as a typical older brother. Here Ben Whishaw is on the Graham Norton Show being asked about Birdseye.
It's pouring with rain and someone has to get the washing in. All Sean knows is that it isn't going to be him.
There's a terrible signal but Sean has the perfect gadget to fix it - a younger brother. Small point: the audio is ice hockey commentary. Throughout my career I've tried to avoid football and dogs in ads. Note to creatives, there are more interesting sports and pets.
London Eye: 'Pets'
The client who commissioned the Go airline was now working on the London Eye and commissioned a launch poster. What could be more launch than sending animals up there first to declare it safe? I'm not sure if this ever ran but we made it anyway.
Classic Ford Magazine
That Anglia was still making headlines - this time it had not only its own feature in Classic Ford mag but its own postcard too. Underneath the polish and snazzy chrome, the car was a dog and broke down on almost every journey.
The Alpha Course: OOH
We were asked to pull together some posters for the Alpha Course and chose to use posters in the background to tell the message more subliminally. Photos by Tomas Schelp who also shot our Martini 'flirtation' ads (1995).
For some reason we decided to go to Cannes despite not having any work entered. By now my Anglia was hopelessly unreliable and I'd acquired a 1968 Reliant Regal for £50 which I named Pig. I drove Pig all the way there with Trevor Webb and Andy Taylor and met Jim Bolton there. Also in Cannes was Justin Hawkins who was hoping to sell some of his jingles to advertising people. A high point was having the concierge at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes valet park the Pig.
From rotting in a garden in Bexleyheath to bar table on the Croisette. This was Pig's biggest (and most glamorous) journey to date, but there was better to come.
In August 2000, I helped launch the online idea bank Idea a Day with EMI music exec David Owen, Quiet Storm copywriter Becky Clarke and primary school teacher, Rupert Kaye. The site was revolutionary compared to the 'get rich quick' land grab that was going on with the world wide web. We had some great fans - Suggs from Madness, Yahoo's Seth Godin, Malcolm McLaren, Wayne Hemingway and Justin Hawkins.
Sadly this lo res image is the only screengrab I have of IAD in its final iteration.
Happily, a dotcom giving away intellectual property was big news. David soon got bored of the project but I kept it going til 2014. FOr the site's 10th anniversary in 20109, Radio 5 Live hosted a live breakfast phone in where I picked the best ideas sent in by listeners.
AA Roadwatch: Radio campaign
These ads didn't need any music but it meant keeping Justin going so we made sure they had music on them.
Meeting the Archbishop
George Carey realised that the C of E needed to embrace communications and asked my then boss Rupert Howell (front row second left) to pull together some people who might be able to help. Back row far left is Francis Goodwin, founder of the Churches' Advertising Network (and now godfather to my daughter). I'm far left at the front.
Amazon: '3 Things'
Charlie Chaplin only needed a park, a policeman and a pretty girl to make comedy, so Amazon should only need three things to tell people about their services.
Church ad: 'Happier Christmas'
For Christmas 2000 we created a new image of Jesus showing him laughing.
Shape: 'Like a bloke'
The thinking here was that Shape is so low in fat that women needn't feel guilty about indulging. And who, as a rule, don't feel guilty about indulging? Blokes! Simpler times. Created for HHCL+Partners with Jim Bolton and Axel Chaldecott.
Me, Leo Sayer, David Owen from Idea a Day, all at the Groucho Club. This was the world I left in 2000 to embark on a new adventure, my own agency. First though, I had a journey that I needed to go on.