2002 was without doubt the bleakest year I've ever had in advertising. My salary was 10% off what I was on at HHCL, we ate bread and tomato soup (24p) every day from Safeway and I promised myself I would never get misty eyed about it. It sucked.
Valdivieso was one of the few clients that gave us any work. Sharing an office with Karmarama was a godsend as we picked up bits from them but most of our time was spent cold-calling and following leads that led nowhere. And we had a massive tax bill from 2001 that completely cleared us out.
High and Mighty: 'Stretch and Chunky'
By 2002, Tango/Beeb.com client David Atter had set up his own agency, Cartwright. Cartwright regularly used Arkwright to create ads for them, but this is the only one that actually happened. Created with Jim Bolton and Dave Jenner.
Pretty much the only thing keeping Arkwright going in 2002 was a bag of pre-prepared ingredients that you could pick up from a kiosk at Waterloo station. Rocket was owned by Unilever so it was a foot in the door to something big. A lone beacon of light in a sea of darkness.
Rocket was owned by Unilever and the branding was done by friends of ours at Wolff-Olins. We briefed Jonny Voss to doodle a page of critters and other characters and then wrote ads around them. We took over a tunnel at Bank station as well as escalator panels at Waterloo.
To complete the Waterloo campaign, every carriage of the Waterloo and City line trains was decked out with 100% rocket advertising. Sadly this was before social media but we're pretty sure people would have talked about this.
Music Choice: Small Space
2002 ended with another commission from M&B whose client was the music TV station, Music Choice. They wanted us to advertise their Christmas channel by taking over lots of small spaces in the Daily Mirror. Cheap and fun.
Church ad: 'Price tag'
2002's Christmas ad for the church used a bit of humour and won ourselves a quarter page article in the Times. Arkwright may have been failing but at least the press were still interested in God.