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Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the best work and spotlight campaigns that are making a difference.

Harry Iddon, senior creative at Quiet Storm, talks about the 10-second brilliance of F&F’s idents for ITVBe.

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There are lots of ads that people look forward to. Some of them have probably been featured on this page. You know the type – the big budget, bass-pumping, hair-raising, tear-jerking, two-minute features which are indeed entertaining, but in my opinion that’s often where their acclaim ends.

While I admit that I watch with a cynic’s hat on, I rarely see a piece of work nowadays that truly nails a human truth in an engaging and memorable way. But last summer, when my remote control ‘accidentally’ changed the channel to ITVBe – a station that Wikipedia describes as being aimed at a “young female audience” – I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Yes, OK, I was there to watch Dinner Date, which never disappoints. But I already knew that was excellent TV. What I didn’t expect to see, was a 10-second ident for a Tesco fashion brand, which I’d one day end up writing an article about. 

Since that discovery, whenever my remote has accidentally changed itself to ITVBe (I should really get it checked), I end up looking forward to F&F’s idents sponsoring the bevy of brilliant shows the channel has to offer. The idents are a celebration of real women who have added a little glamour to their lives.

Each shows a woman dressed to the nines in stylish F&F clothing, powerfully posing in run-of-the-mill domestic situations. The work is full of clever contrasts. The confidence-oozing women are shown taking the bins out, spraying air freshener, and hanging up the washing, amongst other things. The cinematic style in which they’re shot, accompanied by classical music, beautifies these occasions in an amusing way. All the while, the down-to-earth northern voiceover says how “she only popped in for…” and then inserts a number of different convenience products, from dog biscuits to brussels sprouts. 

In 10 seconds, the work manages to communicate two truisms. The first is impulse buying. We can often get a little carried away in shops and come out with bags a lot heavier than we expected. The idents imply how this could easily be the case with F&F. For a start, it looks so good, but secondly, it’s in Tesco, so when you do “pop in” for something or other, it’s more likely to end up in your basket when you weren’t expecting it to. The second insight is that when we do end up with a new, unexpected item, we want to put it on. We’ll wear it around the house and get a confidence boost from looking so fabulous in it. 

Now perhaps it’s because ITVBe’s feast of fantastic-ness puts me in such a good mood, but whenever I see the ads, I think that to do what they do in 10 seconds, along with looking cinematically beautiful and making you laugh, is mightily impressive. People will continue looking forward to the bank-breaking blockbuster ads and that’s fine. But this just shows that with powerful creative and brilliant execution you can make something just as memorable, and more insightful in 10 seconds.

Harry Iddon is senior creative at Quiet Storm in London.

See the spots by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Creative Works editor Kyle O’Brien.

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