Agreeing to be grilled by Newsnight’s famous inquisitor Jeremy Paxman is a pretty good way to spoil your evening but Wieden+Kennedy London’s Neil Christie (left) bravely signed up to discuss Christmas ads last night (Wednesday).
Paxo, as ever, was bluntly dismissive of such low rent huckstering (as he sees it) and even managed to introduce Christie as the MD of ‘Wielden and Kennedy,’ which our boy sensibly let go by. The full episode of Newsnight is here (the ad bit starts at about 36 minutes).
So how did Neil do? Pretty well really: pointing out that these ads, which Newsnight characterised as ‘advertainment, which is fair enough, did work – if they were good enough. Newsnight’s own figures showed that Tesco’s £8,4m campaign last Christmas (which, it’s fair to say, didn’t set the creative world alight) produced a 5.6 per cent uplift in sales (it wasn’t clear exactly against what) which sounds a pretty good result.
As for Paxo, he really is becoming a caricature of himself these days. Christie wouldn’t have got a word in edgeways, as Paxo blathered on to a professor from Birmingham, if he hadn’t politely interrupted to make his points. No wonder the BBC seems to be accumulating enemies these days; you don’t turn on the TV just to listen to the presenter.
Readers of earlier editions of this story might have been bemused by me referring to Neil Christie as Kennedy. And it baffles me too. Happens to all of us as the years roll by…