Paul Simons: MAA blast from the past: Smash ‘Martians’

I was working on my masters at Lancaster University’s Management School when a note was pinned to our notice board from a strange sounding outfit called Boase Massimi Pollitt, seeking a bright young thing to join them in a fancy new role called a planner.

A clever lady colleague called Jane Newman applied for the job successfully and became a key member of the BMP team as it dominated the creative landscape in London.

I went to Cadbury where the creative output was very good, albeit leaning to the middle of the road. Across the road from where I was based the foods group hung out where some great creative work was produced (often because the products were nothing special.) They were the brave marketing team led by John Harvey, a man not scared to take risks with ad agencies; BMP being one they hired. (John Bartle worked for John Harvey before starting BBH with Nigel Bogle and John Hegarty.)

When I saw the Martians ad for Smash for the first time I was blown away. Brilliant on every level and to this day still a classic example of clever writing and production – and most importantly making a powerful point about the product.

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About Paul Simons

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Paul joined Cadbury-Schweppes in brand management and then moved to United Biscuits. He switched to advertising in his late 20s, at Cogent Elliott and then Gold Greenlees Trott. He founded Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson in the late 80s, one of the leading creative agencies of the 90s. Simons Palmer then merged with TBWA to create a top ten agency. Paul then joined O&M as chairman & CEO of the UK group. After three years he left to create a new AIM-quoted advertising group Cagney Plc. He is now a consultant to a number of client companies. Paul also shares his thoughts on his blog. Visit Paul Simons Blog.

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