The Gate San Francisco’s Beri Cheetham: my MAA blast from the past – Maureen Lipman for BT

If there’s one thing more terrifying than a global pandemic to many a teenager, it’s the thought of sitting your GSCEs. Horrendous though this sounds, if I was told at 15 that I would have to skip the rest of the year and miss my exams, I’d be risking my life by high-fiving strangers.

I sucked at school. And knew that my results were destined to resemble a very bad Scrabble hand.

So, I had good reasons to appreciate British Telecom’s ‘Ology’ by JWT.

Most importantly, it took the heat off me – especially in the eyes of my maternal grandmother, who said “you got one more GCSE than that boy off the Telecom ad…” I’m not sure whether she was proud or cynical, but I took comfort from her nonetheless.

Then there’s the brilliant performance by Maureen Lipman – a character who brought joy and empathy to even slightly sad or depressing scenarios.

Last up, the client strategy that shifted the emotional benefit of making and receiving calls was written by my dad.

Beri Cheetham is chairman and CCO of The Gate San Francisco.

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    One of my all time favourite too! It’s thanks to this advert, the superb script and the incredibly believable ‘grandma’ acting of Maureen Lipman that I named my consultancy after an ‘Ology’ – Craigology!