Friday, 4 March 2016

The passing of time never defeats a good idea.

In 1994, two students Zane Radcliffe and Graham Davey knocked on my door.

"We got an idea Tone. Can we borrow the whiteboard stand?", they said.

"Use it well. Bring it back", I replied.

Off they trundled with the portable whiteboard and a few marker pens.

Later that same week the boys pinned up an idea for Hornby model train sets at our Friday Review. 

The campaign showed how they put the whiteboard to good use. This is what they did.

The idea showed many skills.

It showed the team could write witty headlines.

It showed how they could steal up on an audience and grab their attention.

It showed they could write ads that didn't look like ads.

It showed they could think in a topical way. Back then railway concourses then were awash with excuses for delayed and cancelled trains. 

It showed they had smart media thinking.

And it showed they had conviction in their ideas and a bit of mischief.

Not many first term ideas at Watford make it to June.

The Hornby campaign did.

I loved the idea. So much so, that a few years ago I found the work in the plans chest.  

I laminated it and displayed it in my rooms.

After Watford, Zane and Graham split. Zane formed a partnership with Mike Oughton and landed a job at Leo Burnett. 

The Hornby campaign was one of many great ideas in their folio.

Zane won tons of awards in his 15 years in advertising.  

He left London and started his own agency in Scotland called Newhaven. 

He then left for Northern Ireland and became a best selling author. (London Irish and A Killer's Guide To Iceland were two of his bestsellers.)

In 2015, Zane  came back to advertising and is now the Creative Director of AgencyUK in Bath.

Zane wanted to inspire the younger creatives in his department to come up with simple, fresh ideas.

So he went back into his own plans chest and dug out the Hornby campaign he wrote with Graham when he was a young creative at Watford.
Zane also showed it to the Hornby client.  The client loved it and bought the idea.

The idea took 21 years to go from the Watford pin boards to the real world.

Zane entered the work for The Drum Awards 2015. 

It won the top prize, The Grand Prix.

It also won the prize for headline writing.

Good ideas will  always be good. 

Hang  on to them.

You never know when their time will come.

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