Britain’s self-proclaimed fastest-growing agency has set phone wires buzzing with its latest British Telecom campaign, as the recently privatized company goes head-to-head against Mercury Communications. Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and Johnson, whose well-known Nike and Wrangler campaigns tapped into the anxieties and desires of the youth market, won BT’s consumer business from J. Walter Thompson two years ago when competition forced the phone company to toughen up its image. The five-year-old, $88-million shop came in with a $24-million TV, print and poster campaign aimed at stimulating longer and more frequent calls. One spot features a father explaining to his forlorn offspring why he’ll be home late; another has Mom agonizing long-distance with her troubled college-age daughter. ‘We’re centering on a series of universal truths that hit a nerve,’ says partner Mark Denton, ‘to get people off their arses to make a phone call.’
And BT says calls have skyrocketed – though the agency mentions it almost incidentally. After all, this is Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and Johnson. What did you expect?
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)