One of the best things we did at GGT was the LWT poster campaign.
It ran for several years and we did over 70 posters, at the rate of one
It won gold awards several year’s running.
It was a really creative campaign.
But most of the creativity didn’t come from the creative department.
Most of it came from the media department.
It started with Mike Gold, our media director watching News at Ten.
At that time China was shut off from the rest of the world.
The only news the Chinese people got was government press releases.
These would be posted on the spot on a particular wall, at the same time
People would stand by the old poster waiting for the new one to be pasted
Goldie thought this would be a great idea for 48 sheet posters over here.
If we kept the same spot, but changed the poster every week, people would
look out for it.
In those days you could print a black and white poster in a week.
But it took six weeks to print and change a full colour poster.
And the client wanted their logo in red and blue.
So how could we print a three colour poster every week?
Goldie and Gordon Smith talked to the press production department.
Between them they worked out that we could pre-print lots of posters, with
colour borders, and store them in a warehouse.
Then, as we needed them, just print a black and white picture in the middle.
We’d get a colour poster in only a week.
So that’s what we did.
Every week we would pick the hottest news story and do a poster about it.
Like the cover of Private Eye.
This was such a good campaign to work on, that it wasn’t fair to give it to any
single creative team.
So we said everyone could work on it, but not in agency time.
If you wanted to do it, you had to work evenings and weekends.
So of course everyone did.
It was worth it because you were practically guaranteed to get an award.
But you know what the cleverest thing of all about it was for me?
We never had the account.
The LWT account was at an agency called TCB.
It had been there years and they didn’t want to move it.
So Mike Gold took the LWT client, Ron Miller, to lunch.
He said, “You know all that money you spend on your trade ads in Campaign, trying to talk agency media departments into putting their advertising on LWT?”
Ron said he did.
Goldie said, “Here’s a much better idea. Don’t advertise in Campaign.
Put that trade advertising money on posters instead.
We’ll run really exciting posters that change every week.
Everyone will be talking about it, and LWT will seem like a really exciting place to run their advertising.”
Ron Miller said, “I like it, but I can’t afford a poster campaign.”
Goldie said, “We’ll only buy posters next to advertising agencies.
No one will notice, they’ll think it’s a consumer campaign running everywhere.
And it won’t cost anymore than the ads you’re currently running in the trade press.”
So that’s what happened.
The LWT campaign won loads of awards.
Everyone in advertising was talking about it.
Media departments began to shift their advertising into LWT.
And nobody knew it was a trade campaign.
And nobody spotted that we didn’t even have the LWT account.
The creative department won a lot of awards.
But actually it should have been the media department that picked them up.
Actually it should have been Goldie.