Years back we were pitching on Cadbury’s Crème Eggs.

The planners had a brilliant strategy (obvious now because it’s been done ever since).

The problem was Crème Eggs in sweet shops were dry and crusty, they looked unattractive so they weren’t selling.

The account group’s strategy was to only sell them in the build-up to Easter: the 3 months after Christmas.

That would make their appearance a special event, it would also make sure they sold out and weren’t left hanging around to go stale.

That was their marketing strategy, they also had a good advertising strategy.

Everyone had their own way of eating them: some people licked the chocolate off then lickedthe yolk, some people bit into it and ate the whole thing.

So that was the brief that Dave Waters and Paul Grubb were given.

They summed it up with a line that seems obvious now: HOW DO YOU EAT YOURS?

The issue then became: how to make that thought catch on?

So they used the Paul Simon song ‘Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover’, which had lyrics like: “Hop on the Bus, Gus.  Make a new plan, Stan. Set yourself free, Lee”.

And they changed these to “Give it a lick, Mick. Give it a suck, Chuck. Give it a bite, Mike” and sung by everything from statues to tattoos, all eating Crème Eggs.

So far so good, but now the problem was the media.

Crème Eggs needed to be seen in the street as well as on TV, and the budget only stretched to a commercial and a single 48-sheet poster execution.

(Posters are now called OOH so let me explain: a 48-sheet is a big long horizontal one.)

They could only afford a single 48-sheet execution because the client insisted on featuring the4-colour pack, which required printing the whole poster in 4 colours.

So how were we going to make that TV execution, which depended on multiple names, work on a single poster?

Well we weren’t, we needed quite a few executions to get the idea across.

So the question became, how to afford a 4-colour pack on several poster executions?

This is where creativity comes in, by that I don’t mean just sitting at your desk writing puns.

The client wanted his pack in 4 colours but, thinking upstream, that didn’t mean the whole poster had to be printed in 4 colours.

A 48-sheet poster is made up of twelve 4-sheets, looking at the grid there are six 4-sheets across the top and six 4-sheets across the bottom.

The only part that needed to be in 4 colours was a single 4-sheet with the client’s pack on.

The rest of the poster could be b&w.

So the art directors each drew a cartoon of someone eating a Crème Egg, and positioned the 4-sheet, with the egg printed on it, to fit.

We used the art directors’ drawings, Dave Cook, Chris Bardsley, Damon Collins, etc, so we could afford six 48-sheet poster executions for the cost of a single poster.

That way we could continue the TV campaign of different names on posters.

We won the account, and it worked so well they gave us lots more of their brands.

In fact we became, at that time, Cadbury’s biggest ad agency.

But if the creative dept hadn’t known how a 48-sheet poster is put together we couldn’t have done any of that.

That was in the days when real creativity came from account handling, the planning dept, the media dept, and the creative dept all working together.

The excuse nowadays is “Ah yes, but was legacy media, you can’t do that today”.

Not true, the truth is we don’t do it because thinking now just means following a trend.

We’ve got new media but legacy brains.