A blast from the past: British Telecom ‘Ology’

During the lockdown period, industry website More About Advertising is trying to put a smile on our face by asking industry leaders to pick some of their favourite campaigns from years gone by. Today’s the turn of Beri Cheetham, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of The Gate SFO. Here’s what we had to say

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 Telcom 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.