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Robert Senior on ‘Flash Gordon’

24th August 2012

Robert Senior, head of Saatchi & Saatchi, the most famous advertising agency in the world, tells The Independent about his work with The Labour Party.

"I just rocked up and rolled up the sleeves; those hours were my favourite so far at Saatchis," says Senior, about the Labour Party pitch. "That was seminal for me and I think for them, too. I'm not sure that, culturally, that had been part of the agency for some years. For all its history and all its grandeur and brand polish, the nuts and bolts of this agency, the bit that matters, is the creative output." As Senior brainstormed with the creative team, the line "Not flash, just Gordon" was born.

Senior personally led the Saatchi pitch to Douglas Alexander, the Labour Party's general election co-ordinator, and the party's key strategist Lord Gould. He did not want to be ruled by political ideology.

"We stopped worrying about what we thought the Labour Party wanted, in terms of using the right vocabulary and having the right degree of knowledge about the Labour Party itself, in all its anatomical detail. We put that to one side and we just stuck to the thing we know about, which is what would stimulate a response in us as voters as well as practitioners in advertising, what would jolt us and make us more predisposed to Gordon Brown," he says.

After their work with Gordon Brown, Campaign, the advertising industry bible, crowned Senior at No2 in its top 10 of advertising CEOs and his Cadbury's gorilla won campaign of the year.

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