Private View: Malcolm Poynton and Carrie Hindmarsh
Campaign Work, Thursday, 16 August 2012 08:00AM
With work from Volkswagen, Camelot, Mercedez-Benz, Gocompare.com, Terrence Higgins Trust and Kellogg.
Chief creative officer,
Kellogg's Rice Krispies. Back-of-pack colouring-in picture for rainy days. This is a superb bit of product innovation. Go on holiday in the UK with your kids and, when it starts raining, you can quietly sit with your child while he or she angelically colours in the picture on the pack. Telly? Consoles? What's wrong with a good bit of old-fashioned COLOURING IN? Romantically shot, idealistically cast, African music. I can't help feeling that it's all a bit Heinz circa 1997. All just a bit, well, wet.
Volkswagen Golf. £1,500 off a Golf. As easy as buying your fruit and veg. VW constantly sets a very high bar with brand and price work alike. But it's the price stuff that impresses me most, especially when you see so many other brands desperately looking for new and different ways of saying "money off". This is yet another brilliant idea beautifully executed. Good casting and memorable touches. You are left remembering that there's £1,500 off the Golf. Nice. No, hang on a minute, it's £1,500 off the deposit when I buy via the VW finance thingybob. I smell a rodent at that fruit and veg stall.
Terrence Higgins Trust. Shagathon interrupted by guilty conscience. A good bit of film that sets out to remind you to use a condom by focusing on what might be described as the condom "moment of truth". Let's face it: we've all been there. There are some categories that are gifts for creativity, where agencies move mountains for clients with no budget. I think this film just about lives up to the opportunity.
Camelot. Olympic rug-pull for 100 millionaires event. This is a timely bit of film calculated to have you believe that the nation is poised for the start of the Olympic Games, only to reveal that the nation is on tenterhooks awaiting the draw for the 100 millionaire winners. You sort of see it coming, but it's a lot better than gameshow hosts in sparkly suits and lucky winners swimming in cash.
Mercedes-Benz City Golf app. Virtual golf anywhere in London. Ever thought how foolish people look when they do air golf swings? I can never work out whether they are actually practising their golf, trying to say "hey, look at me, I play golf" or whether it's some kind of mating ritual. Anyway, here's an app for people who DO like air golf swinging that enables you to play all over London. Quite a good idea as long as you take care not to knock out any old ladies or tourists. Mercedes-Benz's relationship with golf is strong. Its role within this app could be stronger.
Gocompare.com. Gio Compario shot dead with a bazooka. Gocompare (go compare, go compare, go compare) looks like it has identified that its main man is really rather irritating despite being really rather good at reminding people of the price-comparison website that he works for. So let's just blow the bastard up. And let's not just use any old hitman, let's use a hit LADY. No, not just any hit LADY, let's use SUE BARKER (huh? Why?). Highly inappropriate, hugely irresponsible, controversy-courting nonsense. Always good to write an ad that has Mums Against Bazookas up in arms.
Flipping channels, before stumbling upon the commercial-free BBC's Olympic coverage, they would have seen another kind of race that looked something like this ...
In lane one, Gocompare.com's Gio Compario limbers up in trademark vocal style. From previous form, I fear he's about to make this 30-second sprint feel like running a marathon with a stone in your shoe. He begins "performing" for an unsuspecting couple when, hang on ... what's this? A shady character across the way lines Gio up in the sights of a massive yellow bazooka? Boom! He's gone. Or is he? As "assassin" Sue Barker removes her balaclava and the nation erupts in collective joy that Gio has finally been taken out of our living rooms, a pudgy hand claws its way out of the crater. Once again, Gocompare has left me deflated.
Terrence Higgins Trust is all hot and bothered in lane two. The ad is all fast-paced action straight out of the blocks until the slo-mo camera goes off prematurely and the sexual athletes are put off their stride by nagging fears and inhibitions - should they resolve the condom question before they get their kit off? It's all serious, breathy, dramatic stuff - so why does it feel off the pace? Maybe it's Olympic fever, but I'm reminded of the condom-themed "Trojan Games" viral films of 2005 - they smashed all kinds of records and made people laugh for all the right reasons.
In lane three is Kellogg's Rice Krispies (6), running with the cliche of British summertime - rain! This 2012 interpretation is promoting free entertainment for the kids by way of a colouring-in picture on the back of the pack. In the face of what promised to be the "digital Olympics", I applaud Rice Krispies for not being tempted.
Camelot - the people who funded much of Team GB's success - starts in lane four with the goal of breaking another record by making 100 millionaires in one draw. You too can win gold, but with none of the bother of having to train for years, to compete, to win and to secure riches through brand endorsements. C'mon, Camelot, for the British public, I know you give so much back, but it would be nice if your ads made us feel proud too.
In lane five is Volkswagen Golf - star of the field based on its advertising track record. From the 80s "if only everything was as reliable as a VW" to the 90s Passat "obsession" campaign, the Polo "surprisingly ordinary prices" work and this decade's Golf GTI relaunch, VW should have won without breaking a sweat in this company. But, ouch, this campaign wasn't the performance we've come to expect. With a bit of creative coaching from Adam & Eve, perhaps we expect a return to form for VW's next run out.
Mercedes-Benz is parading around lane six in the shiny new clothes of a mobile app - a digital approach deserving polite applause for trying a new routine, but I doubt we'll be seeing the City Golf app on the iTunes podium any time soon. The app reflects Mercedes' sponsorship of The Open Championship - but you have to ask: would people really bother to play this, even once? And, if so, what would they gain from the experience?
Against the crowd-pleasing performances of Bradley Wiggins, Ben Ainslie, Andy Murray, Jessica Ennis et al, this group of ads have been tested and found lacking. After all, the nation has been spoilt this summer with all-out passion and performance that have taken entertainment to another level in GB. Now the expectation will be inescapable. Let's make 'em proud.
This article was first published on Campaign Work
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