PRIVATE VIEW: Tim Delaney, the chief executive at Leagas Delaney

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 June 2002 12:00AM

I am invariably torn as I sit down to review these reviews. Should I just dismiss the indecipherable with the judgment they deserve: a cold, simple "no"? Or is it, in the interests of fair play, objectivity and diplomacy, better to look for the strategies before passing judgment on the executions. For some inexplicable reason, I have chosen the latter course.

Karma Kars, judging by the posters supplied, has decided, with the help of its agency, that it should say as little as possible about what it offers and how it is different and better than other offerings in its category. So instead of information, we get gags about the name and provenance of the company. Is it a taxi firm, a minicab outfit, a dealership, a rental-car company?

Who knows and, therefore, who cares?

The British Virgin Islands has, like Karma Kars, opted to use one piece of background artwork for its campaign. Plainly, a key objective of all the effort involved was to save money. That wouldn't necessarily explain the dry, unseductive nature of these ads, a strange quality to inject into what must be one of the world's sexiest travel destinations. I am sure siren voices warned against the cliched palm-fringed beaches, but why tell me what I'm not going to get before you show me what's on offer? An opportunity missed.

I like the Fosters campaign idea although not all the executions have lived up to it. The latest spot is the best so far. Good idea, well made and the laddish joke - a robot in a three-in-a-bed sex romp - is perfect for the market. One thing: I would run 60-second ads, not 40s. If your idea always builds to the same gag, it must be better to release it slowly, not tell it often.

Yellow Pages always has to wrestle with the problem of which of its hundreds of services it should advertise. The new campaign addresses the issue by including two in each short spot. The device works but the ads are a bit laid back so I guess the objective was to keep the name (and its new online service) in front of us rather than make a competitive or motivating point.

Looking at the Alpen spots makes me wonder whether this brand is somehow past its sell-by date. The product is good, the name a household one, but for some reason when you see it advertised, it seems from a different age. This campaign is an attempt to make it part of laddish girl culture.

Trouble is, like a lot of brands that desperately want to be something they are not, it shows. And trying too hard is simply not allowed if you want to be cool.

Vectra is interesting for a number of reasons. Someone at Vauxhall is obviously worried about the work. The Corsa has been taken from the incumbent and now this - a campaign that couldn't be more different than the ads that made Griff even more money.

It's a bit stagey and the concept of an advocate in some kind of court room is odd but the overall effect is powerful. The brand comes across as serious, the car as something genuinely new and the casting of a star - Ed Harris - gives the ad authority and watchability. One problem: the female lead looks like she's used her raised eyebrow knowing look in 12 other ads.

KARMA KARS
Project: Karma Kars brand campaign
Client: Tobias Moss, founder
Brief: Appeal to the "Fs" - people in film, fashion, food and funkiness
Agency: Springer & Jacoby UK
Writer: Ben Carson
Art director: Elliot Harris
Typographer: Tivy Davies
Exposure: Posters
VAUXHALL
Project: Launch of new Vectra
Client: Patrick Dunster, marketing communications manager
Brief: Convince consumers that the new Vectra is a result of new
thinking in the segment
Agency: Lowe
Writer: Tom Hudson
Art director: Steve Paskin
Director: Lenard Dorfman
Production company: @radical.media
Exposure: National TV
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Project: British Virgin Islands
Client: Michelle Bach, regional director
Brief: Make the British Virgin Islands stand out from the crowd
Agency: Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB
Writer: Brian Riley
Art director: Matt Lee
Typographers: Rod and Kira Josie
Exposure: Travel, diving and sailing magazines
SCOTTISH COURAGE
Project: Fosters
Client: Graham Fewkes, marketing manager
Brief: Extend the "honourary Australian" theme
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer: Curtis Brittle
Art director: Richard Fitton
Director: n/s
Production company: Traktor
Exposure: National TV
YELLOW PAGES
Project: Yell "think" campaign
Client: John Hayward, head of consumer communications
Brief: Raise awareness of Yellow Pages and Yell.com
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Jeremy Carr
Art director: Jeremy Carr
Director: Ben Sedley
Production company: Garrets
Exposure: National TV
WEETABIX
Project: Alpen
Client: Tony Corp, marketing director
Brief: Goodness for grown-ups
Agency: Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB
Writer: Jason Cascarina
Art director: Andy Lennard
Director: Trevor Melvin
Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company
Exposure: National TV

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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