campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 February 2003 12:00AM
French Connection has gone to the beach and its agency, after producing the most provocative campaign of the 90s, has gone on holiday with it.
I like advertising that shows me, or tells me, something new. I don't think anyone is shocked by the fcuk device now, and I've seen a million pictures of waves and surfers before. There's a definite change in direction here, but I just think the more colourful these ads become the more drab they appear.
Hamlet, like a lot of tobacco advertisers, is having one last drag before it quits. Because of regulations it has chosen the internet to show its last ever films. Great viral films spread across the world via e-mail because their content is never normally allowed to be seen on regulated broadcast media. The Hamlet films are safe and cosy, and would be just about acceptable at a WI meeting. The fluorescent luminous condom ad would have spread uncontrollably across the planet.
British Airways is lovely, simple and confident. It has completely jettisoned the over-seen, over-indulgent imagery attached to business travel, the fancy napkins, the shadow cast by a glass of wine, the peaceful dawn light breaking over a weary traveller as he leans back and smiles at the stewardess. All gone. And thank God. Very confident to cut out all the finery and go for what a business traveller truly wants from a transatlantic flight. Sleep.
Impulse is teasing everyone at the moment with the question: "Where have all the young men gone?" Well, they've all been lured away by beautiful young Sirens. (Sorry for revealing the ending.) The ad's all right but like a lot of similar, very fashionable-looking ads, it feels so distant.
This idea is trying to engage because it asks an engaging question. But it's too far removed from reality, shot in strange town America. Why couldn't it have been shot in Britain where it would have had a toe-hold on reality, like the life-drawing model getting an erection did, or the gay guy having doubts?
The Wall's Balls ads are quite funny, which is good when you have a product as laughable as Wall's Balls. One of those horrendous products that get conjured up for children that don't really like food. They like balls though, so put them together and you're left with kids chasing and eating a bowling ball and a boy chasing and gnawing a ball like a dog. Simple, funny and made so much better by the Neil Stuke voiceover.
Brita. What is it about Brita water filters? They're always on the telly so they must be doing something right. Gone is that shameless advert couple, but now we have equally cliched shots showing us we all like water in different ways. You're telling me something I already know, using images I've already seen. It beats me, but a lot of people somewhere must be buying into all this. It's just not my cup of pure filtered tea.
Right, that's me done. Does anyone know a decent glazier?
Project: French Connection
Client: Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive
Brief: Fcuk - bringing the cool surf vibe to the high street
Writers: Trevor Beattie and Julia Martens
Art director: Bil Bungay
Exposure: National press and poster
Project: Times Square
Client: Abigail Comber, advertising and media manager
Brief: Remind flyers that BA has the world's only true flat beds in
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer: Duncan Timms
Art director: Will Bates
Director: Steve Reeves
Production company: Another Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Project: Wall's Balls launch
Client: Toby Langton, marketing controller
Brief: Launch of Wall's Balls, an extension of the Wall's sausages brand
Writer: Mark Rowbotham
Art director: Nicky Hole
Directors: Jake & Jim
Production company: Godman
Exposure: National TV and cinema
Project: Impulse Siren
Client: Margaret Jobling, brand director
Brief: Launch the new cross range fragrance called Siren
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Rosie Arnold
Art director: Rosie Arnold
Director: Nick Gordon
Production company: Academy
Exposure: National TV
BRITA WATER FILTER SYSTEMS
Project: Brita water filters
Client: Charlotte Ward, marketing manager
Brief: Forge a stronger emotional bond with the consumer
Agency: Da Costa & Co
Writer: Nick da Costa
Art director: Nick da Costa
Directors: Tom and Charles Guard
Production company: Rogue Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Hamlet virals
Client: Mike Cox-Hill, brand manager cigars
Brief: Contemporise The Hamlet Moment in a viral form
Writers: Ruan Milborrow and Milo Campbell
Art directors: Ruan Milborrow and Tony Burke
Director: Henry Littlechild
Production company: The Viral Factory
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk