PRIVATE VIEW: Kate Stanners, the creative director at boymeetsgirlS&J

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 05 March 2004 12:00AM

One of this week's ads made me even more aware of the director. I always remember the brilliant Jeff Stark saying: "You can shoot a piece of shit beautifully, but it is still a piece of shit." I'm not sure if that's true. The choice of director can make or break an ad.

The ad for Adidas features Muhammad Ali in his prime, in the ring waiting for his opponent; the fight begins and it's a while before we realise he is fighting his daughter. The voiceover starts as if it were Ali senior but ends with Ali junior talking as a female boxer. This is a great idea and it should have been a great ad, but somehow it isn't. I can't put my finger on why. Is it the fact that the actual fight doesn't feel real? Is it the post? Is it the editing? Is it the music?

It's probably a bit of everything - all I do know is that I wanted it to send a shiver down my spine and it didn't.

I saw the 3 mobile ad starring Anna Friel on TV the other night and, yes, it's engaging and very watchable. It's about evolution, Anna talks about going from amoeba to actress via a frog, "like mobiles", Anna says, "from phone to mobile to 3", which gives her a "chance to be where she wants, when she wants", and it seemingly gives us a great opportunity to see Anna's tits (well, almost). OK, so it's not the best idea in the world, but hey, you've got Anna, you've got evolution and a fair bit of cash, so couldn't it have been a little more interesting in its story-telling? The best bit is the subtle glimpse of her feet ... honest, boys.

The Diet Coke ad has been helped by the director. It's well-worn territory.

Doing something, in this case a couple of girls window dressing. While having a Diet Coke something happens, in this case a mannequin falls over on to another, in a rather compromising position, etc. "It's a Diet Coke thing," apparently. The end result is not nearly as painful as it sounds.

I had the disadvantage of first seeing the ads for the Learning Skills Council up on posters; it took several sightings for me to understand what was going on. This is because the ads have been cropped (I suspect to make the badges bigger), and in doing so lost some of the communication.

When you see the press ads with the whole portraits of young people in their work wear and badges saying "chief sweeper upper" for a trainee hairdresser or "vomit wiper" for the nursery assistant and the line "it's time to be taken seriously ... take a modern apprenticeship", it all becomes clear.

Nice shots, not sure about the art direction (the hierarchy of information seems wrong) and shame about the posters.

The trouble with the Ford Fiesta ad is not the Ford Fiesta ad, but rather the brilliant Volkswagen Polo ad that came before it. The one with the "toy" car on its incredible journey. It was brilliantly made, with wit and style, it was a toy car in a real world and it was great. The Fiesta does a similar thing, this time in a pinball machine ... being pinged all over the place. The music and the endline, "Fiesta.

Rock solid", only confirm the situation - that is, that it lacks the style to make the Fiesta a feisty, playful little car.

Finally, the ad from the Pru. Last year's Prudential campaign was, along with John Smith's, my favourite of the year. And this is no exception.

It features that well-known Scottish actor (whose name I can't remember) walking along talking gobbledegook in a poem. As he walks his nonsense words are projected on the background. He finally says the Pru tells us straight. I really like this and I like it even more for its rather gentle homage to the Samuel L Jackson Barclays ad. It's a nice idea, simply executed and part of a great campaign.

ADIDAS

Project: Impossible is nothing

Client: Uli Becker, head of global communication

Brief: Show why sport matters

Agency: 180\TBWA Amsterdam

Writer: Richard Bullock

Art director: Dean Maryon

Director: Lance Acord

Production company: Park Pictures

Exposure: Satellite and terrestrial TV

LEARNING SKILLS COUNCIL

Project: Modern Apprenticeships

Client: Claire Addison, strategic marketing manager

Brief: Increase awareness of Modern Apprenticeships and recruit to hard

target

Agency: Mustoes

Writer: Kirsten Everett

Art director: Kwai Heung Mak

Typographer: Unreal

Photographer: Don Freeman

Exposure: Posters, press and postcards

DIET COKE

Project: Mannequin

Clients: Julie Goldin, consumer brands director; Zoe Howorth, marketing

manager

Brief: Update and modernise the Diet Coke break

Agency: Lowe

Writers: Sarah Naughton and Sam Heath

Art directors: Alistair Ross and Frank Ginger

Director: Steve Reeves

Production company: Another Film Company

Exposure: National TV

FORD

Project: Rock solid

Client: Peter Fleet, marketing director

Brief: n/s

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Writers: Neil Elliott and Mark Hendy

Art directors: Neil Elliott and Mark Hendy

Director: Antoine Bardou-Jaquet

Production company: Partizan

Exposure: National TV

3

Project: 3

Client: Graeme Oxby, marketing director

Brief: Establish 3 as the natural next step in mobile technology

Agency: TBWA\London

Writer: Stephen Ward

Art director: Stephen Ward

Director: Kevin Thomas

Production company: Thomas Thomas Films

Exposure: National TV and cinema

PRUDENTIAL

Project: Prudential ISA

Client: Roger Ramsden, marketing director

Brief: Communicate that the Pru is a simple, straightforward company

offering a simple, straightforward ISA

Agency: WCRS

Writer: Gary Knight

Art director: Tim Robertson

Director: Lucy Blakstad

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: National TV

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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