campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 05 March 2004 12:00AM
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.
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
Writer: Kirsten Everett
Art director: Kwai Heung Mak
Photographer: Don Freeman
Exposure: Posters, press and postcards
Clients: Julie Goldin, consumer brands director; Zoe Howorth, marketing
Brief: Update and modernise the Diet Coke break
Writers: Sarah Naughton and Sam Heath
Art directors: Alistair Ross and Frank Ginger
Director: Steve Reeves
Production company: Another Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Project: Rock solid
Client: Peter Fleet, marketing director
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
Client: Graeme Oxby, marketing director
Brief: Establish 3 as the natural next step in mobile technology
Writer: Stephen Ward
Art director: Stephen Ward
Director: Kevin Thomas
Production company: Thomas Thomas Films
Exposure: National TV and cinema
Project: Prudential ISA
Client: Roger Ramsden, marketing director
Brief: Communicate that the Pru is a simple, straightforward company
offering a simple, straightforward ISA
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