campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 13 August 2004 12:00AM
Is there a law that says cheap holiday flights equals cheap jokes? The poster campaign for lastminute.com shows a sandy boob shot with the headline: "Forget sandcastles, play in the dunes." Another bum shot is accompanied by: "Put some colour in your cheeks." My objection is nothing to do with boobs and bums. I like to see a nice bum as much as the next man. No, it's on account of it being lazy, cheap, old-fashioned advertising, which is the antithesis of the brand, which I thought was smart and modern.
This campaign is saved by its good endline, "Enjoy every lastminute.com", and the clean art direction, which makes it stand out.
The Hotpoint TV ad does nothing unexpected. A bloke is scrutinising his kitchen appliances as if they were his Bang & Olufsen sound system. He caresses a hotplate, he swoons at his dishwasher and tries to mount his fridge, all to a Guinnessesque soundtrack. His girlfriend walks in to use the coffee machine and he asks indignantly: "You're not going to use that, are you?" The endline is: "Hotpoint. Designed for the real world." So Hotpoint makes nice-looking kitchen gadgetry then. I'm sorry, but having a bloke being interested in kitchen equipment isn't enough. Wake up and sniff the millennium - boys cook too.
The first ad for Smart is my favourite of this week's review. It shows bits of the new forfour car through a kaleidoscope and lets us know that we can create our own car colour combo from a palette of 30. It looks good - good music, nice pace and tone. Shame then that the BMW 1 Series is using a similar technique.
The second and third ads introduce the new larger Smart car in a far more conventional way. One shows a couple stretching out in the back being serenaded to Blue Moon. The other has a load of lemmings dropping on the car.
The TV ads are far more boring than the product itself. Though I guess that was the brief. The car is too weird so make it appeal to a more mainstream audience. It is very rare to have such a pioneering product to advertise. What a shame not to have pioneering advertising to go with it.
Nicorette's new ad features the now-familiar people in giant fag costumes. The fags are called in to be bollocked. Their boss shows them video footage of the reason why. A couple of women are having lunch and one talks about her craving. The fag is hovering around the table, only to run away as her friend gets out her Nicorette gum. We cut back to the boardroom as the fags are fired. Is this the end of what has no doubt been a successful campaign? I hope so as this ad seems to prove that it's on its last legs.
Cravendale fresh milk. Filtered for purity. Clean and simple press ads, both playing on the purity thing. One has a glass of milk with the rim as halo, the other features a baby cup with handles shaped like angel wings. I can't help thinking I've seen it all before.
Heinz are trying something new for them, only thing is it's not new to the rest of us. Take a tin of beans on a white backdrop, have a bean bouncing about thinking out loud with a Woody Allen-style voice, talking about - in the case of the folic acid execution - how virile he is, with the endline: "The bean. The superbean." These are actually very nicely written.
And, to be fair, this is work that fares better on air, where it does stand out, because of its, shall we say, classic approach.
I know why work so often ends up like this week's - not bad but not new, interesting or exciting. Clients operating a "better-be-safe-than- sorry" policy. Agencies not wanting to rock the boat etc, etc. But do ya know what? It is a brave group of people who produce work that assumes people are interested in what they've got to say.
Project: Brand relaunch
Client: Janine Rostron, brand manager
Brief: Encourage re-appraisal and build brand desirability
Agency: Leith London
Writer: Simon Bere
Art director: John Messum
Director: Graham Fink
Production company: The finktank
Exposure: National TV
Project: Smart forfour launch
Client: Sam Bridger, marketing director
Brief: Launch the four-seater car from Smart
Agency: Farm Communications
Writers: Owen Lee, Christian Bunyan
Art director: Gary Robinson
Director: Simon Green
Production company: Large Corp
Exposure: Cinema, satellite and terrestrial TV
Client: Stuart Ibberson, senior brand manager
Brief: Cravendale is no ordinary fresh milk. It is filtered to make it
Agency: DDB London
Writers: Ben Wade, Lovisa Almgren
Art directors: Lovisa Almgren, Mark Reddy
Photographer: Ben Stockley
Typographer: Steve Rochford
Exposure: Women's monthlies, parenting press
Project: Freshmint gum
Client: Kevin Robinson, director of marketing, the UK, Ireland, central
and eastern Europe
Brief: Launch Freshmint as Nicorette's best-tasting gum
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Richard Morgan
Art director: Simon Langley
Director: David Shane
Production company: Hungry Man
Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV
Project: "Hot beaches for everybody"
Client: Vijay Solanki, marketing director
Art director: n/s
Photographer: Ben Westwood
Exposure: Posters and special builds
Project: Heinz Baked Beanz campaign
Client: Ben Pearman, marketing manager
Brief: Relaunch Heinz Baked Beanz
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writer: Big Al
Art director: Big Al
Director: Roger Woodburn
Production company: Park Village
Exposure: National terrestrial and satellite TV
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk