campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 01 October 2004 12:00AM
I should do the Christian thing and be nice about the Christian Aid ads.
Sadly, I've seen the image of a capitalist being supported by an African done before and done better. Gold Greenlees Trott did it for the same client to highlight the Third-World debt and it got into the D&AD Annual.
It showed a banker's top half over the emaciated legs of a starving African.
The headline read: "The Third World isn't strong enough to support the banks." Trade justice is an important issue; it deserves more original work.
God knows how much the BT ad cost. It borrows from The Fifth Element and Star Wars to show a city of the future. It illustrates the digital network economy with people whizzing about in highways above the buildings.
But for all its scale, energy and convincing special effects, it fails to engage me. It's literal thinking, not lateral thinking.
The slag of all snacks has become the bike of all snacks in the new Pot Noodle ad. I'm a big fan of this campaign. The clever strategy and edgy ads that started the campaign are now followed with an office girl (the company bike) having her wicked way with a new recruit and pots of Pot Noodle. Maybe the surprise element is fading, but I giggled slightly less at this than the originals.
Tesco's Dotty has passed her sell-by date. She's been replaced by a price campaign. Price campaigns don't get much better than this. It's a host of intelligent ideas, witty thoughts, well-written lines and, of course, cheap to make. Full pages in national press make a welcome change from the ubiquitous fractionals. I'm sure people are beavering away on a new creative vehicle for Tesco as we speak, because as good as this work is, I reckon Tesco is still going to need one in the long run.
I like the two new Harvey Nichols press ads. Fantastic art direction shows a world reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch (that's the 15th-century Dutch painter, not the washing-machine guy). But instead of Bosch's hellish imagery, we're in heaven on earth, where Roman legionaries in red stockings gently spank beautiful girls with expensive-looking handbags (actually, you might need to pop some stuff in the wash after all). Pure indulgence, bang on brand.
The new Pepsi Max ad bears repeat viewing. Two flatmates are fighting over a can and their sometimes bizarre kung-fu fight looks for a moment to have been created using computer special effects. However, it's soon revealed that the fight is being co-ordinated by puppeteers clad in black from head to toe. This technique comes from Japanese theatre and is remarkably convincing. Take a look at the hilarious ping-pong match using this art form at www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/pingpong. The more you watch the Pepsi ad, the more you get out of it, and that's a rare thing nowadays.
Project: HN on earth
Client: Julia Bowe, marketing director
Brief: Bring the Harvey Nichols brand experience to life
Agency: DDB London
Writer: Patrick McClelland
Art director: Grant Parker
Photographer: Tim Brett-Day
Typographer: Mary Lam
Exposure: Consumer fashion titles and national supplements
Client: Colin Wise, head of advertising
Brief: Make BT a credible information and communications technology
provider to major business
Agency: St Luke's
Writers: Simon McTaggart, Scott Leonard
Art director: Nick Darken
Director: Joseph Kahn
Production company: Exposure
Exposure: European TV
Project: Trade justice
Client: Jeff Dale, head of central marketing team
Brief: Inspire people to pressure the UK Government to call for trade
justice, not free trade, by educating them as to the effect of free
trade on Third-World countries
Agency: Euro RSCG London
Writer: Orlando Warner
Art director: Jon Mitchell
Graphic designer: James Victore
Exposure: National, political and church press
Project: "Office bike"
Client: Dom Speciale, marketing manager, Pot Noodle
Brief: Use illicit behaviour to bring to life the tempting
irrestistibility of Pot Noodle
Agency: HHCL/Red Cell
Writers: Jonathan Thake, Lee Tan
Art directors: Jonathan Thake, Lee Tan
Directors: Jonathan Thake, Lee Tan
Production company: Blink Productions
Exposure: National TV
Project: Every little helps
Client: Ian Crook, brand communications and trade planning director
Brief: Make people like their Tesco more
Writers: Sam Cartmell, Jason Laws
Art directors: Sam Cartmell, Jason Laws
Director: Susie Robinson
Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Project: Can Fu
Client: Caroline Diamond, marketing director
Brief: Support Pepsi Max with a fun and creative TV execution
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Stephen Moss
Art director: Jolyon Finch
Director: Tom Carty
Production company: Gorgeous Productions
Exposure: TV and cinema
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk