When I'm creative directing, I say to teams: "Is this going to be the most talked-about idea of the year?
Whether it's a mailer or a cinema ad, that should be your ambition.
So, what makes something talked about? For me, it comes down to two things.
1) If it offers up an opinion that you have to react to (like the e-Sixt idea from Jung von Matt, see below). Or 2) If it's new.
The Johnnie Walker ad featuring Martin Scorcese tells me nothing I didn't know already. If it is talked about now, it's only because of the celebrity factor. Oooh, Martin Scorcese. Oooh, Tony Scott. Well, to paraphrase the endline ... stroll on.
But Musco Olives you've got to see. I don't like the pack-shot, but it's a cracking campaign. And it is new - well, go on, tell me you've seen an ad in which a young boy is told he will never be adopted because he has olives on the end of his fingers (unless there's a sequel to Edward Scissorhands called Teddy Olivefingers, which I've somehow missed). Fantastic work.
Then there's a very provocative idea for e-Sixt, an internet travel company, from Jung von Matt, which decides quite arbitrarily to announce that a town called Fulda is the ugliest place in Germany. Excellent stuff and it has got the evidence to show that it really was talked about.
Neighbourhood Watch from the US (starring Ed McMahon) leaves me cold.
Even allowing for some transatlantic cultural niceties that I'm missing out on (although I did read the blurb in the booklet), it's still just sort of short of OK. Another case of limited fame through purchase of a celebrity.
But Xbox's "mosquito
definitely deserves to be here - it's generated a lot of discussion. The talents of Fred and Farid are genuinely new and this film hits you smack between the eyes. However, on repeated viewing, I think that it is strategically a bit lazy. It's got impact all right - massively. Apparently, Mark Wnek said it stood out like bollocks on a bitch, and if anyone can talk definitely about those two subjects, it's Mark Wnek. But strategy is what makes an idea work in the real world. And "Work less, play more
isn't exactly the most competitive strategy I've ever heard.
Most of the new stuff in the main gallery, although of a very high standard, isn't going to make it into this category unless the editor, Lisa Campbell, spends her time meeting people who talk about their own work. Which in this industry is eminently possible.
The exceptions, for my money, would be the PlayStation "mange-tout
spot and two US ads (for Wrigleys and Mountain Dew) which I hope we get over here.
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