Chief executive, Omnicom Media Group UK
Well, it’s back to work after a wonderful summer break with the family in the States eating way too much food and rubbing shoulders with the likes of David Beckham and his family at Disneyland (yes, he is gorgeous and, no, Victoria didn’t smile despite being at Disneyland surrounded by Mickey Mouse and lovely fun things – how can you not smile?).
So, of course I’m back on a post-holiday diet and therefore the agony of reviewing the McCain "happy days" ad was just too much for me to bear. The ad is celebrating the joy of chips and I love it. It’s bright, colourful and uplifting. Coming from Wolverhampton and growing up on a diet of fish and chips, I felt right at home. But you will be pleased to know that I did resist the temptation to rush out and buy a bag of chips for lunch, instead opting for low-fat tomato soup and fruit – sob!
In contrast, I really struggled with the new Hyundai work. I really don’t like criticising other people’s work, as I know how much effort and energy go into creating it – however, I did feel that the ad was overindulgent and irrelevant. Did it make me reconsider buying a Hyundai? No. The end frame states "Hyundai – new thinking, new possibilities", but I felt as though I had seen this ad before. It definitely wasn’t new thinking. I then read that the ad had been directed by Frank Budgen, who also shot the "rabbits" and "tag" spots for Sony Bravia and Nike respectively – and it then made sense why I thought I had seen it before.
Not much to say about the third ad I saw for TalkTalk. It’s cute and very well-shot but with little substance. It really didn’t help me to understand TalkTalk’s TV service, which is a missed opportunity ahead of its first birthday.
The new ad for Paddy Power is genius work, though. I just love seeing the Paddy Power ads – so on-brand and so relevant to its target audience. This is a company that employs a head of mischief – what a great job! This latest Paddy Power ad promotes its online bingo product as part of the "we hear you" campaign and features the "hubby removal service" – can I get the number, please? (Only joking, Kev!) Already looking forward to the next ad in the series.
And last up is the work for Debenhams. Nicely shot, a clear message and great integration of the designers’ products. However, I’m not sure it is that memorable and distinctive.
Anyway, back to my low-fat lunch and an afternoon full of meetings. Can I go back to Disneyland, please?
Hi, I’m Jake. I was hired as part of the Creative Spirit initiative*. Its goal is to enable people with special needs to find employment in the creative industry. People with special needs have a great deal to offer: they are still people and have valuable skills for a business. So I’m proud to be involved here at Work Club.
McCain. It’s cheerful, it’s upbeat and has almost a celebratory feel to it. It seems a bit overdone, if I’m totally honest. There’s a lot going on and the product is chips. It’s a straightforward product; it’s prepared potato. That’s essentially what a chip is, isn’t it?! Seems over the top for something that could have been done a little more simply. They probably could have just gone with the scene where they are on the bus. But they’re celebrating what they’re selling, which is quite good, I guess.
Hyundai. Peculiar, really, because, at first glance, I thought it was going to be a furniture store because of the chairs. Unlike other car ads, this one doesn’t show the car driving about; it shows its purpose, which should be obvious. If you’re not driving around in it, then it’s a front-garden ornament. It’s a car, so drive it! The ad’s clever as it shows what’s underneath. It’s a bit random, but I can appreciate random.
TalkTalk. I do like animation integrated advertising. It removes any limitations. It did somewhat confuse me as to what the product or service was going to be. I do get the connection, however. Two people who are quite distant are able to be connected. It does have some annoying elements, like the two-dimensional characters in a three-dimensional place. Because you can never see their side shot, you can’t see them actually enjoying the service. You’d just see the side of a pillow!
Paddy Power. It’s clever, really. They’ve tried to integrate certain unrealistic elements to a realistic situation. I could imagine my mum or her friends or the women in the area where I live thinking: "Yes, I could do with getting rid of him for a while, and off he goes – bye!" They’ve tried to integrate a comedic feel to it, but the ad’s not quite as funny as it could have been. It seemed a little sinister. Apart from the plunger on the head – that was quite funny.
Debenhams. It’s good. They’ve given it quite a classy feel, almost cinematic. Quite a few clever choices of location where they’re presenting the clothing – they’ve really considered the time of day and things of that nature. Looking at a piece of clothing is good. But knowing the designer, and how they perceived it to be, gives more depth.
I appreciate all of the ads, but my favourites are: 1) Hyundai – clever way of representing what goes into a product; 2) Debenhams – showed off clothing with confidence. Cinematic, which was pleasant; 3=) TalkTalk – twist, romantic individuals. Homely feel; 3=) McCain – vibrant, lively active feel to product; 4) Paddy Power – amusing. Sinister in parts.
*The advertising industry is the perfect environment for people like Jake. There are always images to be searched, tea to be made and opinions to be offered. If you’re reading this and your company could give a job to a person with a disability, why wouldn’t you? Get involved and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.