According to my wife, I am a moody old sod. My partners at work say I am too. So, now it's official: I am a grumpy old bastard.
Well, if your work is being reviewed here today, I'm sorry, I just can't help myself.
Yeo Valley (5). JESUS F CHRIST! WTF? Advertising creatives get paid, often huge sums, to be creative and, naively, I always thought being creative was about striving to be original, but it seems watching YouTube has now become a substitute for good old-fashioned hard work. This idea is a two-minute rip-off of the Bonnie Prince Billy piss-take video for Kanye West's Can't Tell Me Nothing with Zach Galifianakis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RWt2X W5VCM).
The idea probably arrived when some fool said "Yo Valley Muddyfugger!" for a laugh. It's got some poncey-looking "farmers" who look like they work on a farm in Hoxton, miming to a clunky rap tune littered with advertising messages, clumsily interspersed with addy shots of them drinking milk and eating yoghurt rap stylee. I hated it. Almost as much as that Publicis "I've got a feelin'" film from a couple of years back, and I really hated that.
Next up, Doritos (2). It's got a YouTube channel bringing you exclusive music video content. There's a nice interactive 360-degree video for Professor Green and I'm sure it will get lots of hits, and plenty of interaction, because this track is good and this white boy can rap (unlike the Yeo Valley farmers). The role for Doritos is quite passive, some light branding and a few packs of crisps here and there, but with this audience it can't be too intrusive, and that's probably what makes it work, and thank God he's not chucking in rhymes like "Cheesey Flava, do us a favour!" (like the Yeo Valley farmers did). Good idea, I hope it works.
On the theme of ghetto speak, The Independent (1) is launching a new concise, quality daily paper called i. The lines look like they were written by a bad Ali G writealike in about 30 seconds. They are very obvious and, as a result, don't shout quality. Big miss.
Let's move from the ghetto to some nice, cuddly middle-class suburban mush. So, you're working on a bread brand called Genius (4). Who would be a good spokesperson? Stephen Hawking? Hmm. He's a genius, but not exactly the housewives' favourite, is he? What about Albert Einstein? Who? Albert Einstein! You mean that little old Jewish, German-born theoretical physicist who died in 1955? That's the bloke! So, these ads have Einstein, voiced by a Stephen Fry soundalike, battling to do some physics while thinking of eating a gluten-free sarnie for his lunch. It's very worthy and over-intellectual, and just not cut-through enough. I'm not even sure that most people outside of NW5 will know who Einstein is, let alone what he looks like, so it misses the mark for me.
Next up is GHD (3), and it's another ad masquerading as a pop promo, or is it the other way round? It's a beautifully shot piece based on the familiar Cinderella story, but with a twist. It's set in an opulent building, full of self-obsessed well-to-do women with dramatic hairdos. In fact, it reminded me of the last time I had lunch with Nicola in The Ivy. The bloke who plays the prince needs a slap, but there's a great track and the idea is well integrated and, overall, is a well-produced bit of content/marketing. The agency has even launched a record label off the back of it, which is really interesting.
Finally, a really nicely shot film for Budweiser (6) about a giant game of pool being played by some cool kids from Hoxton, in LA. The production values are amazing, the track is great, the location looks great, the kids from Hoxton look cool, but the idea just feels a bit soulless. Hits the post and bounces out.
CLIENT - Chris Moss, chief marketing officer, Truphone
Making ads is both an art and a science and, done well, it should engage, entertain and maybe even surprise. Do I want to see it again? Did it make me want to find out more? Or did I end up wanting to buy it? Can I understand the product or even remember the brand? I may not always be the perfect target audience but I still enjoy a great piece of communication.
Yeo Valley (5) leaves me needing a trip to the countryside. Was the idea to be organic? It feels like a great idea has been overworked into a TV commercial. Not knowing the brief, it's hard to tell but I'm not sold on the outtake. Over time, the rap becomes kinda catchy ("Yeo Valley, Yeo Valley") and back in your head is a good place to be, but was it a yoghurt drink or milk or Yeo Valley matey? The Yeo boys are fun and the girl feels a little out of place but the owl is a stroke of genius. I can watch this over and over again just to watch the owl. There is a pack shot for a nanosecond and I'm sure I saw a glass of milk somewhere. Maybe it's a tourism ad, after all, because it looks like a great place to go for the weekend. OK Yeo or is that Yeo OK Yah?
The Independent (1). I've seen the i boys almost every morning outside the station, desperate to convert me from one of those free morning papers. Sadly, they've not yet succeeded and the advertising still doesn't give me a reason to spend a measly 20p. You can replace the I in the advertising with almost any of the freebies and it works. Please tell me something new or interesting ... the fact that it's 20p for all I need feels a bit much, or is that not enough?
GHD (3). Great music, fab staging and outstanding production. But I thought it was either the latest ad from Sky Fairytales or maybe a new range of shoes or was that a sandwich toaster I saw in the clip? Then someone in the office mentioned GHD was hair straighteners ... so, once again, I may not be the right target audience. Fab production gives it great style and I'd be happy to watch it again.
Genius (4) bread. What a fab ad ...
Just popping out to get a sandwich hopefully on gluten-free Genius. I don't really care if I need or want gluten-free but if it helps me be a genius, then I'm up for that. Great blend of humour and product and a wonderful ability to make you think a little.
Stop thinking about the bread, Albert, stop it, stop it, stop it.
Doritos (2). Wasn't sure about this ad first time around but it's kind of engaging and the weird 360-degree camera work helps it stand out (the online version lets you control your viewpoint). So it's worth a look and the music gets better. I'm sure it'll be a hit on iPhone. I think they're coming to get me, right now ...
They're coming to get me, they're coming to get me.
Budweiser (6) rooftop has everything you'd expect from Budweiser. Fab production, beautifully shot and inspired direction. With perfect music. Who'd have thought a giant game of pool could be so entertaining. Quality always stands head and shoulders (or is that rooftops?) above the others. It's a joy to watch and hopefully will get some good airtime. Wish I'd commissioned this ad. You can watch it again and again with ease and the mix of shots makes it a classic. If you only decide to go and look at one of these ads, this is the one.
1. THE INDEPENDENT
Client: Andrew Mullins, managing director, The Independent, The
Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard
Brief: Launch a new concept in newspapers: an intelligent fast read
Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer: Pat Burns
Art director: Gav McGrath
Illustrators: Dan Forde, Chris Chapman
Exposure: Outdoor, buses, press
Project: Doritos Late Night
Client: Sam Hinchliffe, brand manager, Doritos
Brief: Launch Doritos' Late Night flavours
Agencies: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (UK); Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Writer: Prabs Wignarajah
Art director: Jeremy Tribe
Director: Chris Cairns
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: Doritoslatenight.com, YouTube, Facebook
Clients: Mike Cohen, chief marketing officer; Gavin Forth, global brand
equity director; Anna Mewes, campaign development manager, GHD
Brief: Make GHD Midnight Collection the must-have for Christmas 2010
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writers/art directors: Steve Williams, Adrian Lim
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Production company: Believe
Exposure: TV, print
Project: Genius bread
Client: Gervase Cottam, chief executive, Genius
Brief: Launch Genius gluten-free bread
Agency: Adam & Eve
Writers/art directors: Ben Tollett, Emer Stamp
Director: Neil Harris
Production company: Smuggler
5. YEO VALLEY
Project: Live in harmony
Clients: Adrian Carne, commercial director; Ben Cull, head of marketing;
Alison Sudbury, marketing manager, Yeo Valley
Brief: Make organic accessible
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Simon Pearse
Art director: Emmanuel Saint M'Leux
Director: Julien Lutz
Production company: Flynn
Exposure: TV, online
Client: Garbhan O'Bric, marketing director, Diageo Ireland
Agency: DDB UK
Writer: Dave Henderson
Art director: Richard Denney
Director: Chris Palmer
Production company: Gorgeous
Exposure: TV, cinema