Bugger. Acting the vinegarish twat is an easy default of mine and I was very much looking forward to receiving that crazy ad about a bewildered tortoise with a can of fizzy pop Pritt-stuck to its back. And instead I get Levi's (6), which is far stickier to review.
As we have all come to expect from the B to the B to the H, there is a muscular glossiness to the execution, a kind of honeyed sheen that silences rational criticism of the root idea and I am wildly seduced by the superficial literacy of using Shakespearean dialogue to refresh the "boy meets girl wears jeans" gag. The only thing that prevents me from comparing it to a summer's day is a disappointing familiarity of conceit; if it weren't for the still-burning brightness of the vivid Baz Luhrmann previous, it would be one of the bravest and freshest Levi's spots for years.
I must admit that I covet the new Persil (2) strategy - to redefine children's mess as imagination and creativity is a beautifully inspired thought.
This wee DM box offering the opportunity to exchange Persil tokens for art and crafts materials delivers that thought with an admirable simplicity; executionally not as inspired as the thinking, perhaps, but with such a big-hearted strategy, any BBH-ian brilliance of render might feel almost wasteful.
The Inland Revenue Child Trust Fund (5) print work could perhaps benefit from a white-dusted sprinkle of that Persil brightness - there is something joyful hiding in here about the potential of children, the wide-eyed optimism of possibility, but its enthusiasm is dulled slightly by a dourness of photographic style and art direction.
The Virgin Money (1) ads are what is technically known in the business as "wacky".
Wales Tourist Board (3). How do you persuade people to visit Wales? Well, Wieden & Kennedy's answer to that particularly tough question is a sweetly written, prettily directed and photographed campaign that captures the idiosyncratic wit and warmth of the place without really giving me a properly differentiated reason to go Cymru (as opposed to go Bonnie Scotland or go Clotted Cornwall). To be fair, having spent the grey summers of my chubby youth incarcerated in Barry Island Butlins, wrestling with the abject horror of embarrassing Dad flirting with dull-eyed chalet-maids, you'd be hard-pushed to get me to go Anywhere Near.
Finally, two press executions for Heinz (4) - one is glorious proof of how the brevity/soul/wit thang can be applied to a pack shot, the other feels a bit like the client made me show the spag, guv. I do like the former, very much indeed.
Dear Campaign, can I review the next Diet Coke ad?
CREATIVE - Seb Royce, creative director, glue London
I have always thought how brilliant it would be to write a magazine column. I'm too lazy for investigative journalism - couldn't be bothered with all the research. Far better to be able to just write what you think, especially on things you feel strongly about. Ads sometimes have that effect on me (which is lucky, given my profession). Will this week's?
The Inland Revenue has commissioned some press and poster work to raise awareness of the Child Trust Fund (5), "a new long-term savings and investment account for children", which the Government contributes towards. Good idea. We could probably all do with cashing in a fund or two this month.
I've seen the TV and it is much better than this press work, which is fairly safe and with art direction that feels a bit cold to me.
Same goes for the new Heinz (4) campaign. Spider-Man-themed inside and out, the can becomes the logo and hangs (like a spider), which is a nice touch, but the ads look a bit bland and lack energy.
Lots of energy, though, in the Persil (2) direct marketing piece. They want us to encourage children's creativity by collecting tokens from the top of Persil packs that can be used to buy art materials. The idea is that children can then use them to paint and start their own "fridge gallery".
It's a nice idea, well executed. There's also an art chart for the children and sample Persil tablets for mum, so everyone is happy.
The idea for Levi's (6) Anti-Fit is pretty much identical to Baz Luhrmann's 1996 update of Romeo and Juliet. Levi's attempts the same type of juxtaposition here, with Shakespearean dialogue set against a postmodern backdrop, only with an extract from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
It's all very Levi's and the ad definitely grows on you with repeat viewings.
Nice, but not groundbreaking.
In the new TV ad for the Wales Tourist Board (3), a voiceover tells us about all the things we can have if we visit Wales, such as "squeaky-clean" air, while showing us images of someone washing mud off their mountain bike - "good mud" (whatever that is). They can keep their mud and this ad. Visually unexciting and a bit random, it doesn't do anything for me.
Finally, two TV ads for Virgin Money (1). Both are based around the thought that people who pay their car insurance monthly and are not with Virgin Money must "enjoy being punished". Full marks for trying to do something interesting. The "bandits" execution is really well cast and made me laugh.
So, first column over, then. Not a lot to feel that strongly about, but maybe that's a blessing in disguise ...
1. VIRGIN MONEY
Project: Bandits, vixens
Client: Trevor Field, marketing director, Virgin Money
Brief: Announce a new insurance product that does not punish you for
paying your car insurance monthly
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: David Gamble
Art director: Simon Labbett
Director: David Shane
Production company: Hungry Man
Clients: Jay Liwang, brand manager; Zoe Hayward, brand executive,
Brief: Promote Persil's "hands for homes" scheme
Agency: Tullo Marshall Warren
Writer: Jess Little
Art director: Mickey Madgett
Photographer: JP Froget
Typographer: Murray Stevens
Exposure: Mailed to UK mothers
3. WALES TOURIST BOARD
Project: Wales Tourist Board
Client: David Stephens, UK consumer marketing manager
Brief: Get people to think differently about Wales
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
Writer: Ben Walker
Art director: Matt Gooden
Director: Steve Hudson
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV
Project: Spider-Man pasta
Client: Nathan Ansell, brand manager, Heinz
Brief: Promote Heinz Spider-Man pasta
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Nick Pringle, Clark Edwards
Art directors: Nick Pringle, Clark Edwards
Photographer: Kelvin Murray
Exposure: Print, outdoor
5. CHILD TRUST FUND
Project: Child Trust Fund
Client: Simon Vessey, head of customer communications, Inland Revenue
Brief: Launch the Child Trust Fund
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writers: Jeremy Sinclair, Toby Allen, Peter West, Fergus Fleming, Jim
Hilson, David Harris
Art directors: Jim Hilson, Fergus Fleming, David Harris
Director: Jeff Stark
Production company: The Pink Film Company
Project: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Client: Kenny Wilson, brand president, Levi's Europe
Brief: Evolve the Anti-Fit campaign to a grander scale, further
asserting the 501's status as the definitive jean
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Nick Gill
Art director: Nick Gill
Director: Noam Murray
Production company: Independent Films
Exposure: Pan-European TV