Do you ever read Private View and wonder if the work was proudly submitted by those responsible or if those monkeys at Campaign have just put it forward anyway? I do, and I sincerely hope most of this week's selection falls into the latter category.
Take Fairy Non-Bio (5). Over visuals of animated babies, it tells us that looking after our children can be a right juggling act (well, it is for Michael Jackson when he sees a hotel window). It goes on to say that Fairy is getting together with the charity Bliss to fund research into helping special care babies. That's it. No idea - just this announcement.
All Bupa (6) cares about is making us feel better. Great so far. So it shows a mum kissing her daughter better. A truly unoriginal choice of song - Kiss it and Make it Better - starts. We're transported to a surreal world where people run around and get kissed better. Someone has possibly been at Bupa's supply of morphine.
Cadbury Creme Eggs (3) has produced a poster campaign. Except it's not a campaign - it's three almost-identical ads. They use the same layout, same photograph, same money shot-type of type and almost the same line.
The Eggmeister (whoever he/she/it is) has either landed, returned or struck back, depending on which ad you see. Creme Eggs are always advertised around Easter, so I start thinking that there's a whole year to do something good with this great product. Like GGT once did.
Lucozade Sport (4) has Steven Gerrard demonstrating that it's a drink for the midfield engine. He beats a bunch of extras while images of engine parts are super-imposed onto him. The black-and-white film has splashes of yellow liquid that explode from his body. So he has a swig of the product.
Right now, it's me that needs some energy to keep going.
The Chemical Brothers (2), the makers of some great music and videos in the past, have a new album. I therefore expect a lot from this interactive spot. Apart from a neat sleeve graphic, it's a huge let down. Some music.
Some animation. Some way from Michel Gondry and Star Guitar.
Hoping I've saved the best for last, I grab the Bartle Bogle Hegarty tape. It's not its best by a long chalk, but it wins this week. Barclays (1) is offering tickets to games, the chance to play at a ground or to be coached by a Premiership manager. The best ad shows Sam Allardyce bollocking a team. I guessed it would be a bunch of nippers, but it's sweet enough, if a bit reminiscent of McDonald's.
Perhaps it was even submitted to Private View willingly.
DESIGNER - Dick Powell, director, seymourpowell, president, D&AD
Ads, it seems to me (and God knows, I'm certainly no expert like the usual writers of this column) have, above all else, to get my attention ... and, having got it, they need to move me in some way. It could be they make me smile, laugh or just curious; they could shock, shame or simply fascinate - I think this goes for everyone. As a designer, I also warm to the creatively imaginative and beautifully executed. This week's crop is a mixed bag.
I guess I'm the target market for Bupa (6) and this ad tries to make us believe that Bupa's care is analogous to a mother kissing a child "to make it better". It looks good and the message is simple and clear, but does anyone really believe this nonsense? For an ad like this to work, I think we first have to believe it. I, for one, do not. It's preposterous nonsense; a triumph of marketing arrogance over business reality. "All we care about is making you feel better," it says. Really?
Fairy Non-Bio (5)'s nice animation has all the cuddly coziness required to get mums' attention, but Fairy has teamed up with Bliss (the premature baby charity), so some of the money goes to it. Fine motives and clever selling ... making regular mums feel guilty because their baby is fine and healthy. I'm sure it will sell more Fairy, but I found it distasteful.
It had never crossed my mind to ever try to listen to Chemical Brothers (2) albums until a couple of weeks ago, when I started to notice the posters round London. I liked their boldness; they made me curious. The interactive TV spot suddenly made all of this make sense - a consistent and powerful campaign across a variety of media. It lets you listen to the tracks, rather than surf Sky's channels looking for something worthwhile to watch.
Probably nothing new there (though it was for me), but the music and graphics worked seamlessly together.
The Cadbury Creme Egg (3) Eggmeister posters just remind me how foul these eggs are, gobbing their ghastly, sickly stuff into film titles, but I guess it reminds others that Easter is around the corner.
The two best ads here are Lucozade Sport (4) and the Barclays (1) promotion to use its ATMs. The former is beautifully shot, overlaying Tron-like engine animations over some famous midfield footballer to great effect.
It's wholly convincing. A simple message, clearly conveyed. And whoever did the Barclays ads really does know how to get and keep your attention - I'm no football fan (in fact, I hate it), but it made no difference because these ads are for everyman. You understand and you smile ... or even laugh, so you don't resent them. More like these, please.
Project: Foul, shout, and another thing
Client: Jim Hytner, marketing director, Barclays
Brief: Make football fans request a receipt from Barclays' cash machines
for the chance to win "money can't buy" football prizes
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Graham Lakeland
Art director: Richard Robinson
Director: Ron Scalpello
Production company: Rogue
Exposure: National TV
2. Chemical Brothers
Project: Chemical Brothers Push the Button
Client: Ben Curwin, senior product manager, Virgin Records
Brief: Exploit the album name Push the Button and allow people to listen
to a preview of the album pre-release
Writer: Simon Smith
Art director: Simon Smith
Director: Simon Smith
Production companies: Sky Interactive, Cops and Robbers
Exposure: National TV via Sky Digital Interactive
3. Creme Eggs
Client: Sarah Hiscox, portfolio manager, Cadbury Trebor Bassett
Brief: Cadbury Creme Egg brings out your naughty inner happiness
Writers: Marcus Woodcock, John Robb
Art directors: Anna-Marie Holub, Ester Hjellum
Photographer: Dan Burn-Forti
Exposure: Six-sheet posters
4. Lucozade Sport
Client: Kathy Davis, group brand manager, sports performance, Lucozade
Brief: Exploit Lucozade Sport's sponsorship of Steven Gerrard
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writers: Tom Drew, Adam Mandelstam
Art directors: Tom Drew, Adam Mandelstam
Director: Nick Livesey
Production company: RSA Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Fairy Non-Bio Special Care Babies
Client: Natasha Busby, brand manager, Procter & Gamble
Brief: Announce the tie-up between Fairy Non-Bio and Bliss
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris
Art directors: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Production company: Th1ng
Exposure: National TV
Project: Feel better
Client: Eileen Folan, brand and planning director, Bupa
Brief: Make Bupa the obvious and only private healthcare brand to choose
Writer: Will Barnett
Art director: Mike Wells
Director: Joe Roman
Production company: Rose Hackney Barber
Exposure: National TV