As my fellow Private Viewer is in the business of procurement, I thought I would look at the work as a "value for money" equation. So, what's it all worth, this creative stuff we do? Good investment or bad?
Sure (6) is clearly (or, at least, I would hope it is) the most expensive production on the list, but after only one viewing I have personally doubled the media spend through word-of-mouth endorsement. The idea is great and is bound to be the start of a long-running campaign. Smart investment.
In a category dominated by Lynx, this is a worthy challenger and will certainly give the perennial favourite a run for its money at the awards shows.
"Here's an idea" (starts the voiceover for the Abbey (5) commercial), let's shoot a whole host of generic vignettes, cut them together and then paint something red. The tagline, "More ideas for your money", sounds like a pitch-winning strategy targeted at the procurement people, rather than an advertising strategy targeted at the consumer.
On the other hand, Talk Talk (1) is a charming, interesting, differentiating vehicle to talk about the ever-generic benefits of telecommunication.
If a picture tells a thousand words, why, after the wonderful visual campaign that said everything about Waitrose (4), would you waste your money on a thousand words? The old campaign made me want to go there; this one tells me why I should. I can only believe a procurement person said we can't afford a photographer.
The BT Broadband (2) banner ads could actually have been written by the procurement boys. The headlines read: "Given the choice, wouldn't you want more for your money?" My IT guy said to me that at AOL you get software to stop things like this.
How many small-budget, lovable, chocolatey, playfully campaignable Maltesers (3) ads (plural) does it take to make one big-budget, bouncing, plastic, full-of-air Malteser ad?
Maybe we could all take some financial advice from those wise "money men" at The Economist. Spend on executions, but invest in long-running campaign ideas.
CLIENT - Adam Kirby, procurement international category director, Diageo
Advertising's chief value is that it builds brands. Marketing directors and procurement men agree. Great advertising needs strong ideas, compelling execution and the brand at the heart of it all. Do that and it stands a good chance of paying its way. So, are this week's contenders a rabble of creative fare-dodgers or a pride of brand-building season ticket-holders? Happily for all concerned, the latter, I think.
First up, Maltesers (3) TV and print. I loved the previous TV work; remember the bored helpline ladies playing blow-football with the more-ish little spheroids? The new work eschews those crisply realistic vignettes for a fresh idea - that they're just the thing to perk up the 8.21 from Woking.
Spun into a psychedelic confection where the 70s toy of choice this time is spacehoppers - big chocolatey flying ones, obviously - and we have something trippy and totally sector-defying (but how they'll work Buckeroo into the next one, heaven only knows). Shed End.
There is something curiously compelling about the kinetic flow of massed human bodies, perfectly choreographed. Think BA's "face" or Halifax's "our house". The Talk Talk (1) offer of free calls is rendered elegantly memorable via bird's-eye shots of people, configuring themselves into unexpected but pertinent images of cosy communion, such as friends holding hands or ball-throwing children. Execution and idea in harmony, too. I was certainly engaged. East Middle.
Charm is indeed a much-underrated weapon in the communication armoury.
The BT Broadband (2) campaign works a lot harder than most online banners I am subjected to in my meanders through the worldwide web. Some strong messages, simply told, all wrapped up in a natty illustration style, and one's interest is definitely piqued. Matthew Harding Upper.
Now, a print campaign that could only have come from a client profoundly sure of the tenacity of its customers' loyalty. Employing the dying art of long copy, it speaks eloquently of what makes Waitrose (4) so beguilingly ... Waitrose. The result is that what seems at first glance astoundingly brave (not one iota of branding, merely the subtle suggestiveness of the typeface) is just plain common sense, as exemplary restraint and absolute brand truth come together to grand effect. West Middle.
It would be an exaggeration to say that of the proposition put forward in the new Abbey (5) work. In fairness, it's difficult to judge - WCRS is no slouch and Abbey has always sought good advertising; it seems to me that it's a precursor to something else and the real motivation here was to establish the Banco Santander red square as the new face (?) of the brand. Still queuing.
Who'd have thought ten years ago that the deodorant sector would set the creative bar so high? Lynx has some proper competition now, with this smart, relevant and just-so-right epic. Crash, bang, wallop, what a picture, what a load of laughs. Sight gag after sight gag rolls down the main boulevard, starting from the splendid opener of our hero grabbing his stunt-man-tough Sure (6) by smashing his bathroom cabinet, and it gets unblinkingly madder from there, all in the service of a spot-on idea. Great thought, boldly executed, and the brand in it right up to the armpits. Roman's box.
1. TALK TALK
Project: Let's do it together
Client: Max Alexander, managing director, CPW Telecoms
Brief: Encourage people to join Talk Talk in groups
Agency: Clemmow Hornby Inge
Writers: Enoch Lam, Manuela Barbosa
Art directors: Enoch Lam, Manuela Barbosa
Director: David Frankham
Production company: The Moving Picture Company
Exposure: National TV
2. BT BROADBAND
Project: BT Broadband
Client: Emma Armstrong, interactive marketing manager, BT
Brief: Drive sales of BT Broadband
Writers: Adrian Peters, David Wellington
Art directors: Adrian Peters, David Wellington
Designers: Dan Harman, Wil Bevan, Perry Cooper, Karl Reynolds
Exposure: Roadblocks running on guardian.co.uk and sky.com; rich-media
and standard formats running on sites including MSN and eBay
Project: Space hopper
Client: Michele Oliver, European brand leader, Masterfoods
Brief: Reconnect consumers with the Maltesers brand
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Charlotte Horton
Art director: Bonnie Horton
Director: Jon Hollis
Production company: Nice Shirt
Exposure: National TV
Project: Curious tales
Client: Amanda Binton, head of marketing, Waitrose
Brief: Describe the difference that being a partnership makes to
Writer: Chris O'Shea
Art director: Ken Hoggins
Exposure: National newspapers, magazines
Project: Flexible mortgage launch
Client: Jeremy Davies, brand and communications director, Abbey
Brief: Develop a new communications idea for Abbey that is radically
simple but sharp enough to cut through the clutter
Writer: Gary Knight
Art director: Tim Robertson
Director: Simon Ratigan
Production company: HLA
Exposure: National TV
Project: Stunt City
Client: Victoria Franks, brand manager, Sure
Brief: Relaunch Sure for Men, dramatising the fact that it has more
Agency: Lowe London
Writer: Geoff Smith
Art director: Simon Butler
Director: Ivan Zacharias
Production company: Stink
Exposure: National and European TV