Derek's a twat. He's the personal trainer-cum-psychopathic sadist who I signed up for a session with at the gym. He took 30 quid off me and left me an hour later lying in a pool of my own sweat at the foot of the treadmill. It's all right for the lad in the Sony Walkman (3) ad in the same position. He is simply a witty demonstration of the seriously long-lasting battery on the new Walkman. I was a goner.
I soon perked myself up, though, by tucking into a couple of cheeky Gordon's (1) G&Ts. Some fresh and sparkly work in recent years has clearly positioned the spirit as a zesty, contemporary brand. Unfortunately, the current campaign doesn't possess the same fizz - it just leaves me feeling a little flat and a teeny bit depressed.
At least I didn't go all stroppy like Naomi Campbell in the latest Tesco Cherokee (4) commercial. She checks into a swanky hotel and ends up chucking those red starbursts all over the place. I know she's supposed to be embarrassed that her miserly spending habits are being exposed, but I can't help feeling she's a bit narked that this brilliant breakthrough retail campaign now needs to move on again.
Another brand that has been responsible for iconic advertising over the years is Peperami (5). It's back with the Peperami Army and it is looking for recruits. It wants us to "fight the mundane and join the insane".
The website is called goneabitnoodles.co.uk but, as I don't glean any information from it whatsoever, I think its goneabitrubbish.
There's a lovely piece of logic at the heart of the Christian Aid (2) campaign. We shouldn't be giving Sri Lanka money for short-term fixes.
"Coconuts are OK, but they're not as good as coconut trees." I had to dig deep into the body copy to understand this and I fear that, if I hadn't been writing this piece, I perhaps wouldn't have bothered.
Nike (6) has a spirited new commercial. It's a foot fetishist's dream, with little pinkies from start to finish. Feet are great and we make trainers to put on them, all to the tune of a sort of George Formby: the Megamix.
I like this, but don't understand why it features swimming. When have you ever swum with trainers on? Pyjamas, yes, but trainers? That would be really knackering. Don't you go getting any ideas, Derek.
AGENCY CHIEF - Lee Daley, chief executive, Saatchi & Saatchi
Naomi Campbell and I are both extremely beautiful people, so I'll start with Tesco Cherokee (4). These ads are living proof that in some people's lives, every cloud has a silver lining. Naomi is reputed to be a bit handy with her fists when she's hacked off, a distinctive quality for a supermodel and obviously a positive! So, here she is, drawing attention to the super-low prices of Cherokee by bashing and violently abusing them. Memorable, yes. Clever, yes. For the reel? Nah. Does she buy her knickers from Tesco ... nah.
On the subject of pants, the Nike (6) ad troubles me. Brands have to evolve over time and, yes, Nike has lots of kit to sell. But Nike is one of the few brands in the world that advertising people will go out of their way to participate in; it transcends the ordinary and vitalises people. There is a tone of voice and attitude to Nike that is remarkable and distinctive. This playful ad, rooted (possibly) in a relevant benefit, commits the sin of diluting that equity. It lacks the Nike viscera - it could be from Adidas or any other brand.
Jumping to Sony Walkman (3), which features people in sporty clothes.
I like the idea that the batteries will outlast you, so this gets my vote as it addresses a good, old-fashioned consumer issue and need and focuses on a real benefit. Hurrah! The photography is funny and makes the point well, but I just know the client messed with the creatives on the overall art direction and typography. Ouch!
Doing great work for charities is difficult. The Christian Aid (2) campaign is simple, wonderfully art directed and written and gets its central point across well. "A chicken lasts longer than an omelette." Indeed.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty is my favourite advertising agency of all time, ever, anywhere. But the Gordon's (1) campaign reminds me of the old maxim: "Make people laugh, don't tell them you're funny." The ads are caught in the middle ground between hackneyed old spirits territory, "craft, skills and ingredients", and a half-hearted attempt to breathe some personality into a tired old brand. "The colourful gin"? Not on this evidence. Anyway, doesn't Gordon's have a strong colour equity? I'd start there and make that mean something, or maybe I'm being a bit green. I celebrate the exposure of the genetic splicing of a sloe berry and a snail, though. "Wicked," as my son would say.
My lad, Walter, has obviously been moonlighting creatively. The total madness of the Peperami (5) digital campaign could only come from the mind of a nine-year-old boy. Looking at this stuff is like looking at the future of the ad business and reminds me that all the other stuff reviewed is driven by straight-lines media thinking. Conventional forms.
Peperami has a message for us all: "Fight the mundane, join the insane." I love it. Brilliant.
Project: Gordon's, the colourful gin
Client: Mark Sandys, marketing manager, Diageo
Brief: Promote the Gordon's portfolio of gins and enhance awareness of
the superior ingredients that go into making Gordon's
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers: Nick Kidney, Kevin Stark
Art director: Sid Russell
Typographer: Sid Russell
Exposure: National press, posters
2. CHRISTIAN AID
Project: Christian Aid Week
Client: Jeff Dale, head of marketing and supporter relations, Christian
Brief: Christian Aid invests in things that multiply
Agency: Campbell Doyle Dye
Writer: Sean Doyle
Art director: Dave Dye
Exposure: National and church press
3. SONY WALKMAN
Project: Gym, beach
Client: Paul Hide, general manager, marketing and communications, Sony
Brief: Sony Walkman lasts longer than the competition
Writer: Jez Willy
Art director: Al Davis
Photographer: Steen Sundland
Exposure: National six-sheet posters
4. TESCO CHEROKEE
Client: Paul Withell, brand marketing manager, Tesco
Brief: High-street fashion at surprisingly low prices
Writer: Tom Hudson
Art director: Lee Goulding
Director: Bryan Buckley
Production company: Hungry Man
Exposure: National TV
Project: Peperami Noodle Army
Client: Iain Brooksbank, brand manager, Unilever
Brief: Shout about Peperami Noodles
Writer: Colin Byrne
Art director: James Capp
Designer: Miles Unwin
Project: Power to your feet
Client: Paulo Tubito, European brand communications director, Nike EMEA
Brief: Demonstrate the benefits of the Free shoe technology, a
performance training tool that helps strengthen an athlete's foot and
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam
Writer: Carlo Cavallone
Art director: Alvaro Sotomayer
Director: Stylewar, through Mungo Maglagan
Production company: Stink
Exposure: TV and cinema across Europe, the Middle East and Africa