Funny old game, isn't it? Cricket. After two months and five games, the climax was reached when an old man in a white coat walked out in the dark and lifted up a small piece of wood. The winning captain then received what looked like a two-inch egg cup and triumphantly held it aloft. Hardly the "Old Big Ears" that is the European Cup, was it? Anyway, what does this week's kit-bag have in store? Shiny boots or mouldy boxes?
Tennent's (5) attempts to keep us spellbound by wheeling out the old voodoo idea so brilliantly done by Frank Budgen for a Dutch bank (I think) and others since. The production budget stretched to the land of Viv Richards but the idea needed to stretch a lot further to make it relevant to a Scottish lager.
Tesco's Cherokee (1) nicely gets around the old conundrum of shooting a good-looking retail ad that includes prices. It does this with some amusing visual humour. Slight quibble with the predictable music, but, hey, we've won the Ashes, so who cares?
Eurostar (6) has a simple juxtaposition of a voice explaining what would be happening on a flight and showing how relaxing taking the train is. It's nicely done and it works. Slight quibble, though: the endline, "You carry your journey with you", sounds like something a committee at Lord's would dream up.
Right. Can someone tell me how come Captain Birds Eye (2) hasn't been arrested? Here's a man who takes children away on holiday without their parents and entices them with their favourite food. His latest attempt at grooming is to tell their mums he's on a "nutrition mission". I, for one, would like to bowl him middle stump.
Archers Vea (3) then bowls us a googly with the kind of off-beat, tangential strategy I really like. Archers has less sugar, therefore sugar-cane workers are unemployed. We then see them in their new "cane workers in the community" jobs. Funny. Simple as. I am told by female members of staff that, on the Flintoffometer (he's the new Becks, you know), the models aren't as good as they used to be.
I must admit that the only cricketer I warm to is Shane Warne. Warney, as those "Barmy" boys know him, does not take life too seriously and often makes jokes about things he shouldn't. He's also the best. Very similar to these commercials from the dating agency Match.com (4) about inseparable couples, which are the best of this bunch - watch out for the funny bit with the dwarf.
So there we are. Some ads deserve the usual cricket audience of three anoraks and a dog. Others deserve a full house at Stamford Bridge. Me? I know which I'd rather watch.
CREATIVE - Mark Whelan, creative director, Cake
Given what I do, my acid test on these ads is asking the question: "Could this budget have been better spent elsewhere?" Which is, in fact, the recurring question that eventually made me leave advertising in the first place. Only took ten years. Wimp.
The Tesco Cherokee (1) campaign is genius. It tackles head-on the potential stigma of cheap clobber from a supermarket and turns it into a virtue.
But ... this latest film is weaker than its predecessors. Mind you, Naomi was a tough act to follow (ask her PA). Tesco should do a catwalk show in aisle three of the Kensington store for London Fashion Week - that would be value. Top Shop has got acres of coverage and it isn't doing it to a backdrop of oven chips.
Clever old Mother found a way to use those uber-handsome blokes again in their latest Archers Vea (3) ads. The fact that the new drink is low- sugar provides it with the sound premise of redundant, yet chiselled, sugar workers being redeployed into other careers. The Archers boys are a perfect example of a property rather than just a TV commercial. But the only exploitation I've seen is a rubbish paid-for promotion in Heat. They should make a TV series that follows the geezers on a tour of nightclub PAs; it would make Faliraki Uncovered look like A Year at Kew. And, in that environment, product meets property in perfect low-cal harmony.
The Tennent's (5) voodoo ad is an expensive-looking thing; an unoriginal idea, well executed. How is this Tennent's, though? It could be any can of anything. These guys do T in the Park, though (one of the original and best brand entertainment properties), so fair play to them.
In a kind of Zero 7-video style, the Eurostar (6) film dramatises the advantage of the train over flying. So there must be a whole bunch of people who still don't know that. Tell you what: let me know when everyone does, then we can spend the budget another way. I'd love to do a Left Bank versus South Bank cultural exchange.
If I'd seen the Birds Eye (2) brief, I'd have had to say "it's an advertising task". Good to see posters without loads of text. I simply do not believe that people, particularly mums, read body copy on posters, even if they are waiting at the bus stop. The ones I know are way too busy watching what the children are putting in their mouths. These ads do what they say on the wall/playground and do it well.
The Match.com (4) spots, though ... they'd be better giving a fiver to everyone who agrees to go on a date with a minger.
1. CHEROKEE Project: Russian winter Client: Paula Withell, brand marketing manager, Tesco Brief: High-street fashion at surprisingly low prices Agency: Lowe Writer: Tom Hudson Art director: Lee Goulding Director: Mark Denton Production company: Therapy Exposure: National TV 2. BIRDS EYE Project: No nasties Client: Jerry Wright, brand director, frozen foods, Unilever Brief: Communicate that none of Captain Birds Eye's food contains colourings or flavourings Agency: HHCL/Red Cell Writer: Billy Faithful Art director: Ross Neil Photographers: Henrik Knudsen, Burnham Kniker Exposure: National posters 3. ARCHERS VEA Project: Relocation Clients: Nicola Miller, brand manager; Sam Reader, marketing director, Diageo Brief: n/s Agency: Mother Writer: Mother Art director: Mother Director: Blue Source Production company: Blink Productions Exposure: National TV 4. MATCH.COM Project: Make love happen Client: Samantha Bedford, UK marketing director, Match.com Brief: Make Match.com the online dating brand of choice for British singles Agency: Hanft Raboy & Partners Writers: Doug Raboy, Nathan Manske Art directors: Sean LaBounty, Josh Webman, Maggie Bradshaw Director: n/s Production company: n/s Exposure: National TV, viral 5. TENNENT'S Project: Tennent's lager Client: Anna Maclean, senior brand manager, Tennent's lager Brief: Strengthen brand affinity with Scotland's favourite lager Agency: Newhaven Writer: Paul Mason Art director: Mark Harrison Director: Damien O'Donnell Production company: MTP Exposure: ITV, Channel 4, Sky Sports 1, MTV 2 - Scotland, Borders and Northern Ireland 6. EUROSTAR Project: About now Client: Greg Nugent, head of marketing, Eurostar Brief: Demonstrate that travelling by Eurostar brings out the best version of you Agency: TBWA\London Writer: Tim Hearn Art director: Graham Cappi Director: Joe Roman Production company: Knucklehead Exposure: National TV