I do not know who has got the better system - Campaign or Viz.
In the guidelines for this column, Campaign tells you not to mention the creators of the ads, but to concentrate on the work. In fact, it used to say specifically: "Don't use the column to set up lunches." Whereas Viz has a record chart based precisely on the size of bribes sent in. I can see the virtue of both models.
HSBC (3). My old mucker Axel is behind this and he has bought me a few lunches along the way. So, how can I slag this off and still look him in the eye over the starters? As a mate, of course I like this ad. I love it. And, speaking as a lifelong non-golf-player, it almost makes me want to play the bloody game. Beautifully shot, funny, engaging, it is one of those rare ads that could beat the personal video recorder fast-forward button. Some people might say "Fuck knows what it's got to do with banking", but that is just being stupid. Because what did floating babies have to do with mobile phones?
Peugeot (4). I owe Gerry Moira lunch at Elena's L'Etoile. And over the years, I have had many great lunches with the wittiest creative director in town. The man should be a living national treasure. So, this gets the thumbs up too. It has got a fresh, contemporary insight at the heart of it - we are all captured on camera 300 times a day - and I am sure the thought can build beautifully in other media. The idea seems better than the car, actually, but that is not uncommon these days.
Volkswagen (1). I do not think I have ever been asked out to Maze by any of this team. But sod it, I think the guys have cracked it anyway. Volkswagen has a tone of voice that is witty, well-observed and stylish. And the ads also work hard, getting across a strong retail message. Let's do lunch, guys.
Lurpak (5) has sent though a croissant, a pot of jam and a pat of its excellent product. It is part of some promotion about winning breakfast in a luxury hotel. Congratulations to the marketing team for moving out of adland, but the idea needs to be bigger. Frankly, it is not lunch at Nobu. And personally, I cannot think of butter without remembering Marlon Brando and the time he gave Maria Schneider a pat on the bottom. Although I think that might have been Country Life.
Digital UK (6). This is a different kettle of fish, completely. And the character called "Digit Al" just annoys me. Is this the way to win business in the future? Find the name hidden in the brand like some desperate Puzzler reader? OK, how about Vol-Vic, Har-Rod or Waters-Tone?
Or how about Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporate-Ian? I would have needed dinner in Buenos Aires to have liked this one.
Home Office (2). It has been a while since James Lowther dug out his corporate AmEx for my benefit, but I have always liked the guy. This bears out the M&C Saatchi philosophy of "keep it simple" - almost to a fault, in my opinion. But when you have got an amazing product, sometimes you just have to get out of the way. It will not trouble the juries - which brings me to where I am as I write this, here in the old Cannes of Worms.
Watching the Sweden game with a bunch of Brits in a pub near the station?
Free drinks provided by The Mill? A group of Australians wearing Swedish shirts for a laugh? 101 it.
And if Guernsey - in someone's memorable phrase - is 10,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock, then Cannes sometimes seems like 1,000 alcoholics clinging to the belief that advertising need not change, really.
But I guess it is time we all woke up, because there are a lot of hungry people out there who want to eat our lunch.
CLIENT - Andy Cray, brand director, Carling
As you are supposed to start the day with breakfast I will kick off with the Lurpak (5) perfect breakfast trial kit. The box reveals a croissant, a package of butter, a pot of Bonne Maman jam and minimalist knife. I gather from the concerned expression on my wife's face when I butter my butter croissant that not everyone feels the need to add said spread on this occasion. Which, in turn, worries me that the reaction could stop at "Great! Free croissant and jam", rather than delivering the complete intended experience. The promotion offers the chance to win breakfast at a top European hotel, although I was left a little confused whether a bed came with it.
The Digital UK (6) piece, encouraging viewers to prepare for the move to digital TV, grabs the attention by interrupting another ad a few seconds in. You are then confronted with a miniature robot, talking to you from within the TV, to remind you to get ready for the "biggest event in broadcasting since colour television". There are clear calls to action to find out what needs to be done. However, on reflection, I thought the opportunity to explain some of the benefits of this change had been missed. While Digit Al does engage and entertain, the choice of an animated robot toy as a spokesperson made me wonder if the desired response is: "Daddy, are we really ready for digital TV?"
The Home Office (2) poster work does a solid job of helping me recognise those occasions where I know I should do something myself and be confident I am speaking to the right people. If this does keep the 999 lines more available, it will be a blessing. This was brought into sharp relief during a previous plea from the police on the radio to use 999 properly, which featured as an example a call requesting help with "two squirrels fighting in my back garden".
The HSBC (3) golf execution left me thoroughly entertained and searching for the point. The piece celebrates the fact that no two golf swings are the same and delivers the link to the main campaign. But why golf? The end frame features an HSBC golf logo that hints at an association with the game without providing evidence, just a web address. I went online to discover HSBC does sponsor some big tournaments and invests in the game's development. This felt like a big ask to learn about the scale and benefits of the brand association. Nice shot of a smiling chief executive next to Tiger Woods, though.
Building to a crescendo now, the next ad came blasting out of the blocks with a great tune that made me sit up and notice the smart-looking little car making some moves. The Peugeot (4) 207 looked great throughout and this helped support the point that as we are apparently caught on camera more than 300 times a day, "give them something to look at". The action keeps pace with the music and only made me wince slightly when the satellite whooshed around the Earth, which felt a little too dramatic.
On unsheathing the next DVD, my response was: "Ah! This is the Volkswagen (1) Golf £11,995 ad." Which, in itself, demonstrates how effectively this work gets the price offer across. The different executions feature potential car purchasers either going to extraordinary lengths to confirm the unbelievable price or being unable to contain their initial surprise. The ads feature great performances - in particular, look out for the hidden-camera execution. I really like the confidence not to have a great-looking car shot as the end frame. The executions entertain and stick to the point, making them very watchable in themselves. If I were buying a car right now, I would probably have to check out the deal at Volkswagen.
Project: Affordability campaign
Clients: Heidi Cartledge, marketing communications manager; Ian
Johnston, communications manager, Volkswagen UK
Brief: Highlight the fact Volkswagen's cars are less expensive than
people might think
Agency: DDB London
Writer: Matt Lee
Art director: Pete Heyes
Director: Eric Lynne
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: National TV
2. HOME OFFICE
Project: 101 it
Client: Barry Mortimer, senior strategic communications manager, Home
Brief: Launch the new non-emergency phone number in five pilot regions
and explain its remit
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer: James Lowther
Art director: Bill Gallaher
Photographer: Alastair Thain
Exposure: Six-sheets, bus posters, regional press
Client: Andrea Newman, head of brand communications, HSBC
Brief: Link the values of the bank with the game of golf
Writers: Greg Martin, Mike McKenna
Art directors: Greg Martin, Mike McKenna
Director: Daniel Levi
Production company: Independent
Exposure: International TV
Project: The new Peugeot 207
Client: Dean Drew, advertising director, Peugeot
Brief: Launch the new Peugeot 207
Agency: Euro RSCG London
Writer: Seyoan Vela
Art director: Colin Lamberton
Director: Daniel Barber
Production company: Knucklehead
Exposure: National TV
Project: Perfect breakfast
Client: Jessica Hardcastle, Lurpak brand manager, Arla Foods
Brief: Engage loyal and potential customers with a special focus on the
South-East. Drive people to the new website and competition
Agency: Carlson Marketing
Writer: Stephen Mulholland
Art director: Dan Hirons
Designer: Jeff Cuss
Exposure: 200,000 mailpacks
6. DIGITAL UK
Clients: Ford Ennals, chief executive; Beth Thoren, director of
communications, Digital UK
Brief: Launch digital switchover
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Andy McAnaney
Art director: Christian Sewell
Director: Mark Denton
Production company: Therapy Films
Exposure: National TV, cinema