owever, the first ad up, for Orange (1), has me a little confused. It comes from Mother and, last Private View, I seem to remember reviewing the pitch-winning work for the same account. Have I stumbled across a piece of Water-Cooler Monitor gossip? "Orange refuses to leave Mother: 12 hrs 34 mins", or "Fallon in spurious new-business figures: 14 hrs 54 mins". This ad launches Orange's new mobile packages, called Dolphin, Racoon, Panther and Canary. I cannot think how many drugs you have to take to think up such a ridiculous set of names. But, if I put that prejudice aside, this is a really beautifully filmed and very charming ad.
Next up, we have a campaign for Flash (5) from Grey. More Water-Cooler gossip? "Has Grey shaken off grey creative image? 2 hrs 5 mins". Last year, the agency produced some very nice press for AOL and I was a fan of the Horlicks "how does he sleep at night?" campaign. This new campaign for Flash uses the idea "Britain's cleaner", which is quite a cheeky brand-leader stance. The posters are clean (no pun intended) and simply put together, as all good posters should be. Sadly, the TV does not live up to the promise of the posters - it lacks a bit of warmth and humanity.
Next, Snickers (3). Another prejudice I have to admit to - peanuts and chocolate are just wrong. That aside, I am just not sure what "Big job to do? Get on with it" has to do with Snickers. Shame - the ad itself, a Larsson-meets-Lord of the Rings affair, has been very lovingly and well put together.
I am afraid the new ad for T-Mobile (2) is stretching my promise to be more constructive this week. It continues what has been a fairly dire campaign. The idea here is that nothing should come between you and your friends, hence we see buildings and cars flatten so a group of pals can get together. This may have read well on the page, but the special effects look as though they were done by Blue Peter and the whole ad lacks any human warmth or drama. As other mobile companies are building real personalities for themselves, I am not really sure what T-Mobile's is.
The latest Home Office (4) Talk to Frank digital work continues the high standard we have come to expect from this campaign. I am sure online is exactly the right place to find the target and these are very engaging examples of how online works best.
And, finally, we have an ad for Tesco (6) from The Red Brick Road. I am rather taken by The Red Brick Road's logo - it is a natty red "r" that curls up to make a little road shape. Oh yes, the ad from Tesco? Well, it does not really put a foot wrong. A bunch of celebrities show us how they get their groceries home without using Tesco bags. It is charmingly written and well produced. If I were to be harsh on it, it feels just a little old-fashioned.
Well, that is it from me. As ever, I am looking forward to that photo of me with lots of hair that Campaign always uses. Perhaps I might make it into the Water-Cooler Monitor: "Roalfe wears rug fiasco: 1 min 24 secs."
STRATEGIST - Nick Emery, chief strategy officer, Group M Worldwide
It was good timing to be asked to do this in the week that I returned from holiday. I have not seen any ads for ten days so, hopefully, this is a pretty straightforward personal opinion. It was not such good timing for some of the campaigns.
I still like the Tesco (6) campaign. This execution is simple, funny and tells a story engagingly. Anything with Ronnie Corbett and Alan Whicker stands a good chance and the whole message of recycling our plastic bags is neatly reinforced by Martine McCutcheon with her handbag, Alan Titchmarsh's wheelbarrow, Frankie Dettori's saddlebags and Paul Daniels' top hat magicking a big fish. Whether this will actually solve the problem Tesco claims to be addressing is a moot point - this ad comes a week after Ikea started charging 5p for a plastic bag, arguably a more effective way to reduce consumption.
Orange (1) also suffered from some poor timing. Its new 90-second epic explains why we are seeing lots of big, new, orange animal inflatables around. It is beautifully produced, but let down by some obvious lines. The promising first 60 seconds of "diversity" build to a disappointing axiom about our differences telling us that from a distance we all look the same but if we look more closely we are all different. This comes in the week when the community affairs manager of Orange was suspended for posting what he termed a "lefty lexicon" on the blog site ConservativeHome. On this blog, diversity is described as "creating a workforce based on how people look, rather than on their skills or aptitude".
T-Mobile (2) had another tough act to follow - but this was its own fault. I really liked the "just another diamond day" commercial and the follow-up falls a little short. There is something trite about walls coming down with the pay-off: "Nothing should come between you and your friends." The Vashti Bunyan soundtrack of the first and its symmetry are not matched, but it had a high bar.
Flash (5) does not have the problem of following a high bar, but we can all rejoice, hopefully ... is Jacko from Brush Strokes really dead to us? Whoever put this together deserves all our thanks for doing the hard work so we don't have to. We may have seen this patriotic word-play before and it may work better in the boardroom than in the kitchen, but it is still miles better than Jacko and has a long-term idea at its core.
Snickers (3) is not better than what went before - it is a daft name, but then so was Marathon. The trouble with daft names such as Cillit Bang and Ludacris is that it is very hard to do anything serious with them. I could not quite see the point of a Kevin Spacey lookalike valiantly rowing across a Jules Verne scene to reach his lighthouse, nor why this would reverse Snickers' 7 per cent sales decline. Also, the line "big job to do?" brought on too many memories of floating candy bars in Caddyshack and Carry On movies.
The Home Office (4) Frank work was also a bit Carry On. The ads are a series of messages in which you are asked to understand the dangers of drugs and fear their consequences. This is really tough to get right, but I was left feeling that 11-year-olds might be more likely to take drugs if they saw a brain spin and fry and jump out of its skull, and 18-year-olds were unlikely to engage with an ad that asks them to bounce a brain out of the room - because that is what drugs do, they make our brains want to run away. I did like the staring eyeballs and they hit on a rich theme of paranoia, but bouncing a girl to get her high on a big bouncy brain and clicking on heads so they spin around for two seconds like a deflating balloon were a bit Brass Eye.
Project: The Orange project
Client: Pippa Dunn, brand marketing director, Orange
Brief: Bring the four new Orange packages to life
Art director: Mother
Director: Simon Ratigan
Production company: HLA
Exposure: National TV, online
Project: Everyone pay as you go
Clients: Karen Harrison, head of brand and communications; Sam Taylor,
head of advertising, T-Mobile UK
Brief: Launch the new pay-as-you-go tariff
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Steve Howell
Art director: Rick Dodds
Director: Kim Geldenhuys
Production company: Academy Films
Project: Get on with it
Brief: Show how Snickers can help you get on with any big job
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Jack Stephens
Art director: Rob Neilson
Illustrator: Steve Stone
Exposure: Men's consumer magazines
4. HOME OFFICE
Project: Frank anti-drugs campaign
Clients: Ben Lynam, marketing manager, Home Office; Chris McNeish,
senior campaign manager, DoH; Karen Gregory, Department of Education and
Brief: Encourage young people to find out more about drugs via
Creative: Scott Clark
Designer: Ian Cassidy
Project: Britain's cleaner
Client: James Pollock, brand manager, Procter & Gamble
Brief: Build the Flash brand away from conventional cleaning product
Agency: Grey London
Writer: Howard Fretten
Art director: Mike Sands
Director: Patricia Murphy
Production company: Patricia Murphy Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Carrier bag reward scheme
Client: Kerryn Young, ad manager, Tesco
Brief: Communicate to customers that they can get "green" Clubcard
points when they avoid using new carrier bags
Agency: The Red Brick Road
Writer: Sam Cartmell
Art director: Jason Lawes
Director: Neil Harris
Production company: Stink
Exposure: National TV