How much fun is advertising just now? Bollocks to fragmented, specialist agency tosh, none of it matters anyway - ask any interactive agency squillionaire. He'll tell you, when not telling your clients, they don't just do interactive, they're having fun doing it all.
Meanwhile, "advertising" agencies are having fun delivering digital breakthroughs such as "subservient chicken", get the glass, campaign for real beauty.com, comcastic, Adidas +10, Dove "evolution", Burger King games, axe game killers and this month's digital forest fire ... oops, getting ahead of myself. First, I'd better review the rest of this week's selection.
Hang on, they're all telly ads?
Perhaps it's not such a joined-up world after all. Perhaps clients think that if it's not on the telly, it simply isn't advertising so they shouldn't brief the "ad" agency.
It's back-to-school time and Staples (4) is "advertising" computers. Two spots deploy chain reactions resulting in mishaps. Buggered if I know what a schoolgirl without a glue-stick has to do with selling computers, but it's on the telly so, for Staples' sake, I hope it pays for itself. (I wonder if touting its back-to-school wares on eBay would have been more effective?)
Speaking of eBay (5), it's on the telly. Three spots where animated characters marvel at having found something on the site. A brown leather jacket, a Pink Floyd record/book/DVD (?) and some boots - each with a bid price "accurate as of 20 seconds ago", the spot claims. Wow, nearly live ads, only they're 20 seconds late. And I missed the price. And I'm watching telly. And I'm not after a brown leather jacket. Or a Pink Floyd whatever it was. (I wonder if eBay and its agency, Albion, have heard of "search" advertising?)
Stories of banks ripping everyone off are rife. And if ever there was gift horse, here it is - Britannia (3) gives its profit back to its customers. £50 million last year. If only the ads lived up to the opportunity, we might all be quitting our banks by now. (I wonder if McCann Erickson Communications House will ever grab the issue by the scruff of the neck and turn it into a real campaign?)
Time to talk Vodafone (1). I could fill Campaign with "complaints" about its service, but I suspect you'd give it as much attention as Vodafone does. Fortunately, they've got Bartle Bogle Hegarty on the case. This is easily Vodafone's most charming spot and despite my frustrations with them, I kinda want to like them. Can't believe I said that.
Pot Noodle (6) isn't delivering either. It's not delivering 50 per cent of the salt they used to. Mother's subtle-as-a sledgehammer number screams out from the break in its shrill voice, and punctuates itself boldly with a loud clang as our hero's tool connects with his workmate's nether regions. This spot is truly fit for telly. (I wonder though, what's replaced the missing salt?)
Okay, back to that digital forest fire. You know the one. Fallon's glass-and-a-half production for Cadbury Dairy Milk (2). The sponsored entertainment that's so much better than sponsoring Corrie for another eon. What I like most about this animal is that it's got a few people in a bit of a spin. It's moving the game on a little and making people think. Is it a great telly ad? Is it a great viral? Is it digital? Is it all of the above? None? Or simply an outstanding bit of film? What are the rules again? Well, last time I checked, "advertising" was anything that promoted a client's product. And that's what "advertising" agencies are for, aren't they?
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to catch up with a certain rugby team wearing all black - they're busy moving a different sort of game on a little.
RADIO DJ - Christian O'Connell, breakfast show presenter, Virgin Radio
These days some of the ads on TV have more wit, imagination and verve than the shows they surround. It's like our British film industry. Anyway, what do I know? Onwards ...
Cadbury Dairy Milk (2) "gorilla's moment". The best and funniest ad I have seen in ages and almost achieves the nigh-on-impossible task of making Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight cool. I may stick it on tomorrow, that will push me ahead of Moyles and Wogan. Or not. It's all there. The god is in the detail. I even watched it a few times working out how they did the gorilla's hyper-real movements. It also surprises you, first time you're wondering what is going to happen, it draws you in. Everybody loves a big ape. Maybe Northern Rock should use him to restore faith. It's better than backing Jonny Wilkinson. It's really funny, an ape, showing perfect poise and seriousness and, let's be honest, more class than Collins doing the drums. Love the stuff, great strapline, glass-and-a-half-full of joy, no voiceover, pity, I would have done them a deal. It's funny and you remember it right away. Ad of the year possibly. That or the Snickers ad with Mr T.
Pot Noodle (6) has done some good ads. It has a sense of fun and playfulness with its creative. This is funny and silly. Men in high-pitched voices made the careers for Monty Python so why not the great noodle snack. High-pitched voices, plus men's genital humour. What's not to like?
Staples (4). Nicely done, preferred the one with the young lad using his arm as a ruler then destroying the science lab. Both ads are smart and know their audience. They both end with a great deal on a laptop. A laptop for kids? These bloody rucksacks are gonna weigh a ton. In my day you kicked your school bag all the way home. With a laptop in there, you'd break your foot.
Britannia (3). In a word, wrong. A creepy low-budget Lloyd Grossman freaking everyone out telling us about our country and ethics. We had this done better by PJ O'Rourke in his ads for an airline, was it British Airways? When you see this weird guy who looks like your standard movie killer hanging around a playground, it makes me want to call the cops, not pop down to Britannia. He might be there.
EBay (5). Such an already strong brand that was built through the internet and, of course, radio, which is the sales multiplier of course. The ads are such a simple, smart idea, that really get across the immediacy of eBay and bidding for what you want. Many ads and creatives try to be too clever and smart or patronise us - their audience.
That said, I bought a shirt from eBay that I had got the impression Tony Soprano had worn, turns out they had just written "bada bing" on the front of a large, fat man's shirt.
Vodafone (1). An awesome ad. Really powerful and original. What a clever concept and superbly edited and put together with filmic production values. Work and play and the balance of life in one little ad. Hats off.
Project: Time theft
Clients: Dominic Chambers, head of brand and marketing communications;
Charlie Smith, head of advertising and media, Vodafone
Brief: Show how Vodafone helps to "Make the most of now" through the
proof point of mobile working solutions
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers/art directors: Mick Mahoney, Nick Gill
Director: Frederic Planchon
Production company: Academy
Exposure: National TV
2. CADBURY DAIRY MILK
Project: Gorilla's moment
Client: Phil Rumbol, marketing director UK, Cadbury
Brief: Get the love back for the brand
Writer/art director: Juan Cabral
Director: Juan Cabral
Production company: Blink
Exposure: National TV
Project: Building a fairer society
Client: Louise Fowler, head of marketing, Britannia
Brief: Differentiate Britannia Building Society using a "customer first"
Agency: McCann Erickson Communications House
Writer: Neil Lancaster
Art director: Dave Price
Director: Kirk Jones
Production company: Tomboy Films
Exposure: National TV, press, outdoor, online
Project: Back to school
Client: Rachel Trueblood, marketing director, Staples UK
Brief: Encourage kids and parents to trust in Staples for their back to
Agency: Euro RSCG London
Writer: Samantha Richards
Art director: Phil Beaumont
Director: Jim Gilchrist
Production company: Thomas Thomas Films
Exposure: National TV, online
Project: Live TV
Client: Carolyn Managh, brand director, eBay
Brief: Encourage light and lapsed users to use eBay more, and remind
them of the unique and enjoyable experience that eBaying is
Writer: Clive Pickering
Art director: Andre Moreira
Director: Alex Courtes
Production company: Partizan
6. POT NOODLE
Project: High voice
Clients: Gavin Warner, development manager; Allan Little, brand manager
Brief: Dramatise the fact that Pot Noodle has reduced its salt content
by 50 per cent across its range
Writer/art director: Mother
Director: Ben Wheatley
Production company: Tomboy Films
Exposure: National TV