Whenever I read a column like this, criticising other people's work, I'm reminded of this quote:
"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They know how it's done, they see it done every day. They just can't do it themselves." Brendan Behan
So I've put this column together in the spirit of quotes from people who are smarter than me.
Some of the quotes are about the state of advertising in general.
Some are about the specific ads opposite.
See if you can work out which goes with which.
"The creative principal of our age has become: Form Follows Profit." Richard Rogers
"Any ad that doesn't cause a ruckus is a lousy ad. I'm constantly in trouble and I think that's proof of my worth." Ed McCabe
"When Caesar speaks, people say: 'What a rousing speech.' When Antony speaks, people march." Shakespeare
"It doesn't matter what colour a cat is, so long as it catches mice."
"ART to me has always been short for Arthur." Keith Richards
"Conventional wisdom is always conventional, but rarely wisdom." Oscar Wilde
"I'm not here to please everybody. A lot of advertising people think they can please everybody, and that is why they do such mediocre work." Oliviero Toscani
"If it's bad taste, it isn't funny, and if it's funny, it isn't bad taste."
"If we carry on doing what we've always done, we'll get what we've always got." Buckminster Fuller
"A little less conversation, a little more action." Elvis Presley
"When I point at the moon, don't look at my finger, look at the moon." Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."
"Life isn't Hollywood, it's Cricklewood." Eric Morecambe
"Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit." George Santayana
"If you can look at something and say 'I like it', it isn't new."
"Trying to predict the future based on research is like trying to drive a car by looking in the rear-view mirror." Marshall McLuhan
"Creativity is 1+1=3." George Lois
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
"What use are computers, all they can do is give you answers?"
"History teaches us that people have never learnt anything from history." Hegel
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Sigmund Freud
"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." GK Chesterton
"We must become the change we want to see." Mohandas Gandhi
"The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
"Eschew Obfuscation." Bumper sticker
"Klotzen, nicht kleckern." Heinz Guderian
"You can never observe something without the act of observing it altering that which you are observing." Werner Heisenberg
"Sometimes the opposite of a great truth is another great truth."
Alfred North Whitehead
And finally, a quote from two more people who are smarter than me, about this week's column in particular:
"The wise man knows he doesn't know, the fool doesn't know he doesn't know." Lao Tzu
"Democracy is about the vitality of the debate. It is not about crushing the opposition." Tony Benn
MEERKAT - ALEKSANDR
Today I receive box through mail from "Queen of British Advertising", Claire Beale. In Russia, UK not only famous for quality tailoring and two-storey red bus, but also for producing some of greatest advertisements of all time. So it is quite a flattering that I am ask to provide Russian meerkat opinion on your ads for internationally adored magazine Campaign.
First out of box is ad for Everyman (5) testicular cancer charity. If, like me, you have not heard of Teddy Sheringham, he is English soccer player with detachable testicles. In this commercial, he shows off this talent with some testicle "keep-ups" while sexy woman's voice tells men to "keep the eye on your balls". It is great fun way to talk about serious subject and hopefully British men will spend more time thinking about their balls.
Next out of box is television advert for The Sun (2) newspaper's "Help for Heroes" campaign. My great granddaddy Vitaly lost his tail during The Mongoose Wars, so this campaign is close to my heart. In the advertisement, a raspy man reads a poem he has written about all the things people have done to raise money for heroes. If I was British, I am sure it would make me feel very proud, but as I am Russian, it makes me feel bitterness (in Russia, all our soldiers get is a ham basket and a handshake).
Star of Nestle Aero (3) bubbly chocolate bar bloopers ad is a terrible skateboarder and 50,000 brown balloons (that maybe seem like a lot until I tell you that last time I had Putin over for an "Abba-dance-along-athon", we had one million balloons and an ice-cream cake). It is quite funny to watch the man fall down, but does this really have "the virus factor"? Would I send on to Sergei in IT? Not when you could watch a skateboarder on the YouTube slamming his "Teddy Sheringhams" into a lamppost.
Fourth out of the box is great new commercial for Jelly Babies! They look so tasty and irresistible!
I am only kidding! The fourth ad out of the box is not for Jelly Babies at all but for Change4Life (1) and Me Size Meals. It has make me think hard about my lifestyle - I am going to cut down on the grubs and the ice-cream cake, and put my Segway back on eBay where it belongs. Hopefully this will help put spring in the step of your children.
The Breakfast Club is most people's favourite movie so it is good call to use Emilio Estevez in this Orange (4) advert for Saving Private Ryan's Number, a remake of the slapstick war romp Saving Private Ryan. The ad shows us all the glitz and the glamour of a Hollywood premiere and gets me really excited for general release of the movie, which is the main point of it, after all. I award this advert my special "Best of Box" award. Well done.
At bottom of box is terrifying idea for Comedy Central (6). Gigantic Godzilla-like comedy characters attack the city of London because Comedy Central is "big on comedy". But I am big on meerkats. And Sergei is big on online role-player games. Everyone is big on something.
Overall, I am very impress by the quality of advertisements in your country. But I cannot help but notice it does not contain a big through-the-line, upside-down, inside-out idea. Nowadays, you have to make use of new technologies to engage peoples: I pipe my jingle into public toilets and take advantage of all latest social network fads. When you take time to entertain, selling things is a lot more simples.
Thank you for having me to your magazine. It has been enormous honour.
Project: Change4Life - Me Size Meals
Client: Paul Gilham, director, Change4Life, Department of Health
Brief: Get parents to show their love for their kids by giving them Me
Size Meals instead of adult portions
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writers: James Lowther, David Fleetwood
Art directors: Bill Gallacher, Gary Monaghan
Director: Steve Harding-Hill
Production company: Aardman Animation
Exposure: National TV
2. THE SUN
Project: Help for Heroes
Client: Allan MacCaskill, sales and marketing director, NGN
Brief: Thank the people of Britain for donating their time, money and
energy and let them know that the work is not over
Writer: Billy Faithfull
Art director: Ross Neil
Director: Austin Humphries
Production company: Rattling Stick
Exposure: National TV
Project: Aero skater, You've Been Framed
Brief: Continue the buzz around the "feel the bubbles" campaign with a
powerful and rewarding marriage of creative and highly targeted media
Agency: JWT London
Writers/art directors: Bruno Xavier, Ronnie Vlcek, Jono Black
Director: Ty Evans
Production company: Superstudio
Project: Gold Spots
Client: Noel Cottle, senior advertising manager, Orange
Brief: What would the Orange film funding board do next?
Writer: Toby Moore
Art director: Selina McKenzie
Director: Baker Smith
Production company: Harvest
Exposure: UK cinema, online
Client: Martin Smith, head of public affairs, Everyman
Agency: Hooper Galton
Writer: Rob Turner
Art director: Dave Westland
Director: Martin Brierley
Production company: Bare Films
Exposure: Match-day media screens at football stadiums
6. COMEDY CENTRAL
Project: Comedy Central launch
Client: Chris Hancox, vice-president, marketing and creative services,
Brief: Launch Comedy Central as the home of the biggest and brightest
Writer: Sarah McGregor
Art director: Dave Buonaguidi
Photographer: Julian Wolkenstein Exposure: Outdoor