It's difficult writing this as a team because we disagree on nearly everything. Including that opening sentence. But for the sake of simplicity, we'll refer to ourselves as "we" throughout. Also, we're only juniors, so please forgive our naivety for agreeing to write this. We're still learning.
We stumbled across our old book the other day. One of the campaigns that we had in there was for British Airways (4), so we know how hard it is to do airlines, even when you're making up your own briefs. We don't mind this though. Without knowing a huge amount about the brand, the strategy feels right and they're nicely shot, maintaining BA's level of brand quality. We can see the appeal of going to see the "great wildebeest migration". The titles make our eyes hurt, but we like the campaign.
Bear bites also hurt, so it's good that the chap in this Timberland (6) spot was able to run fast thanks to his trusty sneakers. We like this too. The track's great, it's exciting and a pig runs through a tree. That guy must have done something pretty bad to those poor animals. If pushed to change something it would be the line, but we'd still like it on our reel.
It's tea rather than trainers that kept us alive while we were on placement. We love the stuff. Typhoo (3) is celebrating making good tea since 1903 and it has certainly helped us through some late nights. The spot seems to be cramming a lot of different messages into 30 seconds. It starts with an apology, then a history lesson and then a look at some previous ads, topped off with a charitable cause. It's just personal taste, but we're not massive fans of the nostalgic "look back" thing that a few brands are doing right now. We applaud the brand for giving money to good causes, however, and will buy a box to show our support.
Something we won't be buying is Flora (2) because we're skinny and need the fat of a spread that's bad for our hearts. But the ad is nice and it will probably work a treat on its target audience. It made us want to know our heart ages, which, according to the website, were 26 and 49. If we were in the market for a low-fat spread, which one of us probably should be, then this may well have persuaded us to invest.
John Lewis (5) print now. The campaign is very elegant, it's nicely art directed and seems like it answers the brief. A few of the lines are nice too. It doesn't get us excited, and we don't know if it has enough stand out in a hugely competitive market, but it's fine.
The work for Honda (1) over the years is one of the reasons why we wanted to be creatives. It's always kept a consistent personality at the heart of its executions and we still look forward to seeing the next one. So, no surprise that we think this is great. It's a textbook example of a good idea, executed simply and to great effect. It was a nice thought to get Honda drivers to nominate their favourite roads and makes the idea bigger than just the ads.
Hopefully we haven't offended anybody and if we have, just remember that we don't know what we're talking about. Yet.
PLANNER - TOM LLOYD, GRADUATE PLANNER, DDB
New job. New house. New city. It's all a bit daunting. Under normal circumstances, my mum would have sent me off on my journey to the "big smoke" with a package of comforting home cooking. However, last week she came across a report (in the Daily Express) about some new research suggesting, counter-intuitively, that comfort food was for comfortable times.
In times of change, it claimed, we are actually more prone to try new things. She was, unfortunately, convinced. Thus it is that I face the "new experience" of publicly critiquing the work of people who have worked in the industry more years than I have days, without a homemade goody in sight.
My mum's/the Express' theory would probably not please those behind the Flora and Typhoo ads. These two are the latest in a number of brands (along with Heinz Tomato Ketchup) that, it seems to me, have sought to comfort audiences in this recessionary flux by reminding them of their heritage.
Of the two attempts, I think the more successful is the Flora (2) spot, which has a genuine energy and charm to it, while retaining the product's health-conscious positioning. Whether reminding people of the brand's comforting longevity will send them flocking to the Flora aisle is, perhaps, open to debate, but it is certainly an impressive execution.
Typhoo (3) I am less keen on. For me, it seems to be several ads in one and this I found confusing. The tone is mixed and the attempt to cram in references to the brand's history/origin, its well-recognised donkey ads and its modern charity work, all under the umbrella of a public apology, left me slightly perplexed. Perhaps a focus on one aspect or the other would have resulted in a stronger message.
A lack of focus is not something that can be levelled at John Lewis' (5) five press ads. They show off one of a series of models clad in "on-trend" outfits, each accompanied by an almost sculptural arrangement of matching accessories. The highly stylised compositions exude a high-fashion look without trying too hard, while simultaneously highlighting the range the stores offer. John Lewis would always struggle to take on the fashionistas of the department store world (Harvey Nicks et al) at their own game, but the easy elegance communicated here is, in my opinion, well judged.
British Airways (4) has seldom needed successful advertising more than it does right now. The idea behind Bartle Bogle Hegarty's campaign is an interesting one, shifting the focus away from the airline, towards the destinations themselves (in this case, the Serengeti). The logic, I would guess, is that the reason people fly is to be somewhere and not because they actually enjoy their time on the plane, however beaming the staff or bed-like the seats.
Give people (in this case, BA's culturally inquisitive upper middle-class heartland) a reason to fly, and they may well fly with you. A couple of the executions in the campaign are slightly cheesy for my taste (in particular, the voiceover from the tram journey between the Gatwick terminals), but this spot steers clear of that. As a result, I think it is a good enaction of the strategy and a decent ad.
On to Timberland (6). A good choice of music gives it a youthful energy, complemented by the shaky style of the camera work, while the hero's flight through a forest from bears and wolves leaves us in no doubt as to the fact that this is an outdoor shoe. However, it didn't quite capture my imagination and, overall, I felt it was solid rather than spectacular.
In its Honda (1) print ads, Wieden & Kennedy has found an interesting way of executing a classic product shot. It features the cars on various cross-sections of road, which were voted by Honda drivers as their favourites and reconstructed in the studio. The resultant look is visually intriguing yet refreshingly down to earth, rendering the ads, in my "grad" opinion, a success.
Project: Honda print campaign
Client: Ian Armstrong, manager, customer communications, Honda
Brief: Create a suite of print ads for the Accord, CR-V, Jazz, Type R
and Civic Sport
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
Writer: Sam Heath
Art director: Chris Groom
Exposure: Print, outdoor
Project: What is your heart age?
Client: Jane Boret, senior brand manager, Flora
Brief: Get more consumers to buy Flora by strengthening its heart health
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer/art director: Marc Hatfield
Director: Nico Calcoya
Production company: Transparent
Project: Making good tea since 1903
Client: Keith Packer, chief executive, Typhoo
Brief: Appeal to the core tea consumer's desire for unfussy, good,
Writer: Pete Bastiman
Art director: Billy Mawhinney
Production company: Equinox
4. BRITISH AIRWAYS
Project: Opportunities campaign: Serengeti
Client: Abigail Comber, head of brand, proposition and insight, British
Brief: Provoke people to seize the opportunities that exist around the
world right now, with British Airways
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Creative team: Dan Bailey, Brad Woolf
Director: Siri Bunford
Production company: Knucklehead
5. JOHN LEWIS
Project: Autumn fashion campaign
Client: Craig Inglis, head of brand communications, John Lewis
Brief: Make a more complete look with John Lewis fashion this autumn
Agency: Adam & Eve London
Writers: Emer Stamp, Ben Tollett, John Long, Matt Gay, Dave Fitzsimons,
Art directors: Emer Stamp, Ben Tollett
Exposure: Print, outdoor
Client: Carolyn Yang, vice-president marketing, Timberland
Brief: Promote Timberland's new Mountain Athletics line of multi-sport
footwear and showcase its outdoor credentials
Agency: Leagas Delaney
Writers: Colin Booth, Ben Stilitz
Art director: Tim Delaney
Director: Lynn Fox
Production company: Blink
Exposure: Global TV