Feature

The Work: Private View

CREATIVE - Dave Trott, creative director, CST

Nicole Yershon recently sent me a link to a website called "Old Jews Telling Jokes".

One I particularly liked concerned an elderly Jew who can't satisfy his beautiful young wife. So he goes to the rabbi and asks him what he should do to help her achieve an orgasm. The rabbi says he should get a muscular young man to stand naked by the bed, waving a towel, while they make love.

The next day, the old man comes back. He tells the rabbi he did what he suggested, but his wife still didn't have an orgasm. The rabbi says he should try it the other way round and see what happens.

So that night, the husband stands by the bed waving a towel, while the young man makes love to his beautiful young wife. And the wife has a room-shaking orgasm. When they're finished, the old man leans over and whispers in the young man's ear. He says: "Hey, schmuck, that's the way you wave a towel."

This story raises an issue advertising often has to deal with. Which works better: left brain or right brain, reason or emotion? The old man takes the right-brain stance. Whatever is going on with his wife is irrelevant. It's the way you wave the towel that's all-important in achieving the result.

Personally, I'm not convinced. I think the left brain can be just as important as the right brain. But that's just my view. Let's see what other people think.

Cravendale (6) started with a strong left-brain message: its milk is purer so it stays fresher longer. The logic is good but, for me, the left brain got swamped by the right brain. I bet all anyone will remember is the funny little characters, the catchy voices and the great execution. I'm not sure anyone will remember what makes their milk different.

The Outdoor Advertising Association (5) ran some posters intended to illustrate the fact that posters can provoke debate. But, as soon as one of the posters provoked a debate, they took it down. Maybe the client got frightened by all the controversy. Which makes it illogical to run a campaign designed to provoke controversy. For me, that was a right-brain response (feeling), not a left brain one (logic).

The Waitrose (2) DM leaflet contains recipes delivered in a straight, factual way. I assume it's only available in-store, and Waitrose customers are foodies. So I assume it'll work, in a left-brain way, for current users.

Cheestrings (4) seems to think an equal balance of messages is a better way to go. For the kids who eat Cheestrings, they've got a wacky ad with a silly character (right brain). For the mums, who buy it, they've got the message that it's healthy, containing a glass of milk, and made from "just cheese, just cheese, just cheese" (left brain).

So this is desire (right brain) and permission (left brain) working well together.

Danone Activia (3) also tries to feature a right-brain and a left-brain message. But which came first? Right brain: Martine McCutcheon looks cute. Left brain: the product will improve your digestive transit. I'm not sure they work so well together.

Lurpak (1) doesn't seem to have any doubts. It has decided advertising is a totally right-brain process. There's a good-looking man clumsily making a great-tasting pie. And, as he uses Lurpak, we assume that it must be great butter. Hopefully people will get this from the emotional appeal. Because there is no rational explanation as to why Lurpak is any different to any other butter.

But, hey, it's the way you wave the towel that's important, right?

CHAIRMAN - Cilla Snowball, chairman, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Group

Plenty of food for thought in this week's Private View with a menu of dairy food ads, grocery DM and a meaty controversy to get my teeth into.

The "good food deserves Lurpak" campaign is textbook food advertising; packed with insight, appetite appeal and passion, executed with simplicity and class in all media. I love it. In this latest film, a bloke with a beard lovingly creates a pie from scratch, making his pastry with Lurpak (1). So what if his pastry then falls apart when he's rolling it out? Who cares about the resultant pastry patchwork leaks and funny shape? "To hell with the imperfections," the voiceover says, "be proud of your puffed-up pie." And so he should be. His pie looks magnificent and you want to cheer him and it. Bravo, Lurpak and Wieden & Kennedy for a very real and totally compelling display of the joys of scratch cooking.

Also from Wieden & Kennedy, a new film for Cravendale (6) milk called "time travellers". The mad adventures of the cow, the cyclist and the pirate make weird, wacky and unashamedly entertaining advertising that could so easily descend into a triumph of style over substance. And yet the product is firmly at the centre of the action and the product benefit - purer so it stays fresh longer - is hardwired into the creative idea throughout. It's great, it has cutthrough and it will work.

Cheestrings (4) also goes the wacky route, featuring Mr Cheese, an animated Cheestring, who can't clear airport check-in because he is full of milk. Not the best time to be larking about with an airport security theme perhaps, but this pulls it off, just. Shades of Cadbury in both the line "a glass of milk in every one" and its treatment in the endframe, but otherwise good, clean fun.

The Danone Activia (3) spot features Martine McCutcheon, still in her red Love Actually coat, marching through Britain full of New Year resolution, telling us that she is on a mission to make 2010 the official year of TLC, which stands for Tummy Loving Care. It all ends up in a TLC firework display where she's eating yoghurt in her coat outside in the dark, which is all weird, with lots of other excited women. I like her and she's good casting, but there's slight cringe in the TLC theme and I wouldn't go campaigning for yoghurt.

Yet more campaigning in the Waitrose (2) "Campaign for a joyful January" DM pack. Waitrose knows how to do quality food work and all the ingredients are here - offers, tips on "mood-lifting food", nice food shots, apart from the casserole on the cover that looks greasy. But this particular execution looks a bit weary and lacking in soul, passion and momentum considering the joyful January theme. Bit of a damp squib this time for a brand where we've come expect more.

And, finally, a dream brief turned nightmare for the Outdoor Advertising Association (5). The brief is to demonstrate the power of poster advertising to drive people online. A website called Britainthinks.com hosts opinions on hot discussion topics advanced in three OAA posters: "Career women make bad mothers"; "1966. It won't happen this year" and "Educashun isn't working". I dislike all three ads for their negative and depressing sentiment, truly puzzling provenance and, in the first, clumsy contempt for mums. No wonder the ad had to be promptly withdrawn in a storm of violent online protest and subsequent apology.

The net effect of it all is a controversy that has eclipsed the product it set out to promote, which is a waste given the power of the poster medium and the potential for the agency to do something creative, positive and worthwhile with this dream brief.

Enjoy the rest of joyful January.

1. LURPAK
Project: Pie
Client: Stuart Ibberson, group brand manager, Lurpak (Arla Foods)
Brief: Celebrate the sense of achievement, reward and imperfections in
home cooking.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Writers/art directors: Ben Everitt, Sophie Bodoh
Director: Joshua Neale
Production company: Independent
Exposure: National TV

2. WAITROSE
Project: Joyful January
Client: Neil Stead, marketing manager (direct marketing), Waitrose
Brief: Direct marketing campaign to drive footfall into Waitrose
branches during January
Agency: n/s
Writer: Kate Flather
Art director: Phil Keevill
Designers: Olu Falola, Kaara Shepard
Exposure: Direct mail

3. DANONE ACTIVIA
Project: TLC launch
Client: Francois Rillet, marketing director, Danone Activia
Brief: Create a movement around proactive digestive health maintenance
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer/art director: Gethin Stout
Director: Dawn Shadforth
Production company: RSA
Exposure: National TV

4. CHEESTRINGS
Project: Cheestrings
Clients: Phil Chapman, marketing director; Kelly Rafferty, marketing
manager, Cheestrings
Brief: Get mums and kids to positively reappraise the brand
Agency: Fallon
Writers/art directors: Rick Gayton, Darren Beresford
Director: Jim Gilchrist
Production company: MJZ
Exposure: National TV

5. OUTDOOR ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION
Project: Britainthinks.com
Client: Britainthinks.com
Brief: n/s
Agency: Beta
Writer: Beta
Art director: Beta
Exposure: National posters

6. CRAVENDALE
Project: Time travellers
Client: Jess Hardcastle, group brand manager, Cravendale (Arla Foods)
Brief: n/s
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Writers/art directors: Hollie Sayers, Freddie Powell
Director: Pic Pic Andre
Production company: Not To Scale
Exposure: National TV

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