Private View: Trevor Robinson, the creative director at QuietStorm
campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 06 August 2004 12:00AM
Sometimes when I read Private View, I get the strong impression that it was written by some bullied, embittered ad fella using it as an opportunity to get out his angst and his lack of Pencil frustration.
And, ultimately, to prove to his peers that he is, in fact, a gifted, witty creative by humiliating and ripping to shreds any work that he has been asked to review.
Why, indeed, should I be any different? I am just as bitter, twisted and up myself as the rest of adland. So, onwards and upwards, let's raise it up the flag pole, get up to speed with this and start singing from the same hymn sheet.
Unfortunately, this anti-smoking campaign from the Department of Health proved to be quite annoyingly difficult to pick holes in. First, it is brilliantly and sensitively directed. The subject matter itself is powerful, as you would expect in this campaign, but it has a heart-rending twist at the end of the piece when we are allowed to find out that two weeks after filming Mr Hicks died. No doubt this will have powerful results (it even made me pause for a second and ponder the fact that I may well indeed be killing myself every time I smoke. I promptly lit up).
The Inland Revenue campaign successfully uses sporting analogies to get across the idea that filing your tax online could be fast and even amusing by using a playful, chubby professor type to narrate and sell the concept.
Who am I to criticise any execution that makes a tax form even mildly titillating? I for one can't wait for mine to arrive so I can join the fun.
Through this TV execution, NatWest demonstrates that the banking community has little or no understanding of the youth market. By offering their target audience something that they would want, ie. a railcard, they are demonstrating that they themselves are "down with the kids". On paper, the script does this very well and maybe it's just me, but the final ad has ended up a bit cringey and unfunny.
This Clarks campaign appears to be using charm and the "aaah" factor.
The work is well cast and well directed. Some ads can survive on charm and craft alone if executed exceptionally well, but this one to me is left wanting and ultimately it falls a bit flat. However, if the appeal of these ads is not lost on the general public (as it was on my cynical self), it could prove to be a profitable autumn for Clarks.
The "Britain needs champions" campaign for PlayStation is art directed in a similar style to the British Heart Foundation posters, which is a wartime propaganda approach. They feel playful, which is a refreshing departure from the normal dark and slightly cryptic PlayStation work.
There seems no reason why anyone should have a real problem with this McDonald's McFlurry ad other than the odd very literal consumer who feels that in purchasing the said McFlurry they may risk attack by large strawberries and other ingredients like our poor bikini-clad heroine. The music feels refreshingly jaunty. Keep up the good work.
So on that note I pop my gleaming hatchet back into its holster and skip smugly back to my desk.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Project: Testimonial anti-smoking campaign, Anthony Hicks
Client: Claire Everett, chief publicity officer
Brief: Continue the use of testimonials to broaden awareness of diseases
caused by smoking with new focus on head and neck cancer
Agency: AMV BBDO
Writer: Diane Leaver
Art director: Simon Rice
Director: Dominic Savage
Production company: Large Corp
Exposure: National TV
Project: McFlurry, strawberries and Cadbury Dream
Client: Rebecca Payne, brand manager
Brief: Announce the return of the limited edition McFlurry flavour for
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris
Art directors: Trevor Webb, Ed Morris
Director: Kate Dawkins
Production company: Intro
Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV
Project: "For every kid there's a shoe that fits"
Client: Ted Hart, marketing manager
Agency: St Luke's
Writers: Tim Collins, Mike Hughes
Art directors: Tim Collins, Mike Hughes
Director: Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink
Exposure: Terrestrial and cable TV
Project: Self-assessment online
Client: Elizabeth Johnson, deputy head of customer communications
Brief: Demonstrate that you can file your tax return online in more than
Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy
Writer: Malcolm Duffy
Art director: Paul Briginshaw
Director: David Lodge
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV
Project: Summer of sports
Client: Alan Duncan, marketing director
Brief: Incite winning fervour into the damp squibs and letdowns of
Britain's usual sporting behaviour
Writers: John Allison, Chris Bovill
Art directors: John Allison, Chris Bovill
Photographer: Spiros Politis
Typographer: Dave Lidster
Exposure: National press
Project: NatWest student railcard
Client: Stephen Day, head of brand strategy
Brief: Promote offer of a free student railcard when you open a student
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer: Paul Hodgkinson
Art director: Paul Hodgkinson
Director: Jeff Stark
Production company: Large Corp
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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