13 May 2011
A tough week for brands trying to get noticed. The competition: the royal wedding, the Bin Laden killing and the MasterChef final. (Fortunately, none were campaigns, just one-offs.)
The first challenger is Drench. The ad is set in its multimillion-pound hydration facility, where scientists come up with innovative new ways to hydrate humans. Planes drop water on them, fire hoses blast water at them. Either way, the human guinea pigs get absolutely Drenched, or Tango'd, or even Typhoo'd, depending on how old you are.
The millions spent in R&D pay off as the boffins introduce their new idea - orange drink. It's very clear and nicely put together.
Next, the royal wedding, chav-style. They dance, cartwheel and bodypop down the aisle. As of 10.30 on 5 May, this T-Mobile viral had 19,370,606 views on YouTube. That's all very well, but is it any good? And while we're asking questions ... Apple? Popular, yes - but is it really that good? And The Beatles? Take away their record sales and what's left? A competent little beat combo.
I would imagine the Matalan brief was a toughie: produce a TV ad announcing the spring collection and show as many outfits as humanly possible. The very elegant solution is based on a neat film technique. It's a kind of static camera moving 360 degrees around a picnic, with the same people appearing again and again but in different positions, and it looks like one take. Oh, and there's no editing. It's a kind of space-infinity-time-loop-arrangement. Exactly, you got it. The result is a very engaging, cool, Bartle Bogle Hegarty kind of ad that should help change the perception of Matalan being a bit of a low-rent brand.
Two different RAC campaigns here. I thought they'd match but they don't, which is fine. I'm adult enough to take in two different themes from a single company. The idents simply link weather to the RAC in a series of camera pull-outs to reveal that the people aren't, for example, picnicking - they're beside a breakdown. At first, "weather" may seem a bit random, but I think it's a nice fit - weather conditions can be a big factor in a breakdown.
The idents are very concise and clear, unlike their endline: "The driving people." Ask Joe or Josephine Public, and they'll tell you that the RAC are "the breakdown people". It just reeks planner: "Breakdown is far too negative ... Let's accentuate the positive ... Let's be the answer, not the problem!"
I get that but, for me, it's just too marketingy. The posters are good, I understand them and they seem like they understand me. They basically say: "We don't dilly dally. We get there, fix your car and get the hell out as quickly as possible, so that you can get on with your life." Also, that endline is tiny, which is great news.
Credit Confidential has produced a thoroughly engaging film. A nice graffiti fellow chases a naughty graffiti fellow around the sides of large buildings. As this happens, a narrator talks about the importance of credit checking. It raises many questions: Where are those crazy graffiti chaps off to? Will the naughty one get caught? What does it all mean?
Whoa! The Sabotage Times app looks good, it's got a picture of Withnail And I on it! It's my favourite film. Going a bit deeper, I felt the irreverent content was at odds with its very basic navigation and visual. I liked its line, though: "We can't concentrate so why should you?" It feels very honest.
We're big on honesty at DHM. We even have our own song about it - it's called If The Public Don't Buy What We Say, They Won't Buy What We Sell.
1. (General Sporting) is a term used in several football codes to describe a pass of which the recipient is subject to, usually unavoidable, heavy contact from an opposing player as soon as the ball is received.
2. (Figuratively, Idiomatic) A task or project that will inevitably bring heavy criticism to the person to whom it has been assigned. (Law) An unwinnable case.
First up this week, it's the royal wedding from T-Mobile.
Nineteen million people can't be wrong, can they? Can they? The undeniable truth about all of this is that T-Mobile used to garner absolutely no opinion whatsoever. Now it has more people talking about it than Orange. Which is staggering. #fact.
Does it matter that it's another very faithful reproduction, this time of the other YouTube Wedding Entrance meets Alison Jackson? Certainly not to any of the regular punters at the royal wedding party I was at. They'd all seen it. They all uniformly loved it. Just because I don't particularly like musicals or sequence dancing or jokes that go on too long, I can't avoid that number. Nineteen million people is almost Morecambe & Wise.
It's populist Saturday-night advertising on YouTube. Which has to be a good thing. Here's hoping the Osama follow-up is just as swift.
Talking of faithful reproductions, CHI & Partners has managed to completely reproduce its Tango ads from a few years back, now in the form of Drench. And there's Keith from The Office doing Ray Wilkins, with a bit of Steve Merchant's ironic Barclays ad commentary to boot. Drench could probably run "Brains" instead for the next five years and no-one would mind.
It's a good week for deja vu fans, as the Matalan ad reminded me of a few things - not least some car ad I saw recently. Had a Parisian street scene. Flower shop. Guys moving a pain of glass. That one. This Matalan one has the added bonus of making the viewer feel totally seasick, which is something that always helps with recall.
RAC has some reasonably polite posters that might ring a bell with anyone who's been stranded on the hard shoulder with only a taunting road sign for company. The signs could have been more slightly haranguing, maybe? Got to love that windblown dog in the stationary car ident, though. That was the most rewarding ten seconds I've had since Beatrice's hat.
Credit Confidential. Apparently, the ad likens the trail of information in a credit report to the trail of paint left by an animated "mural man" as he runs through a city. I've seen this on Sky News a lot. I do probably watch too much Sky News, though. Nonetheless, I always seem to notice the random stop-motion green lad with his "had an accident at work" voiceover. Then I always immediately forget what it's for as soon as it finishes. I've never checked my credit history as a result. Which is probably a good thing for me, but not so good for the mural man.
Finally, Danny Brooke-Taylor does a favour for James Brown. I got a designer at work to design a logo for my mate's company recently. Hopefully Leon Jaume will be reviewing that next week.
It's an app that's an organised feed of Sabotage Times stories - nothing more, nothing less. The stories are obviously always good, but then again I might just be what I believe is known as the "target audience". By the way, the Sabotage Times line is the best of recent years, I reckon: "We can't concentrate so why should you?" Hopefully in the future, the app will disturb my concentration a bit more.
Right, I'm off to watch the T-Mobile royal wedding another 2.7 million times.