21 July 2011
I'm a bloke and I love football and analogies.
I thank you.
Doritos has created a two-minute film to sell an app where you can win prizes and stuff. Esteban Ortega is socially inept, but he can sure flick a mean tortilla. He becomes the Chip-Flick world champion, but then gets freaked out by the fame, hits the tequila and loses his crown and his gorgeous wife. But, after years in the Mexican wilderness, he rediscovers his form. Hurrah! The online film is well-cast, has great production values and is a bit too long for my liking, but hey. Sadly, the game that this film is advertising is a bit boring and doesn't have any of the engagement, wit or production values of the online work. Beautiful flowing Arsenal move, Fabregas to Nasri, Nasri to Van Persie, back to Fabregas, back to Van Persie, oh and he's chipped the keeper and it's heading into the top corner, but a seagull flies in and deflects the ball over the bar. Boooo.
Virgin Media. TiVo is a clever bit of kit that lets you record three shows on different channels while watching something else. It sort of needs a bit of explaining and, fortunately, we have the charming Marc Warren to tell us all about it. There isn't much creative opportunity here, because they need to tell people how it works, but it's delivered in a slick, modern way and, most importantly, I understand what it's all about. Simple and effective. Slick Man United move, Little Pea squares into the box for Rooney, goal!
Stella Artois has launched a cider and, in this ad, a smooth French bloke addresses the nation and tells us that it's not just any old cider, it's for men and women who appreciate a sophisticated beverage. Oh, yeah, and it's not called cider (syder), it's called cidre (seedrah). The production values are outstanding - great casting, great sound, great post. I love the art direction of the outdoor work and it's carried through beautifully to the TV. Gerrard volley, 30 yards out! Ohhh, ya fucker! Top-right-hand corner.
BBC Radio 2 is launching something called 2Day. The ad has got Chris Evans, Tony Blackburn, Dermot O'Leary, Zoe Ball, Terry Wogan, Jamie Cullum, Jeremy Vine, Simon Mayo, even Steve Wright and loads of others, excitedly telling us about a really interesting event when the whole of Radio 2 gets together for a special day of broadcasting. It's held together with a slick split-screen technique - it's simple and it works. There is no need for an overly creative concept to clutter up the message. I get it and I actually really want to tune in. Iniesta plays a defence-splitting ball, Messi sidefoots home, gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogoal!
Coors is using Jean-Claude Van Damme to advertise Coors Light. He's standing on a mountain telling us a story about how painful it was when his pants once froze and how it wasn't as refreshing as an ice-cold Coors Light. The narrative isn't exactly watertight, but it's JCVD and it sort of works. Sort of. I think there will be more to come that will be better. Torres has a shot from distance, it takes a massive deflection, it bounces off the post and then in off the goalkeeper's back. Thank Christ it went in.
Finally, Pringles has a two-minute online film that takes you through how The Pringles Crunch Band app works. It has a bunch of really nerdy Swedes (didn't Swedes used to be cool?) jumping around the tech-advice office playing the app. It's a pretty straightforward concept and could have been better directed and a whole lot funnier, but it works. Just about. Modric is ten yards out, the ball is crossed over, he swings his leg, it hits him on the shin and bobbles over the keeper and over the line, but I'm not sure if the whole ball crossed the line. Hmmmm. Goal?
This week's selection of work for Private View raises again the good old debate as to the power of celebrity in advertising. Should we attach our brands to the rising or even sometimes diminishing stars and celebrities of popular culture? Or should we just let our creative people do what they do best: imagine and create?
On one hand, we have Coors Light commissioning the star power of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Virgin Media using Marc Warren and BBC Radio 2 enlisting virtually every DJ and artiste on its books.
On the other, Doritos, Stella Artois and Pringles all employ the magic of originality in developing the characters that tell their respective brand tales.
For me, Van Damme doesn't pack a punch for Coors Light.
Although he is looking good for his age, it's just another beer ad that aims to leverage the semiotics of an ice-cold environment to imbue refreshment cues on the product. All of this delivered by an ageing action hero looking to squeeze every last cent from anyone who'll pay him - in this case, Coors Light.
Virgin Media has employed Warren to announce the features of its new TiVo box, such as WishList, search and tuners. I remember when TiVo was first launched in the US, its primary purpose was to skip through commercials. Ironically, Marc fails to talk about this feature, which is exactly what I would use it for on these ads.
BBC Radio 2. The agency responded to the brief for a television ad with an idea for an entire programme called 2Day. Hats off for that, chaps - guaranteed this will now become one of its case studies on best-in-class agency proactivity, blah, blah, blah. Regardless, the film is fun, has a good music track (vital ingredient for a radio station) and the punters will like it.
Esteban Ortega is "the man", in the latest Doritos film. He is the 1969 "El Flicko" champion. This is beautiful, filmic storytelling. The product plays an interesting and authentic role, and the characterisation of Esteban is just magic. This would be my Pick of the Week, for sure.
I have been known to enjoy the occasional pear cider or two, but now I'm switching. Stella Artois' latest work for the launch of the new Cidre is alluringly sophisticated. The launch of such an important product innovation is potentially a very hazardous brief for the agency. So who best to deliver the news? "Le President" of the company. I love the whole body of Stella Artois' work, and this Cidre launch is delivered with class, quirk and a certain Artois grace the brand exudes.
Looking at the Pringles "Crunch Band" film and iPhone app, you can tell the creative team had a lot of fun with this brief. It also looks like this was shot in their office one afternoon and they possibly starred in it as well! The characters are just that, characters.
Millions of pounds were not spent on talent fees, just a great idea coupled with great casting and direction.
This campaign is on the money for me. I love the innovation of the app and the unique Pringles packaging that can be turned into a subwoofer - a very cool promotional idea. Encouraging to see some risks being taken with Pringles. Definitely download the iPhone app if you love to rock the air guitar.
Based on this week's body of work, spending countless millions of pounds on the likes of Van Damme or other lesser-known celebrities doesn't replace or even measure up to the craft of beautiful scriptwriting, imaginative characterisation and filmic storytelling we have seen. This is exactly what our industry does so brilliantly when our creative people are given half the chance.