03 February 2012
I'm a fatty. Evidence to the left (not clinically obese nowadays, but Campaign was too tight to take a new shot). I'm also a foodie. Posting up my latest creations, dizzy with delight when I get a "like" from the missus.
So what does this fat foodie think of the latest effort by Lurpak to persuade me that healthy doesn't have to be boring? My punter's head loves it. Beautiful and playful with a good, simple message and lots of brand wotsit. My creative director's head also loves it. Brilliantly shot. Beautifully edited. Nicely written. Being picky (you're allowed when something's really good, innit), Wieden & Kennedy has got a wonderfully dramatic voiceover to sing a ditty once already. Punter's head tells me to get my creative director's head right out of my arse. This campaign gets better and better, and who'd have thought that would be possible after the utterly stunning original work?
Top marks for bagging Usain Bolt for the Virgin Media work. Proper coup. Something to tell the nippers when you're 105 and people are running the 100 metres in 7.3. But they must have gone to so much effort securing the Bolt, they were a bit knackered by the time it came to production. The last 20 metres and all that. It all feels a little rushed, which is a shame because, given time, I bet these could develop into something cool and fun.
The BT work is defo a step up from that bloody awful couple. Damning with faint praise, maybe. Misery guts here wonders whether it would just be better if BT told me what it was offering and then buggered off, so I could get on with watching the stuff I tuned in for. I don't know the media plan for this, but unless they put it in the break of My Family or some other early evening dross, my feeling is it won't cut through. That said, it's not without charm and there are a few nice performance moments.
The Mini idents left me utterly perplexed. Who are the soldiers? And the bees? What are the eyeballs about? Then I noticed who did them. Our very own latest hirings, Christen and Bertie. I checked whether their three-month probationary period is up yet. And I'm excited to announce we're now looking at portfolios, so if there are any hungry middleweight teams out there, please drop by. In fairness to Christen and Bertie (RIP), they did explain that the 80- second version was not the correct version. When they explained the idea as it airs, it's really quite nice. Each ad break sees a different set of mad objects enter the Mini and the voiceover has to recite them like a memory game - "it's amazing how much you can pack in" type thing. Sweet. Shame you'll have to stomach Jonathan Ross to see them.
Comparethemarket.com. Better the devil you know. There are Confused.com and Gocompare.com, and I'll take Comparethemeerkat.com every day of the week. It's fun and well-crafted and, for that, we can all be truly thankful, because we sure as hell can't escape it, even in these days of being able to turn off the ads.
What's taking up all my online time at the moment? Well, the Azealia Banks 212 video is pretty damn cool. I'm determined to learn all the words like I did with Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. Recite the whole thing at parties when it comes on, garner absolute respect from all around etc. Can't beat a tune that uses the "C" word with such aplomb either. In between that and lending Paddypower.com my money, I haven't got the time or compunction to play the egg Olympics game by Cadbury Creme Egg on Facebook. It's going to take a bit more than a few roughly crafted exploding eggs to do that, sweet as the film is. Harsh, but that's the playing field now. Exciting times.
Blimey. It has been a few years since I wrote one of these. Times have changed, haven't they? Nowadays, magazines and websites are filled with articles, features and content that are created by their readers ...
Oh, hang on a minute ...
OK. Let's start with Virgin Media, which is employing the services of DDB UK for one last time before it moves the account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty. So here we have Usain Bolt pretending to be Richard Branson, complete with a Branson goatee, selling us the "fastest in the UK" broadband that Virgin now offers. It captures the spirit of 2012 without being at all "Olympicy". So, in the context of all the corporate Olympic business that surrounds us, it feels fresh. I would have enjoyed seeing how this campaign could develop over time, as presumably broadband speeds can only get faster. If it wasn't time to pass the baton to BBH, this idea could have run and run.
Here's the latest from Comparethemarket.com. In this ad, set back at Meerkat Mansions, Sergei gets called to the office of the boss meerkat, Orlov. Things all start to get a bit tearful as Sergei thinks he's going to be sacked, since he's getting on a bit. Hey, hang on ...don't be ridiculous. There's no way VCCP would do that. I know at least three people who still haven't bought a fluffy Sergei toy yet. Packed full of "simples" and all the usual stuff, I'd have preferred it if Sergei had a little more of the screen time at the end, but I guess that would have got in the way of the call-to-action, and even direct response ads as good as these never let up when there are still a final few frames available to help improve the numbers.
Following on from the previous campaign, this idea feels like a natural fit for the BT broadband services. Flat-sharing comedies on TV are pretty much a standard. From Man About The House through Friends to the latest US hit New Girl, which has just started on Channel 4. This opening episode is the advertising equivalent of the broadcast pilot. We meet the characters, decide who sleeps where and establish that there's sufficient bandwidth. If the writing continues to be sharp, and the budgets allow for lots of them to be made, this should be a winner. Signs are good so far. The casting looks like they're well on their way.
It's hard to stand out in the world of food. It's pretty much all I ever see on TV. And it's so serious. Can you TV chefs please cheer up. IT'S A BLOODY PLATE OF PASTA. JESUS! So I'm appreciative of Lurpak and Wieden & Kennedy's efforts to lighten things up a bit and bring some food flair to our screens. I especially like the red cabbage shot and the exploding aubergine.
Now, the idents for the Mini Countryman. I saw these live on air because I tuned in to ITV to watch The Jonathan Ross Show as it was being broadcast. So, in this instance, I couldn't fast-forward through the idents like I usually do. Maybe that's the idea here. Pack a Mini Countryman with five heavily armoured ninjas, armed with leaf-blowers, a few dozen dangerous-looking airborne puffer fish shouting out "yo", a swarm of wasps, hundreds of glass eyeballs and, well, you've got to slow down and have a look at that lot, haven't you?
Looks like the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics has started sooner than even Lord Coe could have hoped for. But wait. This isn't the opening ceremony for the actual Olympics. It's the opening ceremony for the Cadbury Creme Egg "egg season". The official Danny Boyle opening ceremony is still five months away; this is Aardman's show. Now, as Cadbury is a proper Olympic sponsor, with that logo on its ads, I'd reckon on "egg season" continuing right up until Danny starts shouting out for the people with the red cards to stand over there. CAN WE GET ON WITH THE RUNNING? PLEASE!