14 June 2012
Ah, shit. They've only gone and asked me to review yet another bleedin' ad full of footballers. Preening, posing, posturing, arrogant, adulterous, one-footed, injury-feigning, lying, Tweeting, cheating, charmless, gormless, graceless, greedy, gobbing, spit-roasting, tattoo-obsessed, self-possessed, best-mate's-wife-borrowing, badge-kissing, disloyal, unsporting, mohawk-sporting, diving, skiving, conniving, brand-whoring, whore-bothering, racist, rapist, manslaughtering-and-getting-away-with-it footballers. Why always me?
Well, here goes nuffink. With a few glorious exceptions (OK, one: "Parklife"), I've always questioned Nike's portrayal of what you lot insist on calling The Beautiful Game. Nike doesn't seem to believe that there's enough beauty in the game itself for it to be depicted with anything resembling realism.
Consequently, through the years, it's been Harlem Globetrotterised, EA-interactivated and now Sonically Hedgehogged beyond recognition of what actually occurs at, say, Molineux on any given cold, wet early evening Sky Sports HD has demanded that the match be played. This "my time is now"campaign (really? You really passed on "this is my time"? Really?) relegates the game to a chaotic new lower division.
It's like "write the future" with the idea taken out. Its intention is to inspire the next generation, but its methodology is the relentless, arse-licking deification of the aforementioned incumbent swaggering twats. And its "scorchio" cameos are growing as tired as a Premiership player who's been forced by a brutal boss to play two whole matches inside ten short days.
Can 15 million YouTube hits be wrong? Yes, they can. It's a shocker. Yet, despite, or perhaps because of, all that, you just know that it'll pick up an appropriate three Lions on the very same day that England get dumped out of Euro 2012.
In other news, Hovis confirms what we've suspected all along: Adam & Eve hasn't merged with DDB, it has infiltrated the entire advertising industry, as a large dollop of Kes is lavishly spread between two thick grainy slices of family values and drizzled with golden rustic nostalgia for a time and place that, sadly, never existed. Much as I have enjoyed and employed the omnipresent aroma of the Duchy of Touchy-Feely of late, I do so long for the return of ol' Farty McBombast Pants.
But soft. What parp through yonder bookies' window breaks? 'Tis the beast that is Gregos Traitorelli, and Paddy Power says c'mon, my son! Well, it's a start. But I'll give you 25-1 against it spreading as far 'n' wide as the golden goo done do.
The new Wispa script appears to say "people like us may never walk on the moon, but with enough ambition, dedication and Fallonesque chutzpah, we can probably blag our client into flying us to the Chilean Andes to inflate a nondescript inflatable and perch an alpaca halfway up a bleedin' mountain in Wispa-branded lama pyjamas". Time well misspent, indeed.
Volkswagen's "see film differently" idents campaign has been consistently great for years now. So perhaps it would be churlish of me to venture that Robert De Niro's "You talking to me?" is a bit of a done-to-death choice of movie moment. Yes, it would. So I withdraw my churl. Enjoy the movie.
Well, just like that bird off the gravy ad, I've gone and saved the best for last. Everyone misses someone. It's the deepest of all wounds. Missing People at least offers hope. This is a brilliant piece of work by a brilliant agency for a wonderful charity. Its end thought is "we hope you never need us".
I second that emotion.
I can already taste the cold and dry rose at the Carlton in Cannes, looking for that special ticket to the party. Oh I am sorry to let the invitation for the Private View get to my head for a moment, I will keep the sun and the sea out of my thoughts and concentrate on these great commercials I have been asked to write about. In fact, this does feel like a mini holiday as I look at the finished items, knowing how much of an effort has gone into getting them made and I have had to do nothing.
The Missing People commercial from Bartle Bogle Hegarty is a strong one, dramatic and driving the point home without any distraction. I particularly like the execution, which does not linger on the tortured faces, giving us a small taste of what it can be like to be in that position. I do hope that the message will get to the missing persons who are in control of the contact.
If only the English squad can learn from this Paddy Power ad from Crispin Porter & Bogusky and realise the need for teamwork, then maybe we stand a chance in Euro 2012. Having said that, the cynical approach to teamwork in this funny commercial feels more like looking at leftover fans after the games. I particularly appreciated the effort of one of the extras to impersonate Peter Crouch. I am downloading the PP app.
Nike has done it again, with Wieden & Kennedy delivering another massive and entertaining commercial that fits the occasion and our expectations. I just wished I was one of the guys storming the pitch to claim: "My time is now." It's fun and exciting to look at, with a sense of development in a simple story. I am still not sure how they do such amazing CGI images with great animation interwoven with real footage of players. It's amazing what can be done in two days, hey! Great work.
I have always believed that giant clients such as Volkswagen (6) should become the guardian of independent cinema to self-promote and help make the fragile industry sustainable and healthy again. I suppose it's being done partly and I take my hat off to those responsible at DDB UK and VW. I adore the three films and the references to some of my favourite films, the subtle humour works very well, especially the nod to Taxi Driver's "You talking to me?" Well-written, acted and expertly directed. Won't be surprised if Marty calls to speak to Ivan. I hope he likes it as much as I did. Keep it going VW, please.
Forty-three years later, we are still moved and touched by the raw simplicity of Ken Loach's film Kes. I am not saying the Hovis commercial by Dare is based on that film, but it touches the same nerves and plays on the relationship of the hard father and his son who desperately wants the father's approval. This is quality work that embraces the need for authenticity without the sentimentality. Can't help feeling that it wanted to be a small part of a bigger film, however - sometimes, the over-art-directed and clean shots let it down. Great achievement and loved the casting.
I really appreciate the concept of "time well misspent" by Fallon. Unfortunately, the idea in this case is better and bigger than what we are presented. I can't help feeling that the Wispa film is a bit too domestic and I am not sure if it makes you feel like you want to be a part of this "time". The northern Argentinean landscape looks great and the alpaca certainly makes it feel authentic. I will give the film seven stars for getting the inflatable up to the mountain.