13 September 2012
I don't like being sold to. But I like information and I like entertainment. Trainline (2) has a bit of both.
Open on a calm train carriage. A stressed-looking man bursts in: "I don't want to alarm anyone, but I just found out that booking tickets in advance at thetrainline.com could save you a heap of cash!"
People look slowly at their tickets, then the full horror of what they've done hits them. All hell breaks loose as everyone starts screaming. It's as if they've been told they're all going to die. Great.
Oh, hang on ... it's not finished ... it's still going ... the screaming panic continues for another ... 40 seconds. It gets sillier, but not necessarily funnier. It's a really good 30-second and a slightly weird 60-second.
The nation's favourite tattooed professor, or Professor Green to his chums, has a message for his fans: "STOP LISTENING TO MAI MUSIC! I'M NOT JOKING." Obviously, this news will confuse and concern the young Prof-ites - "But surely you stand to gain from us listening to your music, bruv?", "What you saying, bruv?", "We can't believe our soon-to-be-Prof-Green-less ears, bruv."
The Prof continues: "People have died already this year, died because they didn't take their headphones off at level crossings." So we can still listen, just NOT at level crossings. Phew, that's a relief.
"Lose your headphones, not your life."
Which, when you think about it, is true. Life is way more valuable than headphones. Even those sick Dr Dre Beats ones.
It's paid for by Network Rail (4) and it's for a good cause and, to be fair, I'm sure my kids will listen to the Prof more than me.
Open on a speedboat. Title: "Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea."
The playboy driver of the speedboat starts to sing: "Dum, der der der dum, der der der dum." We see another speedboat filled with cocktail-shaking waiters. We cut to a whole range of speedboats filled with everything from sexy nurses holding ointment to pizza-delivery boys, from ninjas to pillow-fighting girls.
Title: "Axe Anarchy Island. Chaos comes to paradise. Enter at Facebook.com/Axe to win your spot on the island." It was weirdly entertaining and I learnt that Lynx (5) has its own island, which is cool.
A few years ago, Enterprise (3) came to Britain looking for an agency and visited my last one, CDD. The DRTV Americans trying to understand us Brits ("Why are those horses in the sea?"), us Brits trying to understand them ("Are you required to warn epileptics before you flash through such a barrage of prices at them?"). It was a complete culture clash. We didn't have a second meeting.
Unlike Dare, which turned its meeting notes into a script.
A large, toothy American salesman stands next to his small,weasly British counterpart as they sell to us in a way that conforms to their national stereotypes. It's pretty entertaining and nicely directed.
The only information I can remember is that Americans can't pronounce "aluminium" correctly. But I come away liking Enterprise more than I did a few years ago.
The current McDonald's (6) campaign has been running for a while now - the latest execution is linked to the Paralympics: "the back-for-round-two-ers", "the take-in-the-view-ers", "the anthem-sing-on-ers" etc, etc. I can't say they're fresh, I can't say they're exciting or funny - they just make me feel warmer towards McDonald's. Which is no mean feat.
Plan (1). We see a girl drop to Earth from the sky. She hits the ground. Suddenly, lots of weird spiky things start to grow; the spikes then transform into buildings.
But it looks like a PlayStation game, which undermines the message. It feels fake, like it's all made up, which makes the goal seem unattainable, like a fairytale.
It's a shame as it's a goal I'd like to believe could be realised. I wish they'd given me a reason to believe. Like some information.
The Great British sporting summer runs out of gas as we towel ourselves down, put our clothes back on and trudge wearily away from the stadium, the setting sun framing us in a halo of orange light.
And, suddenly, success in life can only be measured against the efforts of these new Goliaths who have thrust themselves into our culture. Every task, every achievement can only be relative to the distance they've thrown, the force of their wrestle, the stretch of their seated volleyball. These Olympians are our new benchmark.
Lynx (5) has a statuesque quality, all rippling muscles and artful tattoos, the US basketball Dream Team. Kobe Bryant driving a powerboat, LeBron James applying the lotion.
No expense spared, a triumph of individual performance, yet the whole still greater than the sum of the dazzling parts. Oh, to inhabit one of those singlets, to follow them on Twitter.
I want to be on that island. And I believe it's real. And so will millions of twentysomething men across the land, I have no doubt.
Did you see the Paralympic sprinter with the wide-swinging prosthetic legs that whirl round like helicopter blades, who starts really slowly and piles past everyone on the home straight? Ungainly, effective and oddly memorable.
Like this Trainline (2) ad. About as subtle as a brick, utterly farcical, leaving you unsure how you're meant to react. If you're going to do something, do it to an extreme. Keep running and keep running with it, long past the finishing line and, if people don't respond, shake them violently until they do.
They have a nice, big simple idea and, by God, they're taking it to its illogical conclusion. We watch with curious fascination.
Network Rail (4). Brings to mind the GB Olympic football team. A bunch of overpaid, preening stars trying to convince us they "get it" and they care, but we can see through their lies. They don't want to be there. They stick out like a sore thumb in a world of real.
What's sport without the massive paycheck, the girls waiting in the Baby Bentley? Glory is for pussies. Absolutely no idea. Just Professor Green.
McDonald's (6). Not the best in the family, but part of a really fine family nevertheless. Like when Venus Williams crashes out early, but still sits in the stand as her sister vanquishes all before her. And they get to play together in the doubles. And they work in perfect sisterly harmony. But, by then, Serena has already taken the main prize and most people have gone home and no-one cares any more. And they were better when Neil Gorringe shot them.
Some things aren't possible.
A girl with half an arm can't win a swimming race against a girl with a whole arm. But now we know this isn't true. The girl with half an arm can win. Underdogs can do great things. Quiet can be better than loud. Smart can beat brash.
We are a little island, but we can beat the whole of America at any sport you want to mention because we are Britain and we are Great. The huge differences between our countries are a wonderful thing.
And so I like this Enterprise (3) ad. But not as much as when we beat the Yanks at sport.
Storytelling makes the world go round, right? There are only seven stories in the world. Mo Farah was definitely one of them. I cried. I'm not ashamed. If I watched it again now, I would cry again.
A great backstory, perfect narrative, with a lovely reveal and style to burn.
I had to get Mo in here somewhere and Plan (1) fitted perfectly.