BACKBITE

I had a bad afternoon last week, an idea bombed out by Campaign’s money meister. Feeling thoroughly depressed, all I wanted to do was to gawk at something deeply amusing. Then I saw on my desk the ad I had requested from HHCL & Partners for review this week.

I had a bad afternoon last week, an idea bombed out by Campaign’s

money meister. Feeling thoroughly depressed, all I wanted to do was to

gawk at something deeply amusing. Then I saw on my desk the ad I had

requested from HHCL & Partners for review this week.



Dead cert for a belly laugh, I thought. Afterwards I felt no better. I

rewound the film and tried again. And again. Still nothing. Of course,

I’m talking about the new Britvic spot for Orange Tango called

’shepherd’.



It tells the story of how Tango has deprogrammed hundreds of clowns,

confiscating their horns and banishing them to a holding camp in

Ipswich.



Just like its predecessor - the ’St George’ ad for Blackcurrant Tango -

it’s dripping with extras and anarchic humour, one of those commercials

that leaves anyone who’s not in the business (and quite a few who are)

scratching their heads in indulgent perplexity.



One of the differences between ’shepherds’ and ’St George’ is the pace

of its directing: in ’St George’ a single majestic take leads the viewer

from cod corporate video to epic feature film. We are well aware that we

are being sold to, but we rather like it because, in return, we are

royally entertained. In the case of ’shepherds’, however, the Tango

currency is devalued because the film seems to be trying too hard to

entertain; it’s clever-clever rather than clever.



I should say at this point that ’shepherds’ is more of a severe

disappointment than an outright howler. It would never have made it into

Campaign’s new Turkey of the Week slot (see p21), which we have

introduced by popular demand, believe it or not, in a genuine attempt to

point out the places where the business can and should do better. We

solemnly promise not to vie with each other for extreme nastiness and

vitriol in paying off old scores - we’ll leave that to our Private View

reviewers.