Creative partner, Havas Work Club
Rust Cohle tells me: "Time is a flat circle."
So to compare Land Rover’s "can and will" to Channel 4’s "meet the superhumans" is understandable, if a little unfair, given the latter was riding the post-Olympics wave. But where "meet the superhumans" was an ad I appreciated viscerally, "can and will" is an ad I appreciate professionally.
It’s well-built. Strong purpose. Authentic characters. Ownable message. But, ironically, it doesn’t go far enough – the visceral thing. It’s partly film craft, but mostly innovation. I would like to see Land Rover listen more to its own story and start to innovate how advertising itself could go above and beyond. The brand has that potential.
Apple is also finding wormholes in space-time, mixing "the youth fitness song" from Kennedy’s 60s physical fitness programme with a motivational demo film starring today’s mobile-augmented humanoid.
Apple’s schtick has always been to show off the tech product. Now it shows off tech people using the tech product. It’s appropriately hard-working. A fit TV ad.
But, again, for such a bleeding-edge tech brand promoting wearable utility witchcraft and the quantified self for a more healthy, happy human, is it too much to expect more than a glossy demo reel?
I honestly first thought it was Shatner driving this National Express coach. But it’s actually Soul. I’ve no idea why. Wait – a quick search reveals it was a number-one hit for David in 1977. 70s cop show meets Top Of The Pops meets the opening credits of Midnight Cowboy. It’s charming and makes me smile.
The cynic in me understands that this is a cloaking device. Masking a much less charming reality. And I could argue that National Express would be better off spending its money on service rather than emotion.
But I’m in danger of laying all my industry desires on one TV spot with an eagle in it. Also, I’ve not been on a coach in years. So what do I know? It’s only a TV ad, after all. A nice one.
I was initially struggling to wrestle this Adidas piece into my writing theme. I like that it is really on-brand – all in. The story, the players, the budget. All in. But it just doesn’t feel fresh enough. I have a sense of déjà vu.
A friend recently said to me that writing the hits is getting harder and harder, and I think this work is testament to that. There is nothing really wrong here, except the formula has had a long season.
Lastly, a press ad starring a cartoon brand character from 1973 with a message dating back to 1839. To judge it fairly in its medium, I really know I’m looking at a Tetley ad and the message of quality and heritage is strong and sweet.
And so, dear time traveller, we arrive back in present-day San Dimas. Has anyone seen the internet? It seems we have misplaced it among this week’s work. No digital, mobile, service, disruption. No innovation.
What year is it?
Founder and director,
I don’t come to this Private View in the best of moods. England have just been knocked out of the World Cup finals again – only, this time, in world-record time after playing just two games. From a young age, my feelings for the England team have been fairly ambivalent. After all, they did completely manage to balls up what was destined to be the most important day of my life – 30 July 1966. The day I was to be recognised as a man… the day of my bar mitzvah. The bastards made it to the final at Wembley on that very same Saturday. The one time ever and it clashes head-on with my bloody bar mitzvah. Of the guests invited, only 23 showed up. Of those, 12 left early, leaving 11 people with a running buffet for 150 – that’s a lot of gefilte fish balls! They shattered my dreams that day and, by some cruel twist of fate, have managed to screw up every World Cup since.
By now, you must be wondering what any of this has to do with my Private View. Well, maybe there’s the odd lesson to be learned by The Football Association in this week’s crop of commercials.
Sack Roy Hodgson and replace him with Fernando Meirelles. For those who have never heard of him, he is better known in film than football. He is the acclaimed director of City Of God and also the man responsible for the best commercial this week: "the wake up call", the full-length version of the Adidas 2014 Fifa World Cup commercial. This is a beautifully crafted spot – I’ve never seen footballers perform better. Maybe he could work his directorial magic with the England team. Go on, Mr Dyke, sign him.
Next, I suggest The FA replaces the England team’s coach (driver) with David Soul. He played Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson in the classic American cop show Starsky & Hutch and he has part-exchanged his 70s red-and-white Ford Gran Torino for a gleaming National Express coach.
Isobel has created a charming, tongue-in-cheek spoof, with Soul serenading his passengers with his hit Silver Lady. Surely a good old-fashioned charabanc singalong en route to every World Cup match would lift team spirits.
Replace the oranges at half-time with Apples. According to the latest Apple spot, you can now monitor and evaluate your fitness/progress with the iPhone 5s. Imagine Hodgson’s relief at not having to bollock his team at half-time; thanks to Apple technology, he can now leave that to their iPhone 5s. I particularly like the use of music in this spot: they have revived the track Chicken Fat that, interestingly, was used to promote youth fitness in the US in the early 60s. Chicken fat and fitness? Go figure!
There’s nothing a nice cup of Tetley can’t solve. I doubt very much an entire nation’s frustration of not making it to a World Cup final in 48 years is one of them.
Roy of the Land Rovers. My football jokes are running thin now. But if I had my way, I would make the latest Land Rover commercial /documentary compulsory viewing in every school and football academy in the country. After 48 years of "can’t do", it’s great to have someone saying "can do". The message in this spot couldn’t be timelier. I salute the agency, the creatives, the client and the director, because we can and we will again.
If, on the other hand, all the above fail… the entire readership of Campaign are cordially invited to Paul Weiland’s second bar mitzvah on 13 July 2018. Save the date.