First up is a commercial for the Halifax. One of those with the bespectacled bank clerk. As we're bound to end up pitching against the agency behind this at some point, I feel it prudent to ignore the fact that it's a rather successful and popular campaign. I could resort to something like "I'd rather have my eyes scooped out than be made to watch it more than once", but I fear my strategy would be showing. Instead, I'll simply say that while the animation adds interest, the interest rates and legal supers don't.
Sod branding or trying to steal share off Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy has gone for an all-out special effects extravaganza. The world's smallest woman sunbathes on someone's arm, then pops up on the surface of the sun as she explains that every year ten million of us get sunburn, 65,000 of us develop skin cancer and that Lloyds sells only protection factor 15 and above. While not an exemplary piece of positioning, there's no need to be nasty about this.
The rest of the industry will do it for me. So I can play the nice guy and congratulate them for having a go.
In the Mercedes range film, the world's finest humans meet the world's finest automobiles. Now this is by a new agency that's doing far too well already and, friends or no friends, I'm buggered if I want to give them any more help. But I have to say, this is a work of genius. I have to say that, of course, since I don't really fancy being confronted down some dark Soho side street by an immaculately tailored, yet potentially lethal, six-foot Irishman, who could very easily crush my hand "by accident" during one of his unusual handshakes.
Next, some press and posters for the National Benefit Fraud hotline. Apparently, a member of the agency behind these gave an impassioned speech on behalf of one of our ads at a recent awards judging. So the least I can do is not be too mean about this campaign. Let's move on to the next one.
My five-year-old son Felix hasn't the faintest idea what the latest Audi ad is all about. (But then I only asked him so he gets a name check.) A man lobs fluffy dice, a nodding dog and an easy listening CD on to a bonfire, smiles to himself and then drives off. It ends with the line: "New attitude. New Audi A3." Forget that it seems to be saying "Your old Audi's naff. Flog it quick and get a new cool one", the fact that it's been done, I believe, by a team we've been trying to hire means it gets ten out of ten on the Collins-o-meter. You've got my number, guys.
Finally, a campaign for McVities which employs the oldest technique known to advertising man: "Product so good, people want to nick it." It appears the team didn't stay late enough to need any a:m snacks while working on this one. Still, I'm sure that new Studzinski bloke will sort them out. He's doing well, isn't he? Worth keeping in with I reckon.
Right. Photo in Campaign. Profile upped. Enemies made. And all in 600 words.
Client: Simon Oldfield, general manager, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars
Brief: Consolidate and enhance perceptions of Mercedes-Benz as the
leading manufacturer of premium cars
Agency: Campbell Doyle Dye
Writer: Walter Campbell
Art director: Walter Campbell
Director: Ivan Bird
Production company: Serious Pictures
Exposure: National TV, cinema and online
Project: Launch of McV a:m range
Client: Emma Mansfield, marketing general manager
Brief: Generate awareness and drive trial of the new McV a:m range
Writer: Andy Jones
Art director: Scott Sparks
Director: James Griffiths
Production company: Another Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Client: David George, communications marketing manager
Brief: Establish the Audi A3 as the sportiest prestige car in the
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Jon Fox
Art director: Rik Brown
Director: Nikolai Fusilig
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: European TV
Client: Mark Green, commercial director
Brief: Communicate Lloyds Pharmacy's ethical stance on suncare products
Writer: Mark Prime
Art director: Lee Hanson
Director: Peter Giorgi
Production company: Rogue Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Halifax Savings
Client: Chris Mawson, head of brands marketing
Brief: Communicate that Halifax offers much better value in savings
versus the competition
Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
Writer: Malcolm Green
Art director: Gary Betts
Director: Numero Six
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: National TV
DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS
Project: National Benefit Fraud
Clients: Liz Kettle, senior information office, DWP; John Hosier, senior
campaign manager, COI Communications
Brief: Highlight the expertise and new powers within the fraud
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Steve Boswell, Richard Lamb-Hughes
Art directors: Steve Drysdale, Richard Holmes
Photographer: Alan Grainger
Typographer: Mark Cakebread
Exposure: National and local press, posters, bus interiors