Last time I did this, I had my cock in a vice. Literally. This time, I’m working for a new company, in the middle of a pitch, and my wife is moaning about my lack of presence at home.
So, in a more figurative way, it’s knackers to the steel once again.
But, in an unusual fit of charity, the wife has offered to write this week’s review. I told her doing this "guest review" thing is a right cliché; so is our marriage, came the reply. Tone set.
To be fair to all the work here, my wife used to be in the industry and now looks after three spawns of satan and a dog. She is bitter, twisted and jealous. I love her.
But this is the view of the mythical "normal" person, the wise one we wheel out to prove our idea is great or kill an idea we don’t like (man in the pub, how would he explain it? He’s too busy masturbating to Corrie to read your long copy etc etc).
Over to my better half…
Sony. "Made me wonder if the next series of The Bridge was out. Feels like a typical Sony ad – once coloured balls, now icy balls. The geologist in me liked the real ice-crystal formation but, overall, the ad feels sad, which it shouldn’t but it does. I imagine you need a 4K TV to really appreciate this ad. Dave, we are not getting a new TV for Christmas. End of."
Kelly Hoppen. "I have never heard of Kelly Hoppen and, after looking at that poster, I am none the wiser. I’ve just Googled her and I now know she’s the curly lady from Dragons’ Den and she sells homeware, but the poster didn’t make me do that – Private View did."
Currys PC World. "Feeling overwhelmed by all the endless stuff I need to buy for Christmas, but I won’t go to Currys – I will go to John Lewis and then check on Amazon for the best price. But it was a helpful reminder."
Samaritans. "I know people at Jam – they are lovely and I do wish them well – but that didn’t work for me. The cast have Sylvia Young written all over their pretty faces and it just didn’t feel as authentic as it needed to be to make this good. Using real people and unscripted dialogue could have made it work.
"I don’t even understand what the Samaritans are going to do – spy on kids’ Twitter feeds and help the weird, quiet ones?
"This is probably a good example of digital content getting a terrible budget and not being able to pull off something credible. If the hope is that this will go viral and be sent around by teenagers… it won’t."
Britain’s Beer Alliance. "I get this one – beer isn’t just for chavvy white blokes in the pub, it’s for old people, posh people, all the people, so many people and ladies in restaurants. Let’s be clear: beer is never going to be supped by ladies or posh people except for the odd raspberry pale ale as a novelty – we drink wine and gin. Maybe it would have worked if they had said ‘There’s a beer for that’ just one more time."
Well, there you go. Probably the wine and gin talking. Anyway, I’m off – been told my dinner’s in the dog. Cliché? Moi?
Given the sheer time and energy that we all invest in what we do, it’s long struck me as criminal that mini advertising masterpieces happen so infrequently. So how do we mitigate advertising laziness? What if we had some kind of informed authority figure, skilled in tact and diplomacy and wise beyond her years to chastise lazy work and literally punish serial advertising offenders? Through the magic of making stuff up (and a little transvestitism), I hereby (don’t) outsource this week’s Private View to television’s model of tolerance, Judge Judy…
Defendant #1: Currys PC World. Not Judge Judy says: "I like it. What can I tell you? It’s not ‘melting-my-face-off good’ (did you see Fantasia yet?), and I snoozed a little between the steam irons and the laptops, but, hey, I’m 71 and this is a gen-u-ine labour of love! Verdict? NOT GUILTY. You done good."
Defendant #2: Kelly Hoppen. Not Judge Judy: "Zzzzzzzz…Feels like visual Xanax with a Vicodin chaser. Putting a mature woman to sleep with your work – you ought to be ashamed of yourself! ‘It’s a difficult category’? What kind of a defence is that? Sure, no-one gets hot for homeware or whatever the hell it is you’re going on about, so you have to make it interesting. GUILTY OF MAKING IT ALL BORING! Bailiff, revoke their art-school degrees and take these perps down."
Defendant #3: Sony. JUDICIAL DISQUALIFICATION – Not Judge Judy abstains owing to having been approached with this project a very long time ago. In a statement, she says: "I like it. The idea is real neat. Ice bubbles? This is like shooting emotional fish in a barrel. But, hey, Mr and Mrs Director: if there’s no CGI, why do the bubbles look all CGI? If these are ‘real’, then maybe the ‘real’ bubbles needed some CGI to make them actually look real. You’re confusing people, OK? We shouldn’t even have to think about the bubbles. That’s your job, and it’s not like you had your hands full telling a story. Look, either they’re real or they ain’t, but you both gotta make your mind up! Is it nap time?"
Defendant #4: Samaritans. Not Judge Judy: "Look, which of you guys is the defendant? The movie or the app? The app is!? Then the verdict’s NOT GUILTY 100 TIMES OVER! Love everything about it. This court grants you a licence to carry on trying very hard. Period. And Mr Samaritan, next time you make a movie, we’ll make you an even shorter movie for free (maybe 60 per cent shorter unless you’re solely targeting the immobile?)."
Defendant #5: Britain’s Beer Alliance. Not Judge Judy: "You gotta love a catchphrase! Now we got: ‘There’s a beer for that.’ Ha! My husband, Jimmy, loves it already. This morning, I could hear him staggering through the house pointing at stuff like the sun lamp and the microwave, shouting: ‘There’s a beer for that!’ It seems like there’s a beer for everything now. ‘Jury duty? There’s a beer for that.’ ‘Tree surgery? There’s a beer for that.’ You English, huh! You’re so… WAIT… stenographer, read that VO back… ‘Number 42 with special fried rice’!? And set to images of a Chinese man chopping intestines and repulsed white people? Look, we can see you’re trying to be inclusive, but what gives with the edit? Cultural stereotypes, anyone? Maybe there’s a beer for editing beer commercials? Before you know it, you’re shitfaced and you’ve got beer’s own poster boy Nigel Farage doing the voiceover (you didn’t, did ya? Cos there’s a name for that…). I’m getting worried! I gotta call home… CASE DISMISSED! Jimmy, honey… You OK, baby? Grunt twice if you can hear me…"