PRIVATE VIEW: Eric Silver, Cliff Freeman & Partners

Campaign asked if I would contribute to Private View. I agreed and I was sent some back issues so I could see how this review thing worked.

From what I can tell this opening section usually consists of clever witticisms from a creative director that a) reassure the ad community that he or she is exceedingly brilliant by using words such as "oeuvre" and b) chew up some of the daunting word count.

I'm currently running a little low in the "clever witticisms department but I will note that England's advertising, currently, appears to be kicking much butt over America's offerings. I'd also like to add, I'm not smart. So if I review any of your work unfavourably, please keep in mind, it's not you - it's me.

"We produce an energy that's reliable, clean, and efficient. This statement is followed by a series of shots typical of an alternative energy company. As the commercial unfolds, we learn the energy source is for people. The misdirect for Weetabix cereal works fairly well for the opening spot but a couple of ensuing ten-second spots, including a gentleman in a Weetabix truck asking some Central Electric workers if they need a hand, reveal there may be trouble sustaining the premise.

Next we have Samuel L Jackson walking toward the camera emitting financial prose and metaphors for Barclays. "This little piggy went to market. He had a monkey on his shoulder and a skip in his step. On the way he met a matador ... And though it takes a couple of viewings to fully understand all the dialogue, these spots are thoroughly captivating. Jackson was an inspired choice. He is accompanied by beautiful cinematography and perfect music; wrapped in a really simple idea. The tagline is: "Money speaks in many languages. We understand them all. In my humble opinion, this campaign succeeds on the highest level - you honestly find yourself thinking about it the next day. Bravo.

The AA's work is visually engaging and definitely a brave attempt at bringing the staid insurance industry to life. Though by the end of the commercial, where a woman queries if she is insured against the damage from her husband putting up shelves, the intrigue has lost a bit of steam.

The spot, literally, illustrates all the different kinds of insurance offered. So conceptually it's a bit empty but, at least, the film looked cool.

Budweiser gets judged against a higher bar in that it, along with Nike, has been one of the few big corporations to break the mould and try fairly adventurous stuff (at least in the US). In support of the 2002 World Cup, Budweiser introduces a series of spots showing us the rules of watching football with friends - i.e. how not to lose your seat when getting up to go to the loo. I like the Traktor-style look and feel of the spots, I just wish the gags were a little fresher.

On to print. The line is: "Love the sun? You can with Coppertone. The visuals are of shady scenarios with a swathe of sunshine highlighting people enjoying outdoor activities by the beach or pool. Not terrible.

But not terribly interesting either.

I thought the THINK! campaign for the Department For Transport was really provocative. Each ad looks like graphics from a computer game. Upon further inspection we learn all the visuals are the same: A kid being struck by a car. This is accompanied by the words: "Game over, "0 lives left and "You lose. I was informed this is a government initiative to make teenagers more aware of road safety. My only issue was the line on the bottom stating: "Traffic is the biggest single killer of 12- to 16-year-olds. It makes the ad feel like it's talking at the target - rather than to them. But, as I said up front, I'm not smart.

Godspeed you wacky advertising types and have fun at Cannes.

Copywriter Eric Silver is the executive creative director at Cliff Freeman & Partners in New York, the agency behind last year's Cannes Grand Prix-winning ads for the Fox Sports Network.

Project: The AA
Client: Clare Salmon, marketing director
Brief: Reposition the AA as a brand that can help you in many ways - not
just at the side of the road
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer: Simon Dicketts
Art director: Fergus Flemming
Director: Kevin Thomas
Production company: Thomas Thomas
Exposure: National TV

Project: Weetabix
Client: Bill Humes, commercial director
Brief: Give those people who have drifted out of the habit of buying and
eating Weetabix a reason to believe in the brand again
Agency: Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB Writer: David Alexander
Art director: Rob Fletcher
Director: Mike Stephenson
Production company: Moon
Exposure: National TV

Project: Coppertone brand
Client: Paul Phelan, European business manager
Brief: Relaunch Coppertone Suncare
Agency: WCRS
Writer: Matt Woolner
Art director: Steve Wioland
Typographer: Doug Foreman
Photographer: Max Forsythe
Exposure: Women's weeklies and monthlies

Project: Budweiser "rituals"
Client: Randall Blackford, marketing director
Brief: Raise awareness of Bud's sponsorship of the World Cup by
highlighting that there are as many humorous rules to watching a game of
football (with beer) as to playing it on the pitch
Agency: BMP DDB
Writer: Simon Veksner
Art director: Nick Allsop
Director: Peluca
Production company: Brave
Exposure: National TV

Project: Barclays brand
Client: Simon Gulliford, group marketing director
Brief: Position Barclays as the money experts
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers: Marc Hatfield, Pete Bradly
Art directors: Marc Hatfield, Pete Bradly
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Production company: Academy
Exposure: National TV

Project: Teenage Road Safety
Client: Tony Allsworth, head of transport publicity
Brief: Raise the awareness of teenage road safety by using teenage
gaming venacular in a way that children could really identify with and
engage in
Agency: D'Arcy
Writer: Andy Bunday
Art director: Jon Lilley
Graphics and illustration: Me Company
Exposure: Nationally through local Road Safety Officers


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