Chairman and director of creativity, Havas Worldwide London
Can you imagine anything more disgusting than waking up next to an older woman? Like most reasonable men steeped in the Western liberal tradition, I would rather cut my cock off. This universal truth is harnessed by the cosmetics brand Über to alienate pretty much all of its target market with this unpleasant online film in which a young stud is fooled into shagging an older lady by her flawless complexion.
I’m sure this spot is a hoax and there’s no such brand as Über, but that only makes the "gag" more offensive.
A lot of attention on a small budget is also the aim of Peta. Previously, this organisation’s use of a naked supermodel rocking a peeled mink as an accessory has looked so impossibly chic that it has perhaps proved counterproductive. No chance of that here with a series of wildlife documentary out-takes featuring ruminants in coitus. Although the naughty parts are rather coyly pixelated, you might, at first viewing, think the message is that wearing these animals as coats is a bad thing, but wearing them as cock puppets is perfectly acceptable. Certainly, it’s a braver man than I who approaches a lady rhino from behind with lustful intent. Yet this is no casual invitation to bestiality but a reminder that herbivores have bigger sex drives than carnivores. I don’t know that this fascinating aperçu will stop people being beastly to beasts, but I do wish someone would tell next door’s dog.
The cold winds of austerity have also been blowing through the coffers of The Prince’s Trust, which can only afford a locked-off camera and two "yoofs" to beg reappraisal of the image of young people in Britain today. The yoofs quote old newspaper headlines to illustrate that our distrust of teenagers goes back a long way. This is an interesting, rather than persuasive, observation and goes no way to stopping me crossing the road when the hoodies of Primrose Hill bar my path.
Like all reasonable men steeped in the Western liberal tradition, I loathe and detest cyclists. I hate their wispy beards and sense of entitlement. But, most of all, I hate their buttocks. Insulated though I am by the leather-lined interior of my Jaguar XJS John Player Special, I have to endure these Lycra-skinned boudins noirs thrust in my face at every turn on my daily commute. It’s just rude. The final onset of spring turns London into Hanoi and convinces flabby, pale men that they’re Sir Bradley Wiggins. Evans Cycles is just one of the companies riding our two-wheeled boom and, in this simple spot, invites cyclists to trade in their old boneshaker for a shiny new one. The £100 offer is so clear and compelling, I wondered whether it couldn’t have been expressed with more immediacy in ten seconds.
All this nonsense leaves me with a little less space to describe the latest object lesson from Volkswagen.
VW driver drives baby round the block to get her to go to sleep. Unfortunately, the stop/start technology keeps switching off the engine at traffic lights, thus waking baby. Understated, human and true, this minor negative brilliantly sets up the major positive of saving lots of fuel.
Many modern cars have this technology, but I doubt you have had it presented to you in such an original and engaging way. Will all those producers of shouty-bollocks car ads with testosterone-fuelled VOs written in shit please take note?
Chief executive, Weapon7
Well, fingers crossed, it seems like the weather has finally improved and we are free from the bitter clutches of winter at last. We’ve seen an unprecedented number of barbecues. Every man, woman and badger was outside, furiously lighting charcoal and, in true British style, we have overdone it. England is peppered with scorched red faces and peeling noses. So, which ads this week are the succulent chargrilled cuts, and which are the cremated horsemeat sausages? Should there be any more red faces in adland as a result of this picnic of creativity?
Well, there should certainly be none at Adam & Eve/DDB. In Volkswagen’s "Think Blue", we witness a charming scene. One that, as a father of three, I am all too familiar with. That special bonding that occurs when the little… angel refuses to go to sleep and the only thing for it is to drive them around in the car. A fail-safe last resort. That is, unless you have one of the new VW cars, which cut the engine off every time you come to a stop, causing the little… darling to wake up and start crying again. It is well-observed and wonderfully executed. The look on the driver’s face is priceless and it is sure to make people chuckle, whether or not they have kids.
Also well worthy of high praise is The Prince’s Trust’s "bad press" by CHI & Partners – an excellent piece of work. It uses the simple device of two modern youths reciting soundbites from various publications dating back as far as 1817. These excerpts paint a bleak picture of the "youthful ruffians", referring to them as a "nuisance to the community" with a "desire to do evil". It ends on a Daily Mail quotation from 2011 that doesn’t sound out of place alongside this inflammatory Dickensian prose; it asserts that the youths of today are "essentially wild beasts – bereft of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong". The spot ends with the line: "Young people have always had a bad press. Don’t write them off." A truly inspiring piece of work that really highlights the difference that The Prince’s Trust can make to some people’s lives.
These next two pieces of work are fine. In barbecue terms, standard fare. You wouldn’t go hungry, but you wouldn’t be queuing up for seconds.
"Über cougar", the online ad for the cosmetics brand Über, makes a simple point. We see a young man waking up in another woman’s bed. However, there are signs that she is, like that Daily Mail quotation, from another era. Finally, we see the back of an elderly woman. A great-grandma, no less! However, she has the face of a 30-year-old.
"The great Evans Cycles trade-in" is a campaign to get people to hand in their old bikes in exchange for £100 towards a new one. It is simple, it’s bound to be effective and I like it. No Heston Blumenthal, but a good solid burger nonetheless.
Last, the vegan option: this online ad for Peta, "do it like they do", works from the premise that "vegans have a bigger sexual appetite" – and, to prove this, it has edited together a load of virile "vegan" animals to the soundtrack of Teddy Bears’ Picnic. This ad doesn’t work for me. Most of those animals look like they’d be delicious roasted over the hot coals.
I know whose barbecue I’d rather be invited to.