GOLLY GOSH AND BLIMEY, I AM IN SUCH A STONKINGLY GOOD MOOD!
It’s Monday morning and I’m grinning. Grinning and laughing. I suspect there are some who think the early onset dementia has taken hold. Or some form of Tourette’s. I’ve been grinning since about 5.50pm on Saturday after the gazillionaires of Man Ure had shown that, for all their sparkling individual talents, as a collective they most definitely couldn’t do it on a wet, windy Saturday afternoon in Stoke. So, thanks to The Mighty Rip-Roaring Potters, my heart is full of joy, forgiveness and SO much love for the world, I just know I’m going to love EVERYTHING this week.
And there’s SO much to love in the Jaguar F-Type blockbuster. I love Sir Ben Kingsley even more than I love Charlie Adam. I’ve loved him since Sexy Beast and, boy, was he hard to love in that. I love the line, I love Mark Strong, Tom Hiddleston and the director, Tom Hooper. I love the budget. Boy, do I REALLY love the budget. And I love the Jaguar F-Type Coupé. I mean, I’d LOVE one. Who wouldn’t?
That is one glittering car. And the ad has got one glittering cast. A Man Ure of a cast. And, like Man Ure these days, I suspect the Americans are probably the primary target market. I think they’re gonna LOVE it. Me? I don’t love the sum quite as much as the parts due largely, I think, to the lack of a script as stellar as those glittering, fizzing effervescent parts. Not getting a Hollywood scriptwriter in to write for that cast and crew is a bit like getting David Moyes in to manage Man Ure…
Sorry. Happiness Tourette’s again. On a Zth of the budget, the stars of Jaguar have been bested by the all-for-one-and-one-for-all attitude of Sainsbury’s Active Kids. Everyone has played a blinder on this. Love the casting, the direction, the script. Sweet.
Sweet baby Jeebus, I love the BBC almost as much as I love Asmir Begovic! The BBC is my second-favourite team EVER!
I am BURSTING with love for these guys. No-one does a national event better. Royal weddings, Noel’s House Party, Wimbledon, Strictly, Call The Midwife – when it comes to illuminating a great occasion, national institution or historical event, who you gonna call? AUNTIE! That’s who. And she has lined up some fantastic "original dramas, documentaries and perspectives" to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War. The commercial holds true to its core Reithian values and promises entertainment, education and information aplenty via snippets of programmes to come, all spliced together around a young man watching them on his tablet to a haunting soundtrack. Trust me, you’ll love the ad more than my description of it.
SAD BIT ALERT! I don’t know if there’s enough love in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD to console the team lumbered with the Nissan "#UniteAndExcite" brief. Those poor, POOR babies. Everyone involved has poured every ounce of blood, guts and love they can muster into this, but the brief needed more love way before it hit the creative department. You have my sympathy.
I LOVE a pun. And I love, love, love Virgin Holidays’ "THE #TANUARY SALE". If any of today’s bunch are gonna do it on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon at Stoke, it’s these. Well played, everyone – a single-minded brief, a great visual joke beautifully executed, the minimum of fuss and blether AND A TANTASTIC PUN. LOVELY!
Lean Mean Fighting Machine
I’m nine years old, walking down a dimly lit corridor towards our family hotel room. Opposite our room, another door is ajar. Intrigued, I peak inside… and there he lies: naked. Limp. Lifeless. I’d only ever seen him with a fist shoved up his arse. Now there was no fist in sight – just big, dead eyes and green feathers: Orville the Duck.
That evening forever changed the way I looked at Saturday-night television.
And thus I am shoehorning a true, but unrelated, story into a parable about what makes good advertising.
I’m even giving this parable its own phrase: "De-fisting the Orville" – when an ad radically and permanently changes how you perceived the product/brand.
Jaguar. Most enjoyable. Our car manufacturing industry has taken an almighty hammering over the years, to the extent that we don’t really have one. But this is big, bold and leaves Arthur Daley’s XJ6 spluttering dust. With hands firmly on the wheel, it handbrake-turns my perception of Jaguar. Orville’s arse is firmly plugged and locked in the boot.
Nissan. Super-dramatic, great to look at, no bad thing. But then, all this drama, all this suspense and you look at the car and it kills it. It’s like shooting the sex scene in Out Of Sight with J-Lo but, instead of cutting to Clooney, we get Ken Dodd fiddling with his tickling stick (sorry, I’m stuck in the 80s). Tough, I know – what are you supposed to do? But there must be a balance of hyperbole that doesn’t leave you wishing it was a different car. It just doesn’t fit. Unlike Chris Hoy’s triumphant fist in the air, snug as a bug in an Orville.
Virgin Holidays. Simple, cheeky and quickly makes the point. But, looking at some of the comments online (which I doubt I would have done if not reviewing), it has caused a bit of a stink. "Thoughtless to skin cancer victims." Well, to me, it seemed obviously a gag, making fun of, not condoning, the behaviour. If anything, I’d have probably sun-blocked the (now mandatory) hashtag but, apart from that, Orville will have to make do with just a couple of fingers.
Sainsbury’s. I think Luke Chadwick was as good as, if not a better player than, Beckham. But imagine Chadders in the Calvin Klein ad or driving the Olympic speedboat. Ruins the lot, doesn’t it. Looks, you see, transcend everything: talent, even speech. But Beckham is a national treasure, and he don’t half work hard. So this ad just feels like another one of Beckham’s hobbies. And now he has a new one: fisting Orville so hard, he looks like a new tattoo.
BBC. Over the years, it seems we’ve all preferred the sequel. Bigger budgets, bigger bad guys. This piece, while it doesn’t move me as much as I want it to, does, without doubt, make me look forward to realising just how much we owe and how lucky we are to be living in this era. Wouldn’t you agree, Orville? "Yes, Dave… I wuv you." I really love you too, Orvy. Xx