Executive creative director,
CHI & Partners
The new Ikea "beds" spot is a very prettily made thing indeed. I could wax lyrical for some time about how delicately beautiful the grade is, how the excellent sound design perfectly captures the imagined, bird-like flutter of cotton sheets snapping in the wind a mile above the earth, the tightness of the edit, the subtlety of the post… But, despite all this, the portentousness of the voice-over drives me absolutely batshit. Shakespeare? On an ad for Ikea? That piled-high, fluro-coloured furniture shed where young couples without a huge amount of disposable income viciously bicker over whether to buy the "Femen Vag" shower curtain or the "Stenklover" duvet cover? The commercial is a beautiful and persuasive enough thing as it is without such an unnecessary, awkwardly pretentious addition. Unless, of course, I’m missing a bold marketing makeover, here. Maybe this is just a clever attempt to de-pikey the store whose Edmonton opening was famously celebrated by the locals with a stabby riot over £5 "Skanka" frying pans. It’s not such a bad idea, when you think about it. I’ve spent the past 25 years unsuccessfully trying to wipe Portsmouth off the soles of my shoes. Perhaps if I wrote the rest of this Private View in cod-Shakespearean bullshit, I could convince people that I’m all proper middle-class now, innit. Worth a punt…
Frailty, thy name is Greenpeace.
Puffed with pomp and ill-wrought sorrow
As bawbling Lego beasts and men
Are drowned ’neath piteous tides of blackened oil.
The whole clothed in such wretched music of forceful melancholy
That it doth make a countenance more in laughter than in sorrow.
Oh! thou unsavoury hill of flesh, thou dissembling bed-presser,
Thou art but an ape of creative idleness.
Him Indoors, so sweet of tooth as would dine ’pon naught but Haribo,
Doth taste all wine as wretched vinegar
Yet hath immortal longings for drowsy syruped Chambord.
Such sugared lust shall be inflamed beyond fortune by this:
A many-coloured nonsense, laid on with fair wit and womanish wile,
A triumphant trifle, well-told.
Football, thy ragged chants and barbarous ceremonies art both direful and horrid to mine ear.
And so this BT spectacle, furnish’d with such crown’d heads of League
Basely instructed to stiffen sinew and summon blood to ungallant rivalry
Is thus a dull and muddy-mettled rascal to mine confounded eye,
Forgot as soon as done.
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child living dully sluggardised at home.
As doth the National Trust beseech:
Out, damned child! Out, I say!
But naught may come of such grand philosophies, however well-intended,
If so softly spoken as to be unheard by unbaked and doughy youth;
Such beef-witted strategy hath not so much brain as ear-wax.
'Comedy' Dave Vitty
Founding partner, Stripey Horse
A diverse selection of ads this week that are poles apart. No pun intended, by the way, with regards to Greenpeace’s opposition to Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, and Lego’s partnership with the petrochemicals giant. Warner Bros originally insisted that Greenpeace remove its parody of The Lego Movie from YouTube, but has now said it can put it back up, so I’m guessing they’re all friends again now – which is nice. Leaving the politics to one side, I think the Greenpeace ad is well-produced and very powerful in what it’s trying to say. I particularly like the part at 1.04 mins, where it looks like Kelly Osbourne is sinking in a boat full of oil, although I’m not aware of Greenpeace’s opposition to Kelly Osbourne, or any of the Osbourne family, for that matter.
I think I’d like to see the Chambord ad done again, this time with people who’ve drunk half a bottle of the raspberry liqueur trying to stand on one leg like a flamingo. I would imagine bof (meaning "OK" or "whatever" in French, apparently) would again be the correct word. Perhaps this could be a viral sensation, launching the brand into the homes of binge-drinking mums across the UK, stood on one leg watching TOWIE with a glass of Chambord in one hand and a bag of Doritos in the other. #Bof!
Ikea’s cinematic and dreamy splash featuring the Prunella Scales voiceover is simply stunning. Beautiful in every way and conveying a real sense of luxury and a stamp of quality for the brand. I even like the flying dog in it, and I’m not a massive fan of dogs generally. I like this a lot, though, and it’s certainly my favourite from the selection for this week.
I’m not sure what I wanted to do before I was 11-and-three-quarters given that it’s more than ten years ago now. I think I was probably more interested in The Dukes Of Hazzard or becoming a motorcycle cop like Poncherello in CHiPs rather than rolling down a really big hill or catching a fish with a net. That said, the National Trust ads are lovely to look at, simplistic and effective in their messaging, and give you a warm glow. My auntie Edna would definitely like them, which is always a thumbs-up for wholesome goodness on the telly.
By contrast, as far as the BT Sport "unbelievable" ad is concerned, the most unbelievable thing is that they’ve chosen to use all 58 seconds of their airtime to eulogise about Liverpool. As an Everton season-ticket holder, I think I’d rather spend my entire Saturday afternoon receiving invasive root-canal surgery or perhaps visiting Legoland in the rain with Jedward and Piers Morgan than watching the Kopites win 5-0 but, then again, I may be unfairly partisan. Possibly.