And then Campaign sent me these.
First out of the happy sack is McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It". I'm sure you've all seen this by now, the world's most expensive mood tape, trying to act all street by dropping the "G" in the strapline and looking instead as uncomfortable and unstreet as an aged creative director in a Puffa jacket. It is truly horrible, global advertising wearing its most unappetising face, and I'm Fuckin' Hatin' It, to use the McD vernacular.
What next? Ah, bollocks. The Economist. Now, I know that to diss the AMV massif (sorry, stuck in McD Street Jive) is to bring down the wrath of Mr Souter, but I really cannot abide Economist posters. Maybe ten years ago I was faintly impressed by the confident, witty puns that made this poster campaign so justly famous in the 90s. But this is a decade on. And still the weary lines creak their way from the gleaming halls of Marylebone Road and on to the poster sites. Surely there is more insight and wit to be had for a brand as great as The Economist than slapping "Better than botox for furrowed brows" on to a red background and hoping it'll do? Sorry, Peter, I'm sure they will win lots of awards.
Next up, the new Renault Scenic TV spot. It is a very nicely shot television commercial for a car.
Now, then. A poster for The Priory, where all the rich people go to get over their prohibitively expensive addictions. Which basically means it is one of them there charity ads. It seems that creatives approach briefs like this in one of two ways: they either use the medium to provoke and inform, properly addressing the problem under discussion and getting people to do something about it, or they write ads to dazzle sentimental awards juries. This particular example falls uncomfortably between the two stools, and twists its ankle really badly.
In the new M&S ad, we watch various ad people ponce about as they talk/sing to the tune of That's Amore about the joys of owning an M&S credit card, and what they can spunk their reward points on (... sushi rolls, faux-fur throws and Swiss cheese with holes ...), like an achingly middle-class version of The Streets doing a cover of a Dean Martin song. I feel weary after watching it.
And finally. Out of my Campaign-sent jiffy-bag a sad, battered-looking VHS with a hastily scrawled label on it that (alarmingly, after all the ghastly nonsense I've just been reviewing) reads "VW Bollocks".
And the ad is delightful - beautifully cast and deftly directed, classic BMP "elegant rug-pull" stuff. We see a little girl tumbling her way through life, muttering "bollocks" to herself every time she screws up, until we reveal that she's only copying Dad's expressive vocabulary as he keeps on bollocksing-up by filling his new VW diesel with four star. It makes me smile, and I wish I'd done it, and I'd like to thank BMP for leaving me in the roseate glow of some truly lovely advertising.
I am suffused with Light and Love and Happiness again.
Project: Priory Group
Client: Mark Beadle, chief operating officer
Brief: Launch new range of addiction treatments provided at Priory
Writer: James Moody
Art directors: Kerr/Noble
Exposure: National press
Project: & More
Client: Nick Bowyer, head of marketing, M&S Money
Brief: Generate excitement around the launch of & More, M&S's new reward
Writer: Pip Bishop
Art director: Chris Hodgkiss
Director: Carl Prechezer
Production company: 2am film
Exposure: National TV
Project: Brand launch
Brief: Revitalise worldwide marketing at the Golden Arches
Agency: Heye & Partner
Writer: Andreas Forberger
Art director: Markus Lange
Director: James Brown
Production company: Stink
Project: The Economist
Client: Jacqui Kean, marketing manager
Brief: The Economist helps you stay one step ahead
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writers: Diane Leaver ("botox"), Andy McAnaney ("meeting of minds")
Art directors: Simon Rice ("botox"), Christian Sewell ("meeting of
Typographer: John Tisdall
Exposure: National posters
Project: Renault Scenic "park the TV"
Client: Chris White, manager, communications marketing
Brief: Scenic as a catalyst for activity
Writer: Adam Kean
Art director: Alex Taylor
Director: Joe Public
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: National and satellite TV
Project: VW "bollocks"
Client: Alan Doyle, communications manager, big cars
Brief: Illustrate that VW diesels are as good as petrol engines
Agency: BMP DDB
Writers: Dan Hubert, Amber Casey
Art directors: Dan Hubert, Amber Casey
Director: Jackie Oudney
Production company: Bliss Films