Pensions are hard things to sell but this week Norwich Union is having a go. There are two ads in the series, one featuring a 43-year-old woman telling us she still wants to act like a 17-year-old. In the other, a dad is talking about how his son will grow up. They both end with the thought: "Ready for tomorrow?" I think in a tough sector like this, this is pretty intelligent advertising. The scripts are well and emphatically written and nicely directed. I'm not sure how well branded a campaign this is but I'm sure Millward Brown will have the answer to that soon enough.
I have to admit I've been quite a fan of what Naresh and Dave have done for Ikea. It's been quirky and original and has done a lot to build what is, after all, a warehouse full of cheap furniture into a great brand.
The new campaign idea is "Elite designers against Ikea", which, as a thought, is a pretty good one. I much prefer the posters to the press ads. The posters work in a quick silly kind of way that we've come to expect from Ikea. The press ads just seem laboured and old-fashioned, I'm not sure they benefit from the headlines and body copy.
I saw the print for the new Clarks campaign a couple of weeks ago while flicking through a magazine and thought it was toe-curlingly dreadful. It featured a model walking down a street claiming "Nottingham is my New York" while wearing a dodgy pair of shoes.
I was filled with woe when I heard I had to review the TV work in the campaign. How could I possibly think of something nice to say about it.
Well I needn't have worried. This TV is absolutely charming. The casting is great, the tracks are good and even some of the shoes aren't bad.
Ford started to position the Mondeo as a safe family car, as far as I know, last year, with that really charming Tom and Jerry ad. The new ad set in a kind of hi-tech Finding Nemo world continues that theme but unfortunately someone forgot to press the charm button.
Now, last year, WCRS made 118 118 the most famous number in the country with some great advertising. So you can see why Phones4U beat a path to its door. These work in the same kind of way as 118 118, it's all about remembering the name. But instead of two runners, we have a bloke with a kind of Ted-Rogers-on-acid hand signal. Now this may not have the charm of the 118 118 campaign yet but I did see it on telly the other night and it does stand out like the proverbial dog's. In today's cluttered market that's more than half the battle.
I didn't really mean to leave this one till last, but I forgot probably because I was dreading it. There are six executions in the Carb Options campaign. The only thing of note I can think to write about them is that they are consistently dreadful.
Sorry to end on a downer but, all in all, a pretty good bunch this week.
Project: "Elite designers against Ikea"
Client: Frances Evans, external communications manager
Brief: Support the Ikea brand over the next three years against
ambitious sales growth
Writer: Naresh Ramchandani
Art directors: Dave Buonaguidi, Michael Roberts
Photographer: Henrik Halvarsson
Typographer: Jess Asparagus
Exposure: National six- and 48-sheet and Underground posters, national
press weekend supplements
Project: "Right now"
Clients: John Kitson, marketing director; Sally Shire, director of
marketing, strategy and communications
Brief: Encourage people not to put off financial decision-making
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Nigel Roberts
Art director: Paul Belford
Director: Daniel Barber
Production company: Rose Hackney Barber
Exposure: National TV
Project: Carb Options
Client: Andrew Telford, marketing manager
Brief: Launch Carb Options as a simple, moderate solution for food
lovers who want to watch their carb intake
Agency: FCB London
Writer: Graham Pugh
Art director: Chris Walker
Photographer: Harriet Logan
Typographer: Martin Crockatt
Exposure: Monthlies, weeklies, cross-tracks, six- and 16-sheet posters
Client: Suk Grewal, head of brand and communications
Brief: Build awareness and consideration of Phones4U
Writer: Steve Little
Art director: Andy Dibb
Director: Brian Baderman
Production company: All Films
Exposure: National TV, cinema
Project: "Sea creatures" Ford Mondeo
Client: Steve Hood, marketing director, Ford of Britain
Brief: Launch the Mondeo ST TDCi, strengthening Mondeo's overall safety
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Writer: Dave Williams
Art director: Paul Burch
Director: Stuart Douglas
Production company: @radical.media
Exposure: National TV
Project: Clarks autumn/winter brand 2004
Client: Ted Hart, head of UK consumer marketing
Brief: Reinforce Clarks' positioning as an everyday fashion brand and
communicate the autumn/winter range
Agency: St Luke's
Writer: Andy Drugan
Art director: Simon Friedberg
Director: Steve Hudson
Production company: Outsider
Exposure: National TV