Mike Crowe and Rob Messeter
Adam & Eve/DDB
Doing good work isn’t easy. For us, it needs to solve the client’s business problem as well as tickle our nipples. Only pay attention to the business problem and it can get a bit worthy. Too much nipple and it’s creative indulgence. You need both business and nipple. So, with that in mind, let’s see how this week’s fare fares.
First up, Original Source. A social campaign encouraging the public to decide which new variety of shower gel will be made next. Ironically, not the most original of ideas, with Walkers doing something similar a few years back. But it’s nicely done and the idea of describing a shower through just audio is intriguing. People chanting and shrieking "ginger" would make even Mick Hucknell smile as he peruses Facebook with his curlers in.
Business: Moss Bros. Nipple: Medium-soft (could do with a tweak).
Next up, Kit Kat and a welcome return to this long-running campaign. We see a classic police chase and, just when you think the game is up, both parties stop for a break before resuming the chase. Again, not the most original idea, but it’s well-written and produced, and great to see some comedy for a change (there’s only so much emotional storytelling you can take on our screens). And casting Vas Blackwood as a copper is inspired. Although we preferred him rocking an afro à la Lock Stock.
Business: TM Lewin. Nipple: Tumescent.
Land Rover is great. When most of us are thinking of cuddling up on the sofa in our onesies to watch our box set of Game Of Thrones, this idea suggests we pull on some walking boots and head outdoors instead. "Enjoy this grey and pleasant land" is a lovely thought. And, considering the current weather, couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Simple observations, nicely observed in some truly spectacular parts of Britain. And not too much car, which is exactly how a confident brand like Land Rover should behave. Sure to strike a chord with people.
Business: Armani Collezioni. Nipple: Firm but not quite the full peanut.
Tetley is back with those lovable Tea Folk, this time interrupting an alien invasion to serve up a nice brew and bring everyone together. Well, it does its job nicely, making its point in a memorable way. And, like a cuppa of the good stuff, it’s rather comforting to see another good old-fashioned comedy ad on the telly. Will it do the business for Tetley? Well, although this one ad may not be a water-cooler/Twitter sensation, a few more and it could build to a nice, Middle England-friendly campaign.
Business: Jeff Banks. Nipple: Puffy with a slight tingling.
Finally, Axe/Lynx. Wow. This doesn’t leave anything in the locker. We see various war scenarios escalating in what looks like a world war, but then the twist comes in. It’s big and bold and feel-good. Is it overblown for a £2.99 body spray? Maybe. Should the twist have been funnier? Possibly. But it’s a great excuse to put a message like this out there. And when you put it across with as much conviction as this, nobody’s going to ignore you.
Business: Bespoke Savile Row. Nipple: Hard, shiny rocks, glistening in the early-evening moonlight.
So, a pretty good start to the year – lots of business, lots of nipple. If this is how the year is starting, it’s looking like it’s going to be a stimulating 2014.
Joint head of planning, Abbott Mead
Last time I did Private View, England were thrashing Australia at cricket and Man Utd were running away with the Premier League. It feels like an awfully long time ago.
It’s a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change.
And this week’s crop of work, much of which comes from brands with remarkable creative and strategic heritage, is a reminder that perhaps our industry isn’t unlike sport in that respect.
First up, we have a breathtakingly tasteless film from Axe/Lynx. Normally, that would be a compliment but, sadly, not in this case. Am I alone in thinking that we have perhaps lost our sense of perspective when we use lookalike images of leaders of some of the world’s most repressive regimes to sell body spray? Or at least am I alone in thinking that, if you do that, you have to produce something that has a startlingly funny pay-off to make it forgivable? And is it dull of me to want it to have some strategic coherence with where the brand has been before? In this film, the men seem to be falling soppily in love with the women rather than vice versa – it’s more Impulse than Axe/Lynx. And more attention has been paid to finding a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lookalike than crafting a gag that would redeem all this indulgence.
Tetley is in on the act too, having taken the line-drawn Tea Folk of yore and applied techniques borrowed from the Smurfs movie where previously quaint animated characters return to be less charming and funny, courtesy of three dimensions and live-action counterparts. They thwart an alien invasion in 30 seconds by making a pot of tea. No, really. Go on YouTube to have a look, it’s that old-fashioned.
Kit Kat is reshowing one of its TV ads from the 80s, with cops and robbers taking a break from a chase to have a Kit Kat. It’s not bad, but not as good as that one with the photographer and the pandas. What? You mean this is a new ad? One it made this year? Blimey.
Original Source has been terribly modern, inviting us to go online and put our headphones on to experience the closest audio evocation of what its new shower gel products might be like. It’s like some kind of audio shower gel version of synaesthesia. Nicely crafted, but I can’t really work out why anyone would bother doing it if they had anything approaching a life, or a TV, or a view from their front window, or a computer that could access other parts of the internet.
Land Rover has given us a hashtag on its ad to prove that it’s new (#hibernot). It’s a proper ad with a proper idea in it (get out and enjoy the British winter, rain and all), linked to the brand, and featuring hardly any of the product. I saw it on TV before Campaign sent it to me, and I enjoyed the film enough to wonder who was doing it. I’m glad Land Rover has come back down to Earth after making films about safaris for years. It feels right and it feels real.
So, there you have it. Four David Moyes and one Manuel Pellegrini. Four Alastair Cooks and one Michael Clarke.