Private View: Nick Hastings, the executive creative director at Euro RSCG London

In the intense, occasionally heroic search for big ideas, the creators of the Rice Krispies Muddles commercial have lucked out. "Muddles" is a great name, carelessly thrown away with some lame dialogue between a mum and her cute kid in the kitchen. "Do carrots make you see better and does spinach make you muscley?" the cloying child asks. "Yes," the mum says. "Also trees are good for you and so are people." She could be referring to the shapes of the cereal, she could be on medication - the point is, we don't care. This kind of "reality" advertising was interesting a couple of centuries back; right now, unless it's done brilliantly, it just disappears.

Of the two commercials in the new AOL 9.0 campaign, "Vanessa" is more bearable than "Steve". The latter has decided the world is too slow for him. Hmm, well, way to go Steve, but you come across as the kind of twat for whom overdosing on amphetamines would be too gentle an ending. Vanessa simply must, must, must become an actress, but when Dad finds her a drama school using AOL 9.0 it's, faint, in Glasgow, not Paris, a place our drama queen had set her heart on. Hell, Vanessa's kind of fun in a "cute 'cos you're a kid but if you don't grow out of it I'll aim a flame thrower at your larynx" kind of way. Still, even she can't hide the absence of an idea, big or small.

The Specsavers campaign soldiers on with the line: "Should have gone to Specsavers." It's the kind of "big idea" that may be executionally fertile but gives neither purpose nor direction to the brand. In the new commercial, a boy band emerges to screams from a gaggle of female fans, until loser bloke comes out (presumably the bass player) wearing crap glasses. His fans are horrified and run away as the voiceover waffles on about money and Specsavers' range of designer glasses. Neither are distinctive offerings. Clearly, it is imperative that Specsavers pays a consultancy spectacular amounts of cash to tell it what it should stand for.

The awesomely brilliant Steven Gerrard may have saved Liverpool but even he can't rescue the new Adidas print campaign. Surely brands such as these should aim to provoke something new in street culture, rather than just mimicking it. What you got? Kieron Dyer's hilarious attempt to look hard - more pussy than posse - says it all.

The British Airways tune has become so instantly connected with good feelings about the airline, it was inevitable that more would be made of it. In its new brand commercial, a bloke travelling home from New York begins to see and hear parts of the orchestra, on the street, at the airport, playing the theme. So do his missus and children waiting for him on a beach back in Blighty, where they are eventually reunited before the whole orchestra. It's a jumbo jet of a big idea, which still manages to charm. Someone cleverer than me once said that when you fly BA, it's like you're home the moment you get on the plane and that's what this is about. Could have done without the stockshot casting, mind.

The Velvet bog roll campaign is set in the Velvet factory, which doesn't sound promising, but it kicks arse. Cycling employees park their bikes by riding into piles of Velvet, workers walk casually off gantries before landing safely in soft piles of Velvet. The casting is perfect (surely these people work in the factory), the direction sublime, and the minimalist piano soundtrack very fine. It's an idea that is big, but doesn't forget that bigness without wit is as small as it gets.


Project: BA masterbrand "Lakme"

Client: Jill McDonald, general manager, global marketing and in-flight


Brief: Epitomise the feeling of flying with British Airways

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Jerry Gallaher

Art director: Clive Yaxley

Director: Rob Sanders

Production company: Amarillo Films

Exposure: National and international TV


Project: Designer sunglasses promotion

Client: Andrew Molle, marketing director

Brief: Communicate that Specsavers offers a wide range of designer

prescription sunglasses at £99

Agency: In-house

Writer: Simon Bourgourd

Art director: Neil Brush

Director: Andy Margetson

Production company: 2AM

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV


Project: AOL 9.0

Client: Sharon Lang, vice-president of marketing

Brief: Launch AOL 9.0 software by showing how it can help inspire people

to realise their ambitions via the internet

Agency: Grey London

Writer: Pablo Monzon

Art director: Elvio Sanchez

Director: Medhi Norowzian

Production company: Joy Films

Exposure: Terrestrial and satellite TV


Project: Double Velvet

Client: Nick Dudman, senior product manager

Brief: Velvet has made even softer toilet tissue for you

Agency: Fallon London

Writer: Ed Edwards

Art director: Dave Masterman

Director: Stacy Wall

Production company: Epoch at Large Corp

Exposure: National TV


Project: X-treme

Client: Barry Moore, marketing communications manager

Brief: Position X-treme as a range of Adidas apparel inspired by


Agency: TBWA\London

Writer: Paul Silburn

Art directors: Paul Silburn and Dan Beckett

Photographer: Luke Kirwan

Typographer: Dan Beckett

Exposure: National 48- and six-sheets and flyposters


Project: Rice Krispies Muddles

Client: Justin Platt, marketing manager

Brief: Launch a nutritious and fun children's cereal

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Alistair Wood

Art director: Alistair Wood

Director: Simon Levene

Production company: Therapy Films

Exposure: National TV

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus