Co-president and chief creative officer, McCann London
I’m in truth mode. It’s our company mantra, after all. Let’s try it out on this week’s Private View.
Truthfully, I was pleased to be asked to do another Private View. It’s always hard to review your contemporaries’ work without upsetting someone but I’m glad for the exposure and, if my piece is funny/insightful enough, it might reflect well on McCann. If I really smash it, it could inspire some good work in the creative department and generate some "well done" e-mails from clients. Truthfully, both are unlikely. I reckon two people in the office will come up to say: "Nice Private View the other day." And I suspect only one of them will mean it.
I watched the work really quickly to get an overview. And then I didn’t find the time to watch it again. Creatively speaking, it all made me feel a bit sick, but that’s quite normal. If the work is really good, I feel sick. And if it’s really bad, I feel sick too. But, truthfully, it doesn’t matter what I think. It’s only important whether the work is effective in doing what it set out to achieve.
Lotto. Noel Edmonds spends a hypothetical lottery win and wreaks havoc on the nation as he travels around legally thwarting "house parties". I think this is what most people would think of as good advertising. I suppose I do also. Jeff Low does a good job. It’s funny – although I don’t laugh at all while watching it. It seems a little derivative – spoof-u-mentaries are not new but they are enjoyable and, the truth is, the audience doesn’t care that something like this may have been done before.
Guinness. Another stylistic film in the black-and-white series, probably featuring South Korea’s foremost artists urging us to drink Guinness. I can imagine everyone involved with this piece of work genuinely believing that it’s incredible. Some great set design. Some beautiful shots. But, truthfully, it’s average at best. A very expensive mood video, crafted to accommodate blunt punctuations of client mandatories.
Barbie. Real kids go into real situations and take over real jobs. Real people’s reactions are incredible (and real). This work is the median of all the work produced in 2015 after the "#LikeAGirl" revolution. Because, truthfully, we humans respond well to balancing gender inequalities, letting children live fulfilled lives and saving the world. This is a positive step for the industry. But we need to take care to report our philanthropic triumphs accurately. Otherwise, we risk toppling over into our own selves, forgetting both our clients and the real world.
Very. It has gone for Ikea "kitchen" but ended up with the old Nutella ad.
Milk Tray. I only watched it once, so maybe I misunderstood. But if I got it right, a man dressed as the Milk Tray Man spoofs the real Milk Tray Man (who, in turn, was a kind of spoof of Bond) and beckons people (seriously) to be the next Milk Tray Man in order to sell more Milk Tray. This half-hearted spoofing feels a bit indecisive. I remember Sam Walker (ex-Karmarama) always telling the story of when his dad would come into the living room and watch TV over his shoulder. He would stand there hovering. Not committing to the room or the hallway. And Sam would think: "Look, Dad. Just sit down, or fuck off."
And that’s the truth.
Chief creative officer, TMW Unlimited
I’ve just had a week off doing nice "proper" work around the house. Sawing things. Watching rugby.
Like real people, I’ve seen plenty of ads but, alas, no long-winded PowerPoint decks explaining to me what the work is supposed to mean. Luckily for them, actual real people don’t have the benefit of seeing these ppt presentations – ever. Hopefully, no whiff of ppt is getting in the way of some nice, proper creative work this week…
First, it’s Edmonds and Lotto. You’d better try to win it because if Noel does, he’ll ruthlessly hunt down anyone having a house party without his say so. Noel and his beard are quite sinister, and the gags come as thick and fast as green gunge covering David Seaman. I actually prefer the 30-second version – it had me with the first gag. Although this two-minute version goes on a little too long, it’s still a winner. No ppt goo here.
I confess to having little knowledge of South Korea, so it’s hard to judge this "#tastetheblack" Guinness ad made for that market. It feels like a car or perfume ad, and not very "Guinnessy". Although I get why – it’s a new market – it feels as though there are lots of ppt boxes being ticked: fashion, beauty, clubbing, breakdancing – this will be you if you drink Guinness. The actual pint appears at the end, looking a little bit out of place. It’s unusual for the brand, and a different audience, so it’ll be interesting to see how it does.
"When a girl plays with a Barbie, she imagines everything she can become," the ad says. You can see the strategy right away. You can guess where we’re heading. Some people will love it – cute kids playing grown-ups, giving sciencey lectures to bemused adults to the strains of quirky strings. Empowering stuff. The switch to reality – when we see the girls are actually acting out the scenes at home with Barbies – is sudden and well-executed. But you may find it all too saccharine and, ultimately, still hope that the girls can imagine all they can become without having a waist the size of an actual Barbie.
Milk Tray, anyone? This is a suitably daft revisit of the classic Cadbury ads, complete with the original Milk Tray Man surrounded by gear from his past adventures. Nothing wrong with using an old idea – it’s a good one. The modern twist is that the search is on for the new Milk Tray Man and it could be you. I kind of like that, but I would have been tempted to don the leather gloves and scale a few walls first (maybe not personally). It’s nicely done and holds true to being all about ladies loving chocolate. And polo-neck jumpers. I wonder if "And all because the lady loves…" would make it through the ppt box-ticking filter today?
The Very ad (which seemed very Marks & Spencer fashion to me at first) does what it sets out to do: let you know that it sells lots of nice clothes and other desirable items for your home. It’s upbeat and hard-working for the brand, and it manages to use the logo cube too. Fair enough. I missed the new "Get more out of everyday" line at the end, to be honest. I guess if you buy the stuff at a good price, your life is better, so you get more out of life, every day… hang on, I’m sounding like a you-know-what deck here.
Photographs of my recent DIY are available on request.