I can accept personally not being smart enough to produce some of
the best of the work reviewed on these pages, but what I really struggle
with is not being "smart enough" to understand a lot of the work around
at the moment. If we're all ad savvy consumers, I'm obviously the least
savvy of them all.
Or is it that strategists and creatives have taken the accepted ad
literacy and sophistication of their audience too far and simple, clear
communication has made way for cryptic indulgence? And so with less
savvy and more navvy, I approach this week's sophisticated output.
First up, three beautifully simple executions featuring clean shots of
classic FMCG brands. But where there was once Campbell's or Jack
Daniels, the famous name is replaced with Brand Republic.com and the
phrase: "Rich in knowledge, no added waffle." This advertising is aimed
directly at me. And as far as it goes I think it's saying: "Take a look,
we're a new marketing website that you're about to find indispensable."
Hmm. But why?
Credit Suisse has just returned from Barcelona with a talented director
and some budget left over to go play in post-production. You'd know this
if you saw its very pretty new commercial, part black and white and part
red and blue, a look I can safely say I've never seen before.
Accompanied by a typically foolproof aria, the pictures combine with
well-crafted titles to make a big deal about being "in all aspects of
Who? What? Why? How? So what?
I'd love to know more about Credit Suisse, honest. Why don't you want to
The next 60 seconds of film set to music celebrates the gift to the 21st
century that is the mobile phone. We see shots attempting to capture the
love affair of man and Nokia. In the final throws a title asks: "How are
you?" And a red Vodafone logo appears.
Well, as you're asking, I've been a little coldy lately having caught a
chill. Thanks for your concern, err ... Vodafone. Oh. And while you're
asking I'd be a lot happier if you could do something about those ugly
phone masts springing up all over the country, annoying ring tones,
microwave health scares, excessive roaming charges ...
To launch Mario Kart for Nintendo, four new ads feature a quartet of
septuagenarians in "link up" mode variously sabotaging each other's
Oh dear, I understood every word of it. They must be missing a trick,
surely. The whole purpose of gaming commercials is to bamboozle. These
films are reminiscent of the work of Cliff Freeman in the States.
Reminiscent, but not as good.
By far the strongest work this week is for the COI Communications Adult
Literacy campaign. A string of commercials so weird and spooky, so fresh
and so right they fill me with hope. Like all great work I can instantly
think of reasons why these films could so easily never have been made.
Congratulations to COI and all concerned. Get the tape in. Draw your
curtains. Eat a big piece of cheese.
And just when I thought I understood most of this week's crop. Here it
is ... the obscure. Eckoh. A website where you can do stuff such as
retrieve e-mails, book tickets and buy stuff ... I think. From a series
of post-modern ugly shots of deranged "real people", we're told "there
is a simple explanation". So what is the role of the advertising if it
isn't to deliver this simple explanation? Would someone please explain
to me what's going on. Is this good? Am I the only one not getting it?
Project: Eckoh voice portal
Clients: Andy Eymond, marketing director; Richard Gale, marketing
Brief: Brand campaign to launch new phone service
Agency: Quiet Storm
Writer: Becky Clarke
Art director: Trevor Robinson
Photographer: Rory Carnegie
Exposure: National press and magazines
Project: "How are you?"
Client: David Haines, global brand director
Brief: Global communication campaign
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam
Writers: Ralf Zilligen and Jon Matthews
Art directors: Todd Schulz and John Boiler
Director: Lenard Dorfman
Production company: @Radical.media
Project: Brand Republic
Client: Mike Hewitt, new-media director
Brief: Launch Brand Republic.com
Writer: Paul Gerrard
Art director: Ben Holman
Photographer: Jack Bankhead
Exposure: Trade press
Project: Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Client: Franco De Cesare, marketing director, Europe
Brief: Launch Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and dramatise the four-player
capability of GameBoy Advance
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writers: Jack Stephens and Adam Griffin
Art directors: Rob Nielson and Rob Spicer
Director: Derek Hom
Production company: Avion Films Production
Exposure: Channel 4, satellite and cable TV
Project: Adult Basic Skills
Brief: Aim to appeal to adults with literacy and numeracy problems by
removing any sense of personal fault
Agency: St Luke's
Writers: Seyoan Vela and Colin Lamberton
Art directors: Seyoan Vela and Colin Lamberton
Director: David Hartley
Production company: Stark Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Credit Suisse Group
Client: Beat Buchmann, marketing director
Brief: Drive informed awareness of the brand and reinforce its presence
and personality in the market
Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper
Writer: Alan Curzon
Art director: Nigel Rose
Director: Adrian Moat
Production company: RSA Films
Exposure: Global TV