I only ask because (1) it is often difficult to ascertain exactly what the hell is going on in so many campaigns and (2) there are a lot of ideas that are being regularly re-presented but not necessarily to the same client.
Take Drambuie Cream, for example. It's employing the "wicked" strategy.
The smooth drink (which, of course, can be taken both ways) with a sting in its tail. Or a scorpion's tail or a snake's bite and ... er ... whatever, you get the point. How about the smooth drink that pierces the sensibilities; enter thorns and barbed wire.
Have you seen these metaphors before? Have the agency, the team, the client? Or is it only me?
Green & Black's doesn't have a re-tread problem. It is just a little hard to fathom. These look like 48-sheet posters, presumably for the tube, because the website is smaller than it is on most 20 doubles.
The claim is good enough, but the "Close encounters of the chocolate kind" visuals give nothing away. But if you look really hard you can see the awe-struck humanoids holding a chocolate bar.
At least it is not cliched.
Unlike the Congestion Charge campaign. Find a standard-issue cheeky chappy spokesperson, give him some propaganda about how difficult it is to get into work and, because he's a comic, he can tell us "traffic in London is not a joke". The problem is that it's a £220 million experiment with our money created by a mayor who is anti-car. No other city in the world will require its citizens to run out into the night to pay a fine which grows by the hour with the threat of an SAS-style hit squad removing your car. The whole thing reminds you that the line between communism and fascism is fine indeed.
Panasonic is a lads' film. You know, those three lads laughing uncontrollably at another, the victim of a prank they've just played. Which came first?
The behaviour or the ads that portray it? The latter, obviously, as every other ad has the "same" three lads in it. In this one, they steal the best man's speech and then, courtesy of a picture-phone, show him that they have set light to it.
How funny is that? Hilarious. You can tell by the over-acting.
The Norwich Union campaign is harder to take exception to but that won't stop me. For a start, it is one of about 300 brands telling me that they can help me sort my life out. The Douglas Brothers-style photography is seductive, the people are either cod real or soothing voiceovers. Unfortunately, they couldn't resist the planner's advice that "Get sussed" is contemporary language and, therefore, good for the brand. The problem is I have seen this package before, and therefore I doubt whether it will "move the needle", as they say in America.
The Times was the only new piece of thinking, albeit a little simplistic.
The banana and the bottle are explained as metaphors for underestimation.
It is not a simple fruit or prosaic milk container, it is significant and The Times is the kind of newspaper that is capable of this kind of exposition on a daily basis (Surely Times readers already know this stuff? "Yes, but that's beside the point," the rising-star account man said). This is a newspaper brand campaign, always difficult for the editor to resist as the alternative is the dreaded one-week/day promotion. It does have the courage of its convictions, although if the films were somehow bigger the thought would have carried more weight.
In the end, I was just grateful I understood it.
Project: Drambuie Cream
Client: Caroline Sutcliffe, international marketing manager
Brief: Launch Drambuie Cream, based on the product differentiation of
the authentic malt whisky content, therefore appealing to more
sophisticated "women" as opposed to immature "girls"
Writer: Ben Steiner
Art director: Oliver Pugh
Typographer: Andy Bird
Photographer: Morten Laursen
Exposure: National magazines and posters
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
Project: Congestion Charge
Client: Michele Dix, assistant director
Brief: Create a public information campaign to inform people about the
new central London Congestion Charge
Writer: Michael Burke
Art director: John Anderson
Director: Paul Weiland
Production company: The Paul Weiland Film Company
Exposure: National TV
Project: The Times
Client: Andrew Mullins, marketing director
Brief: Position The Times as the intelligent paper that understands
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: Mike Boles
Art director: Jerry Hollens
Director: Chris Palmer
Production company: Gorgeous
Exposure: National TV and cinema
Project: Norwich Union brand
Clients: Sally Shire, director of brand and communication, Norwich Union
Life; Kenny Leitch, director of brand, research and customer
development, Norwich Union Insurance
Brief: Demonstrate that Norwich Union is in tune with the key issues and
choices consumers face when sorting out their finances and insurance
Writer: Jerry Green
Art director: Roger Akerman
Director: Stuart Douglas
Production company: @radical.media
Exposure: National TV
GREEN & BLACK'S
Project: Green & Black's
Client: Mark Palmer, marketing director
Brief: Get people to reappraise the taste of chocolate
Writer: Ed Edwards
Art director: Dave Masterman
Typographer: James Townsend
Photographer: Ringan Ledwidge
Exposure: London Underground posters and national press
Project: GD87 mobile camera
Client: Hide Arayama, marketing manager
Brief: Demonstrate the possibilities of picture messaging with
Agency: Proximity London
Writer: Simon White
Art director: Paul Iaquaniello
Director: Malcolm Venville
Production company: Therapy Films
Exposure: Pan-European TV and cinema