Tim Mellors

Creative partner, Pointblank

You don’t have to be an economist to see how TV stations squeeze millions a year by serving up programmes cobbled together from "found footage". Sometimes they shell out a couple of hundred quid to the family for a home movie of Dad burning his arse on the barbecue; more often, it’s the smallest fee the picture researcher can wrangle for something she winkled out of YouTube or Vimeo. We’re no mugs in advertising. We have caught on to the scam. And there are two prime examples in this week’s batch of ads.

Deep marketing psychology tells us if you want to sell something, stick a kitten in it. Tea towels, get-well cards, knickers, mugs and Greenpeace ads – apparently, they are all improved by a moggie.

According to this spot, cats are clubbing together to save the tiger. This film is the greatest hits of a posse of pussies, stringing together cat clips that have already clocked up millions of hits. And you won’t be surprised to learn all the miaows are subtitled with "cute" dialogue. Frankly, I still didn’t get the connection to tiger-saving. Actually, I couldn’t be bothered.

The "found footage" in the National Trust spot was never really lost. It’s our old favourite: caterpillar/larva/butterfly. This time punctuated by an "amusing" Indian/Caribbean voice – I’m guessing he’s from up north. This is the sort of concoction a boy scout might make to get a film-craft badge. The idea, "50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾", is a lot better than this execution. Having lived in the States for the past ten years, I have a new appreciation of the unique job the National Trust does in its own quirky, understated way. More of that, please.

Being charities, you would expect these two advertisers to demand change from a fiver for these ads. You would equally expect a goldmine of a booze company like Diageo to knock out a boatload for theirs. You wouldn’t be wrong. The boat in question is a beautiful sailing boat and the subject of a bizarre gentleman’s wager. This year’s buzzword is storytelling, and that’s what we’ve got. Abstruse, unlikely – it’s a tall tale well-told. Jude Law is… well, Jude Law. All arching eyebrow and innuendo. Mind you, he drinks a Johnnie Walker Blue Label well without ever being a shill. And adds a new dancing twist to one of the great advertising lines: "Johnnie Walker. Keep walking." You have to agree Diageo will see every buck it put into this production. Jake Scott producing the same artful big-screen elegance his dad always managed to miniaturise in an ad. Tasty, certainly; maybe even vintage.

Levi’s also looks like it threw the bank balance at it. It’s an atmospherically shot spot with a gritty, sticky track, but constantly stuttering as words from the brief are plastered over the action. "Wear them. Share them. Wash them. Unbutton them." Oh, shut up, will you? Trust your cameos. The film just cannot make up its mind whether it’s a mood-shifter, a hip story or a sales promotion. I notice there are three credits: FCB, The House Worldwide and Levi’s. Ah-ha!

Finally, billed as an "off-the-wall animation humour" is Crusha. Itchy and Scratchy – that’s off-the-wall animation. "Crushalicious" – that’s more off-the-conveyor-belt animation. It’s pleasant enough, with the collision between a miniature motorcycle and some chattering teeth, and it won’t fail to get the attention of its under-ten audience. Oh, there’s another presenter with a comedy northern accent. It’s an animal. Guess what kind?


Tony Kaye


When the night has come I did my best, I only liked Greenpeace [LLLOOOVVVVEEEDDD IT!]

I did not like the rest :[

I won’t cry, I won’t cry –

No, I won’t shed a tear –

Please don’t hate me…

Just please stand by me.

I don’t wanna say anything bad –

But see Greenpeace was the only one that used divine creativity and – for me anyway – kept it on point!!! Thus to pursue their endeavour –

Did not loose the plot to just be clever!

Now maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m right?

Time is always the ultimate judge, the very best test –

But I only liked Greenpeace way above the rest

To get cats to speak for tigers is WONDERFUL!

To make it charming and still make the point is right and difficult for a serious issue –

Why do something sad… make us cry… pass me a tissue!

Tigers are in trouble so the cats stood by them –

Made me smile :]

Made me think about these endangered species –

And so now I will – at least for a while!

They did it well/the typography and design could have been better :[

That’s just me… don’t make it lesser – I’m a design junkie… addicted to the look and the form – Get Sir Jony Ive to wave his magic wand/see how it then will/purr and perform!

If the sky that we look upon

Should tumble and fall – we gotta all try and push things [keep the sky where it is in the sky – know what I mean!]

What do you think? That I’m some Commercials Hack Has-Been ;] I’m doing my best and so should you –

Things are harder now than they ever were… Seems that way…? Stand by yourselves and what you do...

I’m using their song, the Greenpeace soundtrack… STAND BY ME – I ain’t no loony need the rhyming word here –


My personal winning terrific idea commercial’s GREAT IDEA of using Ben E King’s classic rock track – this ain’t some nutty professor’s demented overlong HA!KU I have to write 600 words

And I’m doing my best

See I loved Greenpeace way above the rest :]

But all these photographed and sound-recorded stories are miracles, you know –

They all made it to the screen – I know how hard that is – I’m not just some know-all hard blow?

Some of us will see them – better than nothing all?

All the work been done, all the work that there has been – keeping us all at our posts – all on call!

All the miracle directors that won them in their pitch –

And all the other poor sods that ended up deep in a ditch :[

They all did their work, they did their best –

But I love Greenpeace so much, yeah, it’s so cool – genius idea – yeah N!CE – YUP/so enjoyed it/surpurizzzeeeddd me yeah – thank you for making it – it’s so way for me WAY THE BEST!!!

The pussy cats scream – They whimper and miaow –

Please don’t throw eggs at me – just see this as part of my Brit

Ad scene comeback attempted powwow!