Once upon a time… a mummy Audi and a daddy Audi (who loved each other very much) had a late-night unprotected axle-trembler in a car park in Bavaria. Nine months later and, like Robbie Williams before them, they have filmed the consequences for our viewing delectation. Which is nice. And goes some way to explain why I find myself knee-deep in metaphorical bloody mucus in the dilating mechanical cervix of a reasonably priced family saloon. The metallic walls of the car’s, erm, uterus are contracting and I’m about to get automotive amniotic fluid all over my fingerless lambskin driving gloves…
In the distance, I hear a Germanic female voice. "Aaaargh!" she cries. Then "Aaaaaaargh! YOU DID THIS TO ME!" and "I hate you! You Vorsprung durch Tech-pig!" But I dilate. Sorry, digress. And there’s no time to lose, for what appears to be the slime-smeared head of an Audi RS 3 has stalled in the birthing canal, just yards short of the vehicular vagina. Push!, I find myself shouting. Push the bloody thing, while I go and ask the neighbours for a tow rope and some hot water. Next, the placenta, loosened by the commotion, slides out of our lady-forecourt and on to the shortlist for next presenter of Top Gear. And, finally, the baby itself: 1,520kg of bonny bouncing scarlet Audi Sportback. Demanding attention and spewing emissions from every chrome-plated muffler tip. Isn’t nature and engineering wonderful? I’m sure that the afterbirth-math of all this will be wild tabloidic outrage, in much the same way that the sight of Benetton’s beautiful newborn baby sparked inexplicable national retching. But I say screw ’em. It’s magnificent. And a salutary lesson in the repercussions of unprotected auto-erotic shenanigans. No Johnny/Got a new motor.
Next on Gynaecologist’s Stirrup, a wholly different metaphorical representation of female genitalia. No, seriously. Very seriously. The oddly named 28 Too Many – the number refers to the amount of African countries that practice female genital mutilation – has used the images of roughly re-sewn European standards to, ahem, flag up the fact that FGM "doesn’t only happen in far away places". Which kinda jars with the charity’s name. However. FMG is a vile barbarity that must be ended. I’ve donated and I reckon you should too (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The irony of BetVictor’s TweetRumble is that it unknowingly predicted the actual fight. Boxing fans were urged to "land their own punches" via social media. Tweeted, proxy ghost-blows were thrown and tallied. Which, sadly, is pretty much what happened in Vegas. Manny Pacquiao barely laid a glove on Floyd Mayweather – the ringside punch stats revealing that, of the 429 shots he threw, only 80 landed. He swung so many haymakers at thin air that the referee gave the air a standing count in round eight. TweetRumble declared Pacquiao the winner, with 300,000 Tweets. How very, very wrong and yet how very right they were.
The last time I saw a Honda ad, it flashed by in the blink of an eye. This one meanders through the mind. Both are proof of a client and agency in perfect, lyrical harmony. Beautiful.
For me, Coca-Cola is a liquid anachronism. It’s still around because it always has been. If it didn’t exist, as with smoking, it wouldn’t be necessary to invent it. And all you finger-snappers, you toe-tappers, you happy rappers will never be able to convince me that it doesn’t taste like diet camel piss strained through Michael Gove’s sweaty underpants. Word.
Executive creative director,
Saatchi & Saatchi London
As I write this, I feel like we’ve just been spanked by a warm front. Blasted by weeks of hot air. Personally, I’ve had enough of it. Those politicians have expelled so much bullshit, it’ll be a relief to get back to some good old straight, honest talking. Come on, advertising. That’s what we’re good at.
Hold on a minute, though. There are plenty of ad folk who are all hot air. And there’s definitely a lot of work that’s full of it too.
I think we would all be better if we were a lot clearer, more direct and more honest. That would mean more time to do work (NICE). Do better work (NICE+1). Do better work that doesn’t confuse normal people (NICE+2).
Let’s see how this batch of advertising fares against my own – specially designed – hot-air detector.
Woah! It’s shot straight to 11! We’ve got the Dyson super-hand dryer of hot air already. It’s for Coca-Cola. It’s highly irritating. It’s a compendium of all the bullshitty tricks up advertising’s sleeve. There’s not an ounce of truth or honesty in it. It’s fake, made-up ad twoddle. It’s almost like the brief was to get more people to hate Coca-Cola. If that was the brief, then BULLSEYE! Job done. Just like that super-Dyson in the loos at Victoria station (entry now 50p).
Next, it’s BetVictor. Only a whiff of hot air here. It’s clear and simple. It’s a sweet enough idea and a nice way to engage people around betting events. Albeit very small and throwaway. Plenty of hot air in those Tweets, though, I suspect. Detector reading? It’s a little parp.
28 Too Many. This one’s direct and to the point. I know what they’re telling me. I know what they want me to do. It’s striking. But ultimately unsurprising and rather traditional. There’s a place for that. And, according to my hot-air detector, that place is less hand dryer and more paper-towel dispenser from the 70s (two-ply). It works, but you long for something better.
Right, this bunch make engines, they deal in hot air on the reg. It’s Honda and it looks great. They’ve crafted the shit out of it. It’s flawless to look at. I want to like it much more than I actually do. I just don’t find it very clear; the reason for the execution seems a bit thin. This agency is on a roll. And (pursuing the hand-dryer vibe to its death) it’s a roll of those big blue hand towels. The ones that never need replacing.
Finally, Audi. More engines. But this one’s from Bartle Bogle Hegarty so it’s not content with hot air alone. This one’s gone for hot air and gas. It’s a car giving birth. Actually, the detector says it’s refreshingly low on hot air. It is berserk. But it is simple – it’s a pun…"born on". It’s the craft skills that really make it and then take it to a spectacular place. One tiny thing lets it down: for an idea based on such a huge emotion, it is actually lacking in some itself. To be expected when birthing German engineers, I suppose?
Overall, as hot air goes, there wasn’t anything in there to trouble the newly elected government. Waffle-free in the main. Just nothing outstanding.
Right, time for one last blast of hot air. Something to put the Blues back in their box: Arsenal for the title, FA Cup and Champions League next season.