Trouble is, that's just about all I understand from this commercial. I don't get why they based the whole thing on the removal of "coloured chalk stains". Or where chalk figures in the 99. Or why they paid Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen real actual money to be in it. Or why he exists. Or who the (double straight man) comedy duo are who present it. Or whether there are another 98 commercials in the series. Or anything, really. Sorry.
Skid marks out of ten? It's a number two, I'm afraid. I wonder if Surf removes snake-oil stains? There are more than a few suits hanging around town in dire need of a boil wash right now ...
Kia Motors brings the widely held belief that new cars are ten-a-penny one step closer to reality with the startling news that "all new Kias are available for just a pound deposit". This is a socially, if not creatively, significant commercial. It's chirpy, I suppose. Chirpy chirpy. Yet cheap. Cheap. And not a little worrying.
Rugby players. Hate 'em. Like motorcyclists, they're not required to live by the same set of rules as the rest of us. In any other walk of life gouging, biting, stamping, mauling, rucking, wearing a knotted pink cardie round your shoulders and writhing in a human soup with 14 of your closest gormless, toothless, university educated, bottom-feeding, plankton-personalitied chums would be frowned upon. Not in rugby.
They get their own World Cup, for God's sake. Their own O2 sponsorship deal. If rugby's your religion, this campaign is preaching to the converted. It's just not my cup of somebody else's bodily fluid, Tarquin.
Brylcreem is repositioning itself, mid-stroke, as some kinda follical Viagra. Coiffeuse interruptus, if you like. And I do, actually. There's something coyly British about a campaign based on the Karma Sutra in which the plasticine protagonists never so much as remove their grundies. Nice clean art direction, to boot.
If you love lastminute.com as much as I do, please join me in solemn prayer that any minute now it will get an ad campaign which is much, much better than this sort-of-okay Sacred Weekends thing. Amen.com.
So, you're Greenpeace. You take the most intelligent, creative and articulate comedian in Britain, Eddie Izzard. The most intelligent, creative and articulate man in advertising, Steve Henry. And that bloke from Moulin Rouge who isn't Ewan McGregor. You blast them all into outer space with a view to viewing the incompetence of Planet Earth's inhabitants from the perspective of Planet Zarg. You then give Bush the finger and bring up the rear with a Uranus gag.
How can you fail? You can't. This is a reassuringly extensive inter-stellar winner. It's enough to make you rush out and not buy Esso.
Project: Greenpeace "alien invasion"
Clients: John Sauven, special projects director; Pete Myers, special
Brief: Present environmental issues in an engaging and novel way
Agency: HHCL/Red Cell
Writers: Steve Henry, Jason Macbeth
Art directors: Steve Henry, Jason Macbeth
Director: Hank Perlman
Production company: Hungry Man
Exposure: National cinema and viral
Project: O2 rugby
Client: Will Lever, head of consumer marketing and communications
Brief: Promote O2's sponsorship of the England rugby team and its
Agency: Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest
Writers: Paul Kemp, Paul Murphy, John Peacock
Art directors: Rooney Carruthers, Mark Orbine
Directors: Mark Orbine, Paul Kemp
Production company: The Mill
Exposure: Televised England rugby matches and highlights
Project: Surf 99 Stains Guarantee
Client: Lawrence Bate, clothes care category director
Brief: Create a famous campaign that will challenge laundry category
norms by communicating the functional reason to believe 99 stains in an
honest, unpretentious and entertaining way
Writer: Jez Willy
Art director: Alan Davis
Director: John Birkin
Production company: Blink
Exposure: National TV
Project: Car in a box
Client: Guy Jones, marketing director
Brief: Bring to life in TV Kia's £1 deposit strategy
Writer: Mark Prime
Art director: Lee Hanson
Director: Steve Dunn
Production company: Moon
Exposure: National TV
Project: Keep weekends sacred
Client: Vijay Solanki, marketing director
Brief: Get people to make the most of their weekends by using
Agency: Quiet Storm
Writer: Jo Wallace
Art director: Cat Campbell
Exposure: Press and posters
Project: Barnet Sutra
Client: Andy Rawle, brand manager
Brief: Launch Brylcreem Reshaper
Writer: Jude Healy
Art director: Dave Kelly
Typographer: Doug Foreman
Model maker/photographer: Aardman Production
Exposure: Men's magazines