Whassup? Still smarting from getting beat by our colonial cousins
down in Cannes?
Anyone telling you they’re not sure about the new Bud campaign doesn’t
mean they don’t think it’s funny or clever. They’re not sure about it
because it comes totally out of left field and it scares them in the way
Quentin Dupieux’s ’flat Eric’ did.
Creativity that doesn’t belong in a box and has no obvious reference
point is what it means to be original. For most creatives, the words
’original’ and ’advertising’ only appear in the same sentence during
conversations with their therapists. So when someone creates something
as fresh but as deeply rooted in the essence of the brand as this is,
they deserve to have a phenomenon on their hands. And they do.
Less of a phenomenon, but still rather appealing, is the Penguin-funded
campaign for Marian Keyes’ latest novel Last Chance Saloon. It features
charming posters using illustration and white space to great effect.
However, I’m not used to books being promoted in this way and it makes
me suspicious as to why this particular novel requires such ambitious
promotion. Are book reviews and word of mouth not selling it?
Perhaps Penguin just isn’t taking any chances.
Another brand that’s decided to make the most of what good advertising
can offer is The Carphone Warehouse. Until recently, the confidence
radiated by its retail presence was not being leveraged across all its
communications, but that appears to be changing with this new campaign.
This very pretty commercial uses the analogy of a box of chocolates to
demonstrate how mobile phone customers will be guided through the
massive choice of tariffs available. If only it were that simple.
Now, think of a really silly word and the chances are it’s trading as a
bank or an internet business. Marbles is a division of HFC and more than
just a credit card. When it isn’t testing the foundations of my hall
with a very determined direct mail campaign, it has been running an
Adshel campaign featuring giant credit cards with even sillier
fictitious customers’ names on them. I liked those. I also enjoyed the
new TV campaign, but there seems to be a lack of connection between the
two - or three, if you count the DM. Different messages is one thing but
a totally different tone of voice is worrying. Perhaps their cousins at
First Direct should share their learning.
Committed sex offenders, specifically paedophiles, can travel to the UK,
freely able to re-commit similar crimes due to an ineffectual sex
offenders act. So write to your MP and protest. That’s the message that
follows an extremely harrowing tale expertly filmed to the strains of
Barber’s Adagio for ECPAT.
The performances are chilling, the story is gripping, but I worry that
the action it inspires is likely to be less dramatic. To mobilise the
public and rally opinion, you need to stand apart. May I refer you to
the recent Barnardo’s and NSPCC campaigns.
Virgin Net deserves a huge pat on the back - here is an online service
described in such a way that you can actually understand what it’s
Innovative, certainly, and while Virgin’s advertising could never be
described as cutting edge, it somehow doesn’t matter. It’s fun, it’s
frivolous, it’s really likeable. It’s so Virgin.
And if I like Virgin, I also like Sony. I’d go so far as to call myself
a fan - I’ve just ordered the new PlayStation 2. But I don’t like
You can’t like both. You choose one. So it’s annoying that I find that I
like the new ’xenophobic’ Sega Dreamcast campaign. For it to work,
you’ve got to like football, be up for playing games online and you’ve
got to not mind 40 seconds of noise, graphics and stock video. It might
just do the job.
Like most of the work this week, I can tell where this came from, it
feels familiar and it doesn’t scare me. And it was all probably a lot
easier to sell than ’whassup?’.
Project: Last Chance Saloon
Client: John Bond, marketing director
Brief: Launch Marian Keyes’ novel Last Chance Saloon
Agency: Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy
Writer: Rosie Elston
Art director: Mary-Sue Lawrence
Illustrator: Emma Dodd
Client: Mark Robinson, group marketing director
Brief: Demonstrate the absurdity of people’s fears about the internet
Art director: Mother
Production company: Mother
Exposure: National TV
THE CARPHONE WAREHOUSE
Project: The Carphone Warehouse
Client: Charles Dunstone, chief executive
Brief: Position The Carphone Warehouse as the leading enabler of choice
in the mobile communications market
Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer
Writer: Ben Priest
Art director: Brian Campbell
Director: Pete Salmi
Production company: Joy Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: Virgin Net
Client: Jo Peat, head of marketing
Brief: Cut through the plethora of internet advertising to communicate
the benefits of using Virgin’s entertainment service
Agency: Archibald Ingall Stretton
Writer: Matt Morley-Brown
Art director: Steve Stretton
Director: Jon Greenhalgh
Production company: Stark Films
Exposure: National cinema/regional TV
Project: ECPAT UK
Client: Helen Veitch, co-ordinator
Brief: Highlight the loophole in the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and call for
Writers: Simon Impey, Jon Daniel
Art directors: Jon Daniel, Simon Impey
Director: Tony Kaye
Production company: Tony Kaye Productions
Exposure: London cinema
Project: Sega Dreamcast
Client: Giles Thomas, European marketing director
Brief: Launch Dreamcast’s European online capabilities during Euro 2000
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Alex Grieve
Art director: Adrian Rossi
Director: Danny Kleinman
Production company: Spectre
Exposure: UK, French, German and Spanish TV and cinema