Have you seen that photo?
C'mon, you know the one I mean.
The extraordinary picture Campaign published three weeks ago of David Golding (16 July, page 17). He's leaning back and the sight of at least three double chins crammed just above his neck almost beggars belief. Now anyone who knows David will testify that, in real life, he's a whippet-thin, high-cheek-boned Greek god of a man. In honour of this magic moment of photographic trickery, I'm marking this week's work on the Golding chin-o-meter. One chin is a poor effort, five chins and you've really filled your face with creativity.
CHI & Partners has done a good job with the latest Times (2) promotional brief. They're publicising the serialisation of Peter Mandelson's book The Third Man. Top marks to the agency for persuading Mandy to play up to his Prince of Darkness soubriquet.
In the ad, he reads from a large leather-bound book, treating the whole thing like the dark fairytale it undoubtedly is. Four chins and big grins all round.
Fallon's new campaign for Maynards Wine Gums (5) introduces us to Maynard the Moose. Not short of a pretty hefty chin himself, the big fella hypnotises a cleaner with his repetitive "just chew" mantra. The ad's fun and I saw a great digital poster at Victoria where the moose and his spinning eyes leered out at me, hammering home the same message. Three big, hairy chins and all the black ones in the pack for good measure.
Mother has a new TV spot for Schweppes (3). A man returns home after a hard day at the office to be greeted by his wife, daughter and new pet leopard. The house is trashed, but after a quick slurp of Schweppes' finest, he's persuaded to keep the big cat. "At the end of the day there's always a Schweppes" is a nice line and the ad does a good job of subverting the neatness of suburban Britain. The performances feel just right so I'll give it three large ones.
The new Wall's (1) TV ad features a Bill Bailey lookalike and his family, who spend their weekends doing Viking battle re-enactments. When they're not pillaging, they can be seen tucking into a Wall's sausage roll or three. The campaign is tagged "Proper food. Bring it on" and you can enter your family and their "quirky pursuit" in the Bring It On Awards at wallsbringiton.co.uk. They've clearly gone the whole hog here, though the TV spot could've been funnier if it had felt more real and underplayed. Three chins and a cheese-and-onion pasty for effort.
The MasterCard (4) campaign rolls relentlessly on. Today, we have four print ads, which I'm reliably informed "remind holidaymakers how MasterCard is the key to moments money can't buy while on vacation". There are four ads: the lobster, fishing rod and watch all look nice enough but the necklace execution looks like it's straight off QVC. Three chins and an unsightly boil on the nose.
To finish, we have a viral film from EA Games (6) to promote its new online multiplayer game All Points Bulletin. Over gritty footage of a hockey mask, guns, bullets, tattooed body parts etc, we see the supers: ONE PERSON, THREE WEEKS, TOTAL TRANSFORMATION, YOU DECIDE, THE HUMAN AVATAR. The visuals relate well to the game and, while the film isn't incredibly exciting, it certainly has the right attitude. Two human chins plus a 3D modelled one, gives a grand total of three.
So there you have it. Hopefully you'll agree I've been nice about nearly everyone, except of course for poor old David. But he's well able to take it on the chins.
DIRECTOR - SACHA GERVASI, DIRECTOR, HOME CORP (and director of Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, among others)
Being a Brit living in LA, one is sometimes worn down by the vanilla culture. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you flip on the TV and are immediately deluged with a sea of deeply unimaginative ads. The word irony seems not to exist in this place. Thank God for British advertising, then. Anarchic, funny and smart, it reminds you where and who you are.
The Times (2). The Prince of Darkness does tongue-in-cheek. I don't know why I was expecting Kermit the Frog to appear over Mandelson's shoulder, but I was slightly disappointed when he didn't. Mandelson is the consummate courtier, of course, a man of dizzying intelligence and rapacious wit who seems to understand one thing perfectly well - that it's all just showbiz these days. Even Kim Jong-il seems to be getting the point recently. His latest lunatic state broadcasts are like news inserts from a 90s Bruckheimer movie abandoned during the edit on grounds of "lack of believability". But there's nothing that isn't unbelievable about Mandy. Surely it's only a matter of time before he's playing Widow Twankey in Wimbledon. Well, if the money's right, he gets the same script approvals as co-star David Hasselhoff and he can do signings of the book in the lobby afterwards - why not? A disturbing prospect? Absolutely. But very effective advertising.
Maynards Wine Gums (5). Somewhere between The Magic Roundabout and Amelie lies this campy, contemporary spot the kiddies are sure to love. It may lack the raw emotional power one might expect from seeing a stuffed moose hypnotise a delirious cleaning lady into eating sugared pieces of plastic but, then again, it was only meant to be a small bite of surrealist fun! A beautifully formed, polished little spot that fits the product perfectly.
Wall's (1). How can an ad that features the line "Some people do Pilates, some people do yoga and mine's hitting people around the head with a sword" not be fantastic? This is real and funny and tinged with emotion as the family bonds through dogged support of Dad's tragically colourful weekend eccentricities. Seamlessly blending the product into surreal circumstances - Viking buys an ice-cream in a supermarket and later snacks on said ice-cream after being "killed" in battle - I was with these characters all the way. The people who made this had fun and it shows. Very cool and not trying that hard.
Schweppes (3). Conceived, shot and performed as if this is still 1974, this spot is in the grand tradition of the brand. Yes, the humour's old-fashioned but because they're in on the joke, the spot somehow pulls off being modern too. The "cool under pressure" theme, synonymous with Schweppes, is delivered with crisp certainty and just the right measure of knowing cheese. Tonally, it manages to be totally uncool and cool all at the same time. Quite a feat.
MasterCard (4). The campaign has worked so well in many countries across the world that these ads were, frankly, a little disappointing. The idea here is a decent one - embedding the "priceless" moment into the product itself - but, somehow, I had to work really hard to find it and, when I did, I wasn't particularly pleased to have done so. But worse than any of that, I didn't feel a thing. And emotion is the reason why this campaign has worked for so long.
EA Games (6). I couldn't tell whether it sounded like a malfunctioning Texas Instruments calculator or a bad case of robot gas but, either way, the "industrial" music took me out of this. The concept is a strong one but it just didn't seem that intriguing or even dangerous, given the amount of hockey masks and automatic weapons this spot contained. Too oblique. Not arresting enough. Give me some blood and guts, then! A promise, for sure, but this one felt like an empty one.
Project: Bring it on - battle re-enactment
Client: Phil Chapman, group marketing director, Kerry Foods
Brief: Fire up British families with proper food from Wall's
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Jonathan Benson
Art director: Stanley Cheung
Director: Joshua Neale
Production company: Smuggler Films
Exposure: National TV
2. THE TIMES
Project: The Third Man
Client: Alex Lewis, marketing director; Paul Gilshan, head of brand, The
Brief: Create a campaign that teases the exclusive serialisation in The
Times of Peter Mandelson's memoir The Third Man
Agency: CHI & Partners
Creative team: Dave Masterman, Ed Edwards
Director: Alex Turner
Production company: Infinity Productions
Exposure: TV, radio, OOH, press, digital
Project: At the end of the day
Clients: Shelley Norris, senior brand manager, Schweppes; Zoe Howorth,
brand director, The Coca-Cola Company
Brief: Establish Schweppes as the ideal first drink of the evening after
a long day
Art director: Mother
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: National TV
Project: MasterCard cross border campaign 2010
Client: Gill Barr, head of marketing, UK and Ireland, MasterCard
Brief: Encourage people to use their MasterCard abroad to facilitate
those special holiday experiences
Agency: McCann Erickson London
Writer: Johnny Skinner
Art director: Ben Brazier
Photographer: Sara Morris
5. MAYNARDS WINE GUMS
Project: Maynards says chew
Client: Jodie Bates, senior brand manager, Maynards
Brief: Demonstrate how you can get carried away chewing Maynards Wine
Writer: John Allison
Art director: Chris Bovill
Director: Garth Jennings
Production company: Hammer & Tongs
Exposure: TV, digital, press in the UK and Ireland
6. EA GAMES
Project: APB the human avatar
Clients: Neil Lambert, senior campaign manager, EA Games; John Davis,
marketing director, Realtime Worlds
Brief: Raise awareness of the launch
Writer: Fergus Jackson
Art director: Mark Black
Designer: Dan Whitehead
Production company: Believe