It's been a while since I've done Private View so I feel a little rusty. But rather than ease myself in gently, let's dive in right at the deep end.
The new William Hill (5) ad by Beattie McGuinness Bungay. Now, I'm not much of a betting man but I have to admit to more than a passing interest in this work. We at Rainey Kelly pitched against BMB for this account and this is the work that beat us. So whatever I say here is bound to sound like sour grapes! The ad is typography with Tourette's, I suppose. A whole load of type including the word "bum" flashes up to a thumping soundtrack. So as I sit here wondering why we lost the pitch, I suppose I can only blame myself, as I would never have approved work like this.
Next up is the new ad for the new Lexus (3) hybrid - the first luxury hybrid, as they tell us at the end of the ad. The ad features a bunch of famous drummers making a racket and then in drives Kylie in her new Lexus and tells them "shhh" for the quiet revolution. This may not be up there with the best car ads in the world but it's a simple and charming spot. The quiet revolution feels like quite a big area to play in, and the execution feels as though it has enough going for it to travel across other media.
Now, there was a time when I would only have Nokia phones. I really liked the operating system, they were simple and easy to use, and some of the designs were OK. Then along came Apple ... I have to admit, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my iPhone. I love the design, I love the apps and I love how intuitive it is. But I have to say it is the worst actual phone I have ever owned. I can barely swivel in my chair without it cutting me off. But I still love it, so I think Nokia (6) has a really tough mountain to climb as a brand. In this ad for its new camera phone, it uses a blind photographer taking pictures around Blackpool. It's quite a touching spot but will it drag me away from my rubbish iPhone? Never.
The next ad is for Werther's Original (2). Given this brand's advertising history, I can feel you all starting to guffaw. However, the new ad is really charming and touches all your fatherly heartstrings. This had to have been the brief from hell that's been turned into a really nice ad.
Now on to the new campaign for Cravendale (4). I was a real fan of the last route with the little animated cows - it was totally bonkers and totally charming. You'll be pleased to hear the new campaign has not got its sanity back. In it, we see what would happen in a world where cats could grow thumbs. I'm not sure I like it quite as much as the last campaign but it's still really distinctive and is going to stand out like the cat's bollocks, and I'm sure it'll soon be doing the rounds with my daughter on YouTube.
Finally, we have a poster from Pretty Polly (1), which has a history of doing rather good posters. I like posters. The fragmentation of media means they are probably the only truly mass medium left. This new poster launches Pretty Polly's search for Legs of 2011. The winner receives a year's modelling contract and £100k. They will be chosen by a panel including a designer called Henry Holland, who, sadly, I've never heard of. But, Henry, if you'd like a hand, I'm always here.
Well, that's it then. A little rusty, a little bitter, but over.
MEDIA OWNER - William Eccleshare, president and chief executive, Clear Channel International
Time was when the ads for Private View arrived in a bursting Jiffy bag full of cassettes and print proofs. Now you just get a bunch of links to sites that speak breathlessly of "category-changing campaigns" and "iconic production values". Sadly, punters don't get to see the background puff and the reviewer's task is to try to imagine what it's like to see any of this stuff for real. For years, we've worried about clutter, but this is about to become even more of an issue with the official arrival of product placement on commercial TV and the ongoing saga of changes to commercial minutage. The need to really grab attention is paramount.
All of this week's work tries to rise to that challenge. Some of it succeeds. Put the Lexus (3) spot in the middle of a break and I defy you to remember what it was for, why you should want it and, above all, what Kylie thought she was doing behind the wheel. I struggled to find an idea. I'm afraid I didn't recognise any of the drummers but, even if I had, I'm pretty sure I'd have forgotten it all before it was over. It felt like a throwback to a best-forgotten past.
Werther's Original (2) isn't exactly cutting-edge, either. This ad felt like something JWT might have been doing when I joined in the late 70s. When the irrepressible and much-missed Allen Thomas became the agency's creative director in the early 80s, he called this sort of work "J W Twee". But I'm a sucker for schmaltz and this spot is absolutely on-brand. It's been lovingly put together and would actually be pleasantly distinctive in today's frenetic commercial breaks.
Zoe and Laura in our office both told me they thought it was "cheesy" but, sadly, I'm closer to the target age group than they are.
I loved the Nokia (6) spot. A real idea here and Gary Waite is infectiously engaging. A blind photographer is just an extraordinary notion and it sticks in the mind long after the 30 seconds have rushed by. It'll be great to see some of Waite's photos appear on posters as a follow-up to TV. My interest has certainly been raised and Nokia is definitely doing something clever and innovative here.
The same can't really be said for the William Hill (5) spot. The PR release says this ad "talks to consumers in a way that is relevant to them". This is often an excuse to be patronising and that's how this felt. It also shouts rather than talks, which is never the smartest way to gain attention. Apparently, William Hill is "at the forefront of betting innovation and technology". It certainly didn't come across in this.
Loads of warning signs started flashing when I saw the bumf around the Cravendale (4) work. Lots of buzzwords about "integration", use of Twitter and fans being able to interact with Bertram the cat. I feared another pale meerkat rip-off but this is actually a delightful ad, beautifully shot and with a very wry humour. I was always wary when creative teams told me an ad was destined to "go viral" but this one should - it's a joy to watch.
It's a pleasure to appear opposite the wise Mark Roalfe - a craftsman who has been behind loads of great poster advertising from big brands such as Virgin and Land Rover. I was working at Y&R Europe when Mark and James Murphy went, apprehensively, to see Steve Sharp at Marks & Spencer just after Stuart Rose took over. They came back having sold one of the most powerful outdoor campaigns of the last decade. As a media owner, there are few things worse than advertisers misusing one's space and as we migrate to become a fully fledged digital medium, there are new lessons to learn. Pretty Polly (1) is a brand that has shown it fully understands how to get noticed with style and this is a great campaign idea executed with a real appreciation of how to use motion sparingly to create some powerful, beautiful communication, and "Legs 11" is just a great, simple idea. No-one with a pulse will miss these pins, I'm sure.
1. PRETTY POLLY
Project: Pretty Polly Legs '11
Client: David Hinchliffe, marketing director, Pretty Polly
Brief: Breathe new life into Pretty Polly as a fashion brand
Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer/art director: Julia Martens
Photographer: Simon Thistleton
Exposure: Print, digital outdoor
2. WERTHER'S ORIGINAL
Project: Father and son
Client: Anne Hollamby, marketing director, Storck UK
Brief: Reinvigorate the Werther's brand and introduce chocolate
Writer: Dave Alexander
Art director: Rob Fletcher
Director: Jamie Rafin
Production company: HLA Productions
Project: The quiet revolution
Clients: Christopher Taylor, senior manager, marketing comms; Paul
Marshall, general manager, marketing and strategy, Lexus
Brief: Promote partnership between Lexus UK and Kylie's Aphrodite Les
Agency: CHI & Partners
Writers/art directors: Nigel Roberts, Alan Cinnamond
Directors: Stacy Wall, Simon Macoid
Production company: Gorgeous
Exposure: TV, cinema, digital, online, print
Project: Cats with thumbs
Clients: Stuart Ibberson, senior brand manager; Sam Dolan, brand
manager, Cravendale, Arla Foods
Brief: Encourage more people to consciously switch to Cravendale, by
creating love and fame for the brand
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
Creatives: Hollie Sayers, Freddie Powell
Director: Ulf Johansson
Production company: Smith and Jones
Exposure: TV, online, in-store, PR
5. WILLIAM HILL
Client: Kristof Fahy, marketing director, William Hill
Brief: Talk to consumers in a way that is relevant to them and position
William Hill at the forefront of betting innovation
Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer: Ben Walker
Art director: Matt Gooden
Director: David Daniels
Production company: Tandem Films
Exposure: TV, cinema, outdoor, online
Project: Nokia N8 - Blackpool
Client: Adam Johnson, head of marketing activation, Nokia
Brief: Celebrate the photographic capabilities of the Nokia N8 in a real
and inspiring way
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
Creatives: Jon Matthews, Richard Dorey, Mark McCall
Director: Anthony Dickenson
Production company: Pulse
Exposure: TV, online