After Mad Cow Disease, Fast Food Nation and Super-Size Me, you wonder what more McDonald's (3) can take. But just when you think that it might have had its chips, as it were, it reinvents itself. I glance up at one of its new posters. "Hey kids, who wants to go to McDonald's for some McLettuce?" I enthuse, and watch as their little faces brim over with excitement. But although these posters are simple, elegant and effective at getting the message over, I'm now left wondering what McDonald's stands for. All of which is neatly encapsulated in its new logo.
Ignoring the junk food debate, Pot Noodle (5) has set up a website to promote "outdoor noodling: a full experience with games, gags, competitions etc that add depth to the brand". Strangely, considering the lack of any need of regulation, it seems less naughty than the TV ads we all know and love.
Next is a massive poster campaign. Channel 4 (1) has taken all the humour of The Simpsons, and then ignored it. The first execution shows a Simpsons character and tells us that they are coming to Channel 4. The second is ... well, the same, as are the other 42 different executions. Just in case you don't get the message, there will be 3,600 posters up over four days. You can't deny it'll get the job done, but it's unremarkable except for the fact that the 96-sheet execution has the client's logo on it 4,970 times.
From blanket coverage to select targeting. I have kindly been sent a copy of Conde Nast Traveller along with a letter from Lexus (4), telling me that their new £50k car is so exclusive it is only going to be advertised to a few individuals. Lo and behold, in the middle of said publication is an ad for the Lexus with the headline: "The sc430. As individual as Charles Inge." My very own ad. This is proper direct marketing at its cleverest. You've got my attention. I'm flattered. I only wish that, in the end, my ad was a little more inspiring.
Another car asking for my attention is the Land Rover (2). Here the car keeps driving over every type of terrain until finally it can go no further.
It breaks to a halt at the edge of a precipice which turns out to be the edge of the Earth. Oddly we then cut to a line: "Go beyond", which, having seen the end of Thelma and Louise, strikes me as a particularly unwise thing to do. An OK commercial in a great campaign.
Last of a mixed bag is a sweet TV campaign for Orange (6): simple propositions, nicely executed in a fun animation style. Oh, and if you can keep track, this week's endline is: "Reasons to be Orange."
DIRECTOR - Ridley Scott, founder and director, RSA Films
The overall look to this series of press ads for McDonald's (3) is more first-year art degree than national ad campaign. I am aware that McDonald's is on a health-conscious policy, but these images are seriously unappetising, using unattractive, pallid photography. Who do they think they're appealing to? These ads make me want to go out and eat a Big Mac.
The Simpsons on Channel 4 (1). Here are some interesting graphics and a really nice approach. Works best for Simpson's addicts and that's probably a lot of viewers, and it's clear which channel to catch them on.
Lexus (4) has curious methodology. However, it wouldn't necessarily make me buy a car. I hope it works for them, but I doubt it will. It wouldn't convince me, but it might convince Matt Button, if he's got an ego silly enough to be impressed by the fact they chose him (or her) or even was amused by that fact. This is a bit too clever by far - I hope the sales justify the cost, but I like the magazine, so thanks for that ... Pot Noodle (5). Puerile. I'm speechless that we have come to this - absolutely no further comment ...
I do not know what to say about Orange (6). Cardboard animation technology leaves me uninterested to the extent that I don't hear the message. The storytelling is complicated and obscure-sorry. What was it about?
It is hard to shoot original car commercials. Land Rover (2) was a potentially nice job for someone. This is a great car, the new Land Rover, which looks like a Range Rover. It fooled me. It's quite nicely photographed, but perhaps not that individual. How often does one see montaged car ads, with the story of a car leaving the city to go off into the wilderness?
Am I to believe, in that last shot, that he drove to the edge of the world?
I think that there could have been more inventiveness in the brief.
Sorry to be rude, but we all have our crosses to bear. None of it is easy. I have to work to get films right and we all have to work to get our ads right too. I was passionately involved in advertising as a director for 15 years, before I did my first film. I was fully engaged; we used to be accused of creating better campaigns than the television shows they were breaking in ... So come on guys and gals where the @**!! are the good ads? If it ain't written on paper, it ain't going to fly ... that goes for ads or a film script.
1. CHANNEL 4
Project: The Simpsons on Channel 4
Clients: Bill Griffin, head of marketing; Polly Cochran, director of
marketing, Channel 4
Brief: Establish ownership of the arrival of the world's most famous TV
programme at Channel 4; establish the affinity between the irreverence
of both programme and channel; seed a new viewing route for Simpsons
Writer: Jim Chambers
Art director: Brett Foraker
Illustrator: Marilyn Frandsen
Exposure: National posters
2. LAND ROVER DISCOVERY
Project: All New Discovery
Client: Les Knight, Discovery communications manager
Brief: Convince people that the All New Discovery is a truly modern
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: Ben Priest
Art director: Mark Roalfe
Director: Kevin Thomas
Production company: Thomas Thomas
Exposure: National TV
Project: "Change" posters
Client: Laurie Morgan, head of national marketing, McDonald's
Brief: Grab everyone's attention and kick-start reappraisal of the brand
by communicating the changes going on at McDonald's
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writer: Alistair Wood
Art director: Paul White
Typographer: Mark Cakebread
Photographer: Simon Page-Ritchie
Exposure: National posters
Client: Matt Button, CRM and database marketing manager, Lexus GB
Brief: Make the sc430 desirable and give prospects confidence to choose
a brand outside the "badge" marques, such as Mercedes/BMW/Jaguar
Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge
Writer: Shaun Moran
Art director: Paul Walton
Exposure: High-net-worth individuals on client's database
5. POT NOODLE
Project: "Natural Noodling"
Client: Rachel Broad, brand manager, Pot Noodle
Brief: Communicate Pot Noodle's irresistible trashiness online
Agency: Glue London
Writer: Anne-Marie Burrows
Art director: Hayden Rogers
Director: Rubbish Corp
Production company: Arden Sutherland Dodd
Project: "Another reason to be Orange"
Brief: Orange Value
Art director: Mother
Director: Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink Productions
Exposure: National terrestrial and satellite TV