"It was only when I died that life started to get interesting." What a fantastic way to start an ad! People have 200 channels and a twitchy remote finger. So why not kill your lead character in the first five seconds, cremate him and then filter his remains so they can be compressed into a diamond? Hard to leave an ad when all that is going on. I admire everyone involved in this Smirnoff (1) ad. The planner for finding the filtered-ten-times bit. The creatives for the charmingly silly urban myth. And the client for buying a cast entirely devoid of the target market. "Come on chaps, one fat, bald, middle-aged man is not enough! Let's have two and, while we are at it, have one of them stop breathing fairly early on in the proceedings." Excellent.
Bhs (4) and 3 both hired little girls to stimulate sales, with varying results. Bhs gets its six-year-old to skip about in a world stocked with towering piles of bog-standard Christmas gifts and then, after a while, the commercial gets tired and has to lie down for a bit.
The 3 (2) ad, on the other hand, is brilliant. Absolutely no idea what's going on ("one little girl tries to steal another's cherry," was my PA Sharon's summary but then she can be very coarse). But I like 3 lots more after seeing it and am more inclined to buy weenie handsets and tariffs from them as a result.
The Zane Lowe show poster for Radio 1 (3) is kind of cool, if a little sacrilegious. Probably just the ticket for the target.
I suspect that the poor team who put together the Heineken (5) mailer I was asked to review (why, why, why?!?) know that the "precious thing in bubble wrap" idea is a bit old. In fact it appears in many fossilised annuals from the Precambrian era. Bubblewrapasaurus Rex. But the traffic man sometimes bangs on the door before you're ready, right?
Private View has gone all multimedia since I was last here. So, after I'd stumbled around the internet for longer than I care to admit, I found some avatars and banners for child protection for the Home Office (6), warning children of the dangers of paedophiles with computers.
Keeping our beloved children safe without scaring the bejesus out of them is tough, as any parent knows. I think these cartoons do a good job of treading that line. Let's hope they work. Pip pip. (Oh, god, that's only 410 words, 40 short! Er ... listen, my second cousin is the lead singer of Showwaddywaddy. Remember?
Giant ear-to-ear slash where normal people have a mouth. Remind you of anyone? Oh bugger, now it's 454.)
TAXI DRIVER - Richard Langley, London taxi driver
The Radio 1 (3) poster campaign made me think the station was running a programme on tracing your family tree with the crest. It looks like a naff tattoo. Up close you can see all the detail in there - the drums and the guitar - but when you're going past it on the road, you're not going to see all that. I don't think it will help capture the younger listeners - it doesn't give the impression it'll be playing modern music at all - and I think it would look more suitable on an ad for Radio 4.
The first thing I thought when I saw the ad for Bhs (4) was how sorry I felt for the poor dog having to wear those antlers. It's very Christmassy - like a fairy tale, all Hansel and Gretel - but if I hadn't heard of the shop before, I still wouldn't know what it sold after watching that.
It looks like an ad for a kid's toy shop, not somewhere you go to fill your home up when you get married.
The online ads for child protection for the Home Office (6) were well animated, but they didn't grab the attention of my 11-year-old daughter.
She got bored waiting for them to finish and started clicking on something else. To get a teenager's attention, the ads need to be short and to the point: these were too long-winded.
A singing cherry wouldn't make me buy a mobile phone, but it might persuade my daughter. When I first watched this 3 (2) ad, I was waiting for the girl to open her packed lunch and get a yoghurt or something out - I thought it would be for a new healthy drink for children's lunches.
I didn't have a clue it would be for a mobile phone. A cherry singing?
Nonsense. It's rubbish - it's supposed to be advertising a phone, but I was more interested in what she had in her hand to drink.
Smirnoff (1) was the best of the six by far. I liked the music straight away - it gets you right into it. Quirky, a short story - the sunshine throughout made it very uplifting. It's like advertising was in the 70s.
You half- expected Steve McQueen to get out of the car.
Heineken (5) was the only ad here with any bottle - as soon as you see this leaflet, you know exactly what it is: it makes you pick it up and read it - no frills, no fancy writing, just a plain, simple but eye-catching, straightforward idea. It made me go out and buy some Heineken, although I didn't go to Tesco. It's a refreshing change - the simplest of all the ads here and I think it will probably be the most effective.
Project: "Smirnoff diamonds"
Client: Phillip Gladman, marketing director, Diageo GB
Brief: Continue to dramatise the product attributes of Smirnoff vodka
via the "not the usual" campaign
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Writer: Jonathan Budds
Art director: Anita Davis
Production company: Partizan
Exposure: Cinema and national TV
Client: Lisa Tomkies, director of communications, 3
Brief: Create a fresh way of associating 3 with music for a new mobile
Writer: Leslie Ali
Art director: Simon Robinson
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production company: MJZ
Exposure: National terrestrial and satellite TV
3. RADIO 1
Project: Radio 1 post-7pm
Client: James Wood, marketing manager, BBC Radio 1
Brief: Alert listeners to the Zane Lowe show that kicks off Radio 1's
Writer: Lawrence Seftel
Art director: Gary Anderson
Photographer: Joel Lardner
Typographer: Joel Lardner
Exposure: National posters
Client: Romney Drury, marketing director, Bhs
Agency: HHCL/Red Cell
Writer: Steve Henry
Art director: Steve Henry
Director: Julia Jason
Production company: Cowboy Films
Project: "Bottle protector"
Client: Gayle Harrison, brand manager, Heineken
Brief: Offer a free bottle of Heineken to drinkers of other premium
lagers, while reinforcing the new brand positioning as a beer that
Agency: Hall Moore CHI
Writer: Liam Donnelly
Art director: Phil Holbrook
Exposure: Mailing to 140,000 premium lager drinkers
6. HOME OFFICE
Project: "Child protection on the internet"
Brief: Educate teenagers about the dangers of paedophiles using online
chatrooms to contact and "groom" potential victims
Writer: Chris Baylis
Art director: Paul Beacham