In my view, the best advertising hits you in the head, heart or gut. Let's see where this week's fodder land, if they land at all. The Lexus (6) mailer is selling its new satellite navigation system.
Once I'd waded through the puns and fully opened this fold-out mailer, I was surprised by the triggering of a voice message (a la those greeting cards that sing Happy Birthday) telling me that I had "reached my destination". Nice touch, but even that didn't prevent me from feeling that the whole package lacked the class I'm sure the advertiser would have wanted me to associate Lexus with. A miss.
UPS (2) is an average piece of work using an actor who I have always enjoyed. But you'll remember Jean Reno before you do UPS, as the promises he is making on UPS's behalf and the overall concept of the ad are simply unenterprising, predictable, forgettable. In fact, I felt like hitting the ad.
Impulse (5). Girl bus driver sees hot sportsman on billboard. He miraculously comes to life and winks at her. She drives bus like the clappers to sports field where guy is playing, smashes down gate, jumps out of bus, sucks face of sportsman hunk. We're told to "act on Impulse". Subtle, this ad is not. Nor is it stylish. My gut feels not pleasure but pain with this one, as I'm used to better being served up on Impulse.
Nabs (3) would have been a terrific ad had it not been for the awful acting. A worthy cause and it strikes a blow to the heart.
"Twix - two for you, all for you." Kill, maim, humiliate all those around you to ensure you get the two sticks of Twix (1) and don't have to share with anybody. Which sort of goes against the reason they invented Twix, I reckon. Slapstick concept mixed in with a questionable strategy - but then I bet the justification was: "If we tell them not to share, we'll sell twice as many." A wild swing right over my head.
The new NSPCC (4) campaign is not a bad piece of work, showing people whacking things once they've lost their cool, culminating with a mum whacking her little kid. The line "Hitting means you've lost it. Keep control" holds the ad together and you can't fault the sentiment, nor the logic of the ad. With the message of this ad firmly planted in my mind, consider this a gentle hug of the heart and the head.
I can hear the violent retorts of those reviewed already.
TV PRODUCER - Nigel Foster, executive director of television production, JWT London & Europe
Finally found time to sit down at home, with the snow falling as fast as it's melting, to review the five commercials and a direct marketing package - how I wish the snow would stay a little longer just for the children and me to play in.
I started with the Lexus (6) marketing package, thinking there was a DVD inside. On opening, I realise immediately this is promoting the Lexus IS200 SE, which now comes with a satellite navigation system as standard.
It gradually unfolds, revealing a 3/4 classic shot of the car. On opening the final fold, a pre-recorded female voice says "you have arrived at your destination", just like one of those speaking birthday cards. A very clever and simple idea.
I was pleased to see such an excellent choice of industry luminaries in the Nabs (3) spot (Walker, Hegarty, Hornby, Henry, Wight and Webster).
All their performances are excellent and believable - should be members of Equity ... I recognised all the artists from the first viewing - must be showing my age. Not sure if the younger gang will realise who's who.
An excellent, well-crafted piece of film. I do hope this ad works and Nabs receives lots of donations.
I had to watch the UPS (2) film a couple of times to totally understand the transportation sequence. Our hero is transported into a child's bedroom to tell him how UPS will help his future and that he will have a good life and a big nose like the actor. This spot has a very good light touch to it, with a concise message coming through, and is enjoyable to watch.
Another "fragrance film" - was this Impulse (5) ad written in the US or the UK, I ask myself. An attractive girl bus driver watching TV while driving the bus (is this allowed?) sees a hunky baseball player wink at her from the screen while playing baseball. We're now off on a scene reminiscent of Speed, with huge special effects scenes as the girl drives madly to the stadium, ending up on the pitch. I think viewers will know what's coming and will get to the end of the message before it even finishes.
I support the NSPCC (4) charity at various events throughout the year and was very keen to see this new ad. I have to say it works brilliantly.
A very simple but strong idea of people hitting objects when frustrated and angry, ending up with a mum continuing the theme, but on her small child.
The direction and editing are well done. A very hard-hitting spot.
Finally, a campaign from Twix (1) - three films. One based around a couple in France, one around a couple in California and the third in a Russian circus. The idea throughout is about getting rid of your partner through various means, enabling you to eat the two-bar Twix yourself. I feel that all these commercials are all soundly executed, but a bit bland.
Project: Two for you
Client: Natasha Gladman, European brand leader, Twix, Masterfoods
Brief: Address the fact that Twix is too good to share
Agency: Grey London
Writers: Adam Chiappe, Ross Fowler, Sam Hibbard
Art directors: Matt Saunby, Jim Dive, Nicola Hawes
Director: Nick Gordon
Production company: Academy
Exposure: National TV and cinema
Project: Meeting of the minds
Client: Kevin Keith, international advertising manager, UPS
Brief: Inspire businesses to work with like-minded entrepreneurial
partners such as UPS to make their visions a reality
Agency: McCann Erickson
Writer: Simon Learman
Art director: Brian Fraser
Director: Paul Goldman
Production company: 2AM Films
Exposure: International TV
Client: Kate Harris, chief executive, Nabs
Brief: Show the essential support Nabs provides to the communications
Writer: Will Farquhar
Art director: Ian Ducker
Director: Chris Palmer
Production company: Gorgeous
Project: Babies and toddlers 2005
Client: Chris Greenwood, brand manager, NSPCC
Brief: Get parents to reassess hitting children
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Writer: Paul Domenet
Art director: Andrew Clarke
Director: Richard Anthony
Production company: Method Films
Exposure: National TV
Client: Karen Hamilton, brand development director, Unilever
Brief: Impulse gives me the confidence to attract guys
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Gavin Lester
Art director: Gavin Lester
Directors: Les Freres Poiraud
Production company: Rose Hackney Barber
Exposure: National TV
Project: Lexus IS200 SE satellite navigation system
Client: Matthew Button, customer relationship management and database
marketing manager, Lexus (GB)
Brief: Communicate to IS200 SE prospects that sat nav is now included in
the price, in order to prompt a test drive
Agency: Partners Andrews Aldridge
Writer: Brian Keller
Art director: Craig Sneddon
Exposure: Direct mailing to 8,000 prospects and 2,000 customers