For two years, I've avoided doing Private View. Principally because there has been enough to occupy my time at Ogilvy. Not unlike how many people feel about looking at ads in general, given the fast-paced, fast food, frenetic world we're in.
So can folk be convinced to squeeze a little Yakult (2) into their day?
A campaign of six TV, four radio, eight press ads and a calendar attempt to convince me. As a whole, this is communication without adornment and I first thought it to be as dull as dishwater - but then they explained that's just the colour Yakult is. It was about then, after the fourth spot, it began to grow on me, a little.
Branston Pickle (4) doesn't have to grow on me, I love the stuff. This ad tells me it's now in a squeezy bottle and makes the benefit of this pretty clear. It just hasn't turned out as entertaining as it might have.
Perhaps it's simply not daft enough to be memorable among today's mass of messages.
Time for another drink, this time it's Ribena (1). A tale of one kitchen-bound blackcurrant and its attempt to reunite with all of the other blackcurrants who're hanging about outdoors. The Great Escape it ain't: our hero gets splattered against a wall by the otherwise not-very-lethal-weapon known as the pedal bin. Quite sweet, but therein lies a wee problem: I suspect it doesn't really have enough bite to stay with you.
BBC News' (5) banner ads are, as you might expect, wholly dependent on what's happening in the world to grab your attention. However, it all falls short when you land on the actual BBC news page only to discover the featured story you're after is buried some place insignificant. And that is daft.
Now what's this? Time for ice-cream? A bevy of fit young girls descend upon a Yankee Doodle Dandy guitar-playing ice-cream man. He must be wearing Lynx. No, my mistake, it's Levi's (6) he's wearing. I don't know about you, but I remember the days when the jeans were a credible part of the Levi's story and I couldn't substitute them for any other product. Still, it's beautifully shot and adorned with a dollop of "cool" that's sure to make it stand out.
To finish, two tasty spots from Orange (3). Or should I say from the richest men in advertising, aka the last of the independents, Mother.
One spot suggests good things happen when your phone is on, the other when your phone is off. Either way I'm told "the future's bright". The films are beautifully made and each tells a story well. The "when your phone's on" spot feels like today's version of "it's good to talk" - the other feels like the planner's version (ie. quite what it's got to do with Orange feels like it needs explaining more clearly).
Nevertheless, from this week's bunch, these Orange spots are most likely to stop people and get them talking.
DM CREATIVE - Steve Stretton, creative partner, Archibald Ingall Stretton
Twenty years ago, I either loved or hated everything. There was no in-between. I read the NME and hated every band it didn't champion. I loved The Smiths; I hated Duran Duran. I loved Coventry City; I hated Leicester City. I loved the Labour Party; I hated Margaret Thatcher. Neville Brody was everything and I wouldn't be seen dead near a serif. Things were either ace or crap. But I was warned that people mellow as they get older. And it's so horribly true: of these six pieces of work, five fall into that area between love and hate called "hmmm".
First up is an ad for Branston Pickle (4). Well, it's more for the packaging, which is now a squeezy bottle. The idea is that it's now so easy to squeeze Branston on to your cheese sandwich that your other hand can be more usefully employed (the viral offering writes itself). It's charming, the effects are intriguing, the music's nice and gentle and the pickle looks lovely.
In fact, the sight of the pickle on the sandwich provoked a "hmmm", but in a good way.
Next are Levi's (6) Anti-fit jeans. A bloke in an ice-cream van is annoyingly good-looking. Cool music. Warm weather. A series of babes in bikinis are licking lollies. My finger hovers over the "mmmm ... beautiful" key.
On to Ribena (1). The line "95 per cent of all blackcurrants make it" is a lovely thought. There's a cartoon blackcurrant undergoing a Raiders of the Lost Ark-type adventure, cheating death every two seconds. I like that it gets squashed in the last few frames. It also leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy to hear David Bellamy's voiceover. Overall, more of a gentle "aaah" than a "hmmm".
Talking of warm, fuzzy voiceovers, I'm racking my ears trying to work out who does the Yakult (2) campaign. He sounds like somebody from Watch With Mother. This is excellent writing: the scripts for the TV and radio explain the product in a way that doesn't shout or patronise. It's quirky, but not daft, and educational without being dull. I bet it didn't cost much to make, but will be worth its weight in gold.
The whirling and swirling BBC News (5) digital work is superbly crafted, visually rich and beautifully designed. "Hmmm".
The new Orange (3) campaign. I love it. And other people hate it: "A phone company telling you to switch your phone off? That's stupid." And it is, but it's honest. And it doesn't say anything about free minutes or picture-messaging or text bundles. Admittedly, it does say that good things also happen when you turn your phone on, but, hey, that's true.
The ads also look bloody good, create debate and, importantly for a phone company, make people talk. So, thankfully, there was something in the bag that I could love. Shame there was nothing I could hate. I'll have to stick to Leicester City.
1. RIBENA Project: The Liquidator Client: GlaxoSmithKline Brief: Drive re-appraisal of Ribena as a premium-quality real fruit drink and an appealing brand for adults Agency: M&C Saatchi Writer: Jerry Gallaher Art director: Clive Yaxley Director: Daniel Greaves Production company: Tandem Films Exposure: National TV 2. YAKULT Project: Yakult Clients: Javier Orti, Paul Colman, marketing, Yakult Brief: Force re-appraisal of Yakult among probiotic drinkers Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Writers: Michael Russoff, Richard Dorey, Mark McCall Art directors: Michael Russoff, Richard Dorey, Mark McCall Directors: Tom and Mark Perrett Production company: Nexus Exposure: National TV, radio, press, direct marketing, point-of-sale 3. ORANGE Project: Blackout, Rio Client: Pippa Dunn, director of brand marketing, Orange Brief: Address the fact that people care significantly less about their mobile operator than they did ten years ago Agency: Mother Writer: Mother Art director: Mother Directors: Noam Murro (blackout); Nicolai Fugslig (Rio) Production companies: Independent/Biscuit Films (blackout), MJZ (Rio) Exposure: National TV 4. BRANSTON PICKLE Project: Squeezy Client: Sue Knight, general manager, marketing (pickles and sauces), Premier Foods Brief: Tell people that the Branston they know and love now comes in a convenient format Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners Writer: Richard Holmes Art director: Remco Graham Director: n/s Production company: n/s Exposure: National TV 5. BBC NEWS Project: Inquisitives Client: BBC World Service Brief: Increase numbers of inquisitive news seekers using bbcnews.com Agency: Agency Republic Writer: Chris Baylis Art director: Russ Tucker Exposure: Online 6. LEVI'S Project: Ice-cream Client: Andrea Moore, European marketing manager, Levi's Brief: Get young guys across Europe to re-evaluate the brand Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writers: Dave Masterman, Ed Edwards Art directors: Dave Masterman, Ed Edwards Director: Stacy Wall Production company: Epoch London Exposure: TV, internet