I must confess. I've had it with footballers. Not in the traditional "left my 18th birthday party at Funky Buddha after two gallons of Cristal and a bag of Quavers to head straight back to the Sanderson for a spot of spit-roasting between a pair of mediocre mid-table midfield nonentities" sense, you understand.
God no. I've had it with footballers because of their unearned, inexorable deification in the media. That, and the fact they're all twats, of course.
I hate the game's Nike-instigated anti-team, individualistic Harlem Globetrotterish descent into Soccerball. I hate the prefix "beautiful" being attached to a game whose star exponents are able to perform the late-timed, two-footed, over-the-top, career-threatening lunge with aplomb, yet view the simple act of kicking a football with one's left foot as some kinda weird, unfathomable witchcraft. (Tip: Cut out the raping on one of the six days a week you have off work and put in some left peg practice. Radical. But could work.)
And I've tried, but I really don't think that Adidas (1) depicting the (World Cup) team-mates of its sponsored superstars as an anonymous, inconsequential "+10" is going to do very much for changing-room harmony, is it? It's a good job they can't read.
From footballers. To drugs. A journey so brief in its ... Oh, look. We're here. I love the COI/Frank (5) campaign. Always have. This is work that genuinely understands its audience. And the casting of Tory slip-of-a-lard David Cameron as Inquisitive Boy is nothing short of inspired. Just say no, kids. Look at the consequences.
Smirnoff (3). Lynch. Distilled. Brilliant.
From footballers, drugs and vodka to ... well, footballers again. Or more specifically, the nutmeg. Try something new today, Sainsbury's (4) say.
What, kick with your left foot? Nope. Get Jamie Oliver to add a cockney noun of nutmeg to your dinner. Live a little.
For me, the prospect of two grown men nipping the ball between one another's legs atop a plate of spag bol holds very little appetite appeal. But if the Blessed Jamie says we must, the nation, dem 'im trust. Let's face it, if he told you lot to put Persil on yer parsnips you'd ask Bio or Non, wouldn't you?
From footballers, drugs, vodka and nutmeg, it's a slippery slurp to Breaking News. On yer mobile! The T-Mobile (2) online DIY "Newsflash" service, in fact. (www.t-mobile-campaign.co.uk)
It's a kind of You've Been Framed! for the Happy Slap Generation. Minus the spherical Northern lass and the two hundred quid bung for sending in your hilarious clips of humans falling over at weddings, but plus the very 2005 twist of YOU paying THEM for the privilege. (At standard operator's rates, of course.) While at the same time agreeing to indemnify T-Mobile for any "loss or damage resulting from any third-party action taken against you for the content or material that you create ..."
In other words: don't come crying to us if you get sued after posting yer blurry footage of some footballer stumbling out of a glamour model at 4am. Multi-Billion Dollar Telecoms Giants Do The Craziest Things! Don't they?
Remember the tale we were all told at school about the earthquake that would be created if the entire population of China decided to simultaneously jump up and down ...? Well, Swatch (6) has chosen to flip the story. Here, what we take to be The Rest of the World (but what looks suspiciously to me like a bunch of herberts on a very low day-rate in Rio) goes on a simultaneous intercontinental flash-mobbing jumping-spree.
The resulting global wobble is enough to knock every single beautiful petal of pink blossom off some gentle old Chinese gardener's pride and joy.
Well I just hope they're bloody pleased with themselves. Bastards.
WRITER - Victor Lewis-Smith, TV critic, broadcaster, writer and producer
Always interested in advertising, I named my two children Niacin and Thiamin (I'd wanted to christen them Pearl and Dean, but the vicar phoned the social workers from the font), and I advised them recently that "a pun is the very lowest form of humour - unless you've thought of it yourself".
Advertisers have never been slow to reach for their pun, but they've missed a trick in Sainsbury's (4) "try something new" campaign, because when Jamie Oliver tells us that "we're not talking rocket science", he surely ought to be holding out a handful of roquette leaves, not a nutmeg. Nevertheless, it's a fast-paced and technically well-executed commercial, sadly made unwatchable by the presence of an increasingly irritating chef, who I recently saw (during a live TV appearance) trying to grate a nutmeg while it was still in its shell. And is he in any position to advertise "healthy" alternatives, when his new series features him driving a vehicle that belches out so many fumes it could knock ten points off the IQ of an entire primary school, just by revving up hard outside the main gate?
A single arresting visual device can hold the attention for an entire commercial, and that's what Swatch (6) has found for its "shake the world" campaign. I've seen global apocalyptic ads until I'm apoplectic, but this uses the "entire planet frozen in time" idea to great effect, with a mesmerising soundtrack (inspired by Britney Spears' Toxic), and breathtakingly detailed post-production. If genius is the infinite capacity to take pains, then the people who made this must be ... well, very clever indeed.
COI has always specialised in apocalyptic ads, taking a macabre delight throughout my childhood in setting fire to acrylic nighties, detonating fishing boats, decapitating Taiwanese dollies to reveal the dangerous spike that lurked within and generally locating pure evil in a loose-fitting electrical plug. The COI/Frank (5) drug awareness campaign continues this tradition, with a precocious younger brother asking pertinent (and impertinent) questions of his elder siblings, as they experience the downside of drug experimentation. Darkly funny, while the alternative gameshow format updates the "just say no" campaign of the 80s.
I'm always suspicious of ads that look like trailers for Hollywood movies, because so many directors view advertising not as a noble profession in its own right, but as a mere stepping stone to a more lucrative career in Lalaland. They're welcome to it. The flimsy justification for this Smirnoff (3) triptych (three versions of the same jump-cut scene, progressively condensed until "I don't love you" becomes "I love you") is that the vodka is also triple distilled, but that premise was too tenuous to hold my attention. As for expecting digital viewers to "press red" in order to make sense of it all, they're far more likely to see red.
The Adidas (1) "+10" prints of photogenic international footballers did little for me, but to be fair, they're clearly aimed at soccer-crazed adolescents who are passing through the hero-worshipping homo-erotic phase of their development. The World Cup is still a year away, yet the various sportswear campaigns are already in full swing; although mercifully, the associated TV commercials are shown mostly on sports channels, which means that I never have to see them. Thank God (and Rupert Murdoch) for narrowcasting.
"Make your own news bulletin" for T-Mobile (2) didn't work for me either, being little more than a hi-tech video version of those spoof "put your own headline here" newspapers beloved of novelty shops. Actually, it didn't work for me in any sense, failing at step six when I tried to follow the online instructions, probably because I live in a rural area, where my T-Mobile's reception is woefully erratic, because the nearest mast is many miles away. Pity, because my spoof news item contained no fewer than ten puns, and I'd hoped that at least one or two of them would get through to the website. But unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
1. ADIDAS Project: +10 Client: Uli Becker, head of global communications, Adidas International Brief: The +10 campaign celebrates a uniquely Adidas take on the world of football Agency: 180 Amsterdam Writers: Lee Hempstock, Andy Fackrell Art directors: Dario Nucci, Julian Wade Photographer: Robert Wilson Exposure: Poster sites globally 2. T-MOBILE Project: TMTV Client: Deborah Porton, picture messaging proposition manager UK Brief: Create a viral campaign to inspire people to send picture messages and support the new 20p MMS tariff Agency: Glue London Writers: Jaime McLennan, Adam King Art directors: Jaime McLennan, Adam King Exposure: Viral and online advertising 3. SMIRNOFF Project: Triple distilled Client: James Pennefather, brand director, Smirnoff, Diageo UK Brief: Continue to drive the distinctive values of Smirnoff Agency: JWT London Writer: Richard Baynham Art director: Ian Gabaldoni Director: Fredrik Bond Production company: MJZ Exposure: National TV, cinema 4. SAINSBURY'S Project: Try something new today Client: Helen Buck, director of brand communication, Sainsbury's Brief: Inspire the nation to try something new with Sainsbury's Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Writers: Tony Strong, Peter Souter Art directors: Mike Durban, Paul Brazier Director: Luke Scott Production company: RSA Exposure: National TV 5. COI/FRANK Project: Inquisitive kid, gameshow Client: n/s Brief: Build affinity with a younger youth audience Agency: Mother Writer: Mother Art director: Mother Director: Stylewar Production company: Stink Exposure: National TV 6. SWATCH Project: Shake the world Client: Roberto Costa, marketing director, Swatch Brief: Give Swatch ownership of a new territory Agency: Joshua Writer: Mitch Levy Art director: Mitch Levy Director: Mehdi Norowzian Production company: Joy@RSA Exposure: Global TV, cinema