Agency producer: "Next on our pre-production agenda, breast bounce."
Account manager: "I guess the question is, how much do we want?"
Client (male): "Well, obviously the kids love bouncing breasts. Don't we all (laugh) but too much might be wrong."
Creative: "Personally, you can't get enough bouncing breasts."
Over the past year or so, the Lynx (3) campaign has swapped beautifully observed dialogue and narrative for beautifully stacked women bouncing across the screen.
And boy do they bounce.
This is no doubt because men want scantily clad women. And women, according to Lynx, want men who spray themselves from head to toe in Lynx body spray.
Fortunately for the star of the commercial (the man, not the bouncing breasts), the leaner, taller, more stunning of the world's women are faster runners than less slim, shorter, less stunning variety. All of who seem to have failed to make the cut.
I'm sure the target audience's attraction to this ad is not unlike the woman's attraction to the man portrayed in the ad. The pause button on my DVD player has never been so popular.
(And as a small aside, are any of you fellow 30-year-olds, OK, 40-year-olds, OK, nearly 45-year-olds, pissed off with the amount of naked female flesh that's so readily available to teenagers these days?
In our day there was no FHM, no Men & Motors and even page three of The Sun was editorial. We had it hard in our day.)
On to another advertiser who's given us some great work over the years.
No conversation in the pre-prod about size of the bouncing breasts, though.
More about the size of the Lupins in the end shot. You see, you'll be attracted to the new £30,000 Volkswagen Eos (6) for the effect it has on your senses.
I have a sneaking suspicion people may buy it in an attempt to attract some of the women you find in the Lynx ad. But full marks to those PC people at DDB London for avoiding such an obvious route. And for creating a beautifully crafted commercial.
Next up is an online campaign to promote Virgin Casino (1). What a great opportunity. In a series of banner ads, you are asked to click on a certain casino word - when you do, actors act out the word depicted. "Deal" and two guys do a deal. "Call" and a guy calls a dog. "Twist" ... and you get the idea. Good, but not ten, jack, queen, king, ace of the same suit.
In the next piece of work, Gordon's Gin (4) has decided to do a Little Book Of Modern Manners and How to Get Your Entertaining Spot On. And anybody who tries something a bit different deserves some praise. Having said that, I think a little longer could have been spent on what is inside the little book. It could have been great and something you'd want to keep, but I don't think it is. Like the Virgin Casino campaign, it could have done with more of a twist.
Now, as much as one tries to always be positive about work, sometimes you're on to a hiding to nothing. I've stared at these bmi (5) layouts for a long time now and, well, I just can't find anything positive to say. Maybe I'll come back to them.
Last, but in no way least, is a tactical price message from Vodafone (2). In many ways a harder proposition than others in this collection. "Talk for longer abroad with Vodafone Postcard ... take your home tariff abroad ... a small connection charge ... six million people already signed up ..." But the visual is simple and arresting and the execution of it charming. Well done to the agency and the advertiser for showing that hard-working price advertising can be done in a cool and memorable way.
And so do a job for the brand as well as the offer.
Something good to say about the bmi campaign? Well, £25 to Amsterdam is not bad.
AGENCY CEO - Paul Hammersley, chief executive, The Red Brick Road
Writing this the week after Cannes and not having made the journey this year (the demands of a fledgling agency and all that), I'm concerned that I may have missed some of the latest emerging global creative themes.
What I haven't missed, though, is the big theme developing here at the moment - the widespread visual use of bubbles, of course. These days it seems they're everywhere. And if it's not bubbles it's floating balloons, bouncing balls, fluttering ribbons or passing clouds.
Indeed, I really shouldn't have been surprised to receive the latest "bubble" commercial in my pack of work to review. This time, it's from Vodafone (2), but I have to say it looks eerily similar to the recent 3 "ribbons" commercial. As with that commercial, it's a nicely produced piece of film, but I had to work damn hard to understand the (actually rather simple, and I suspect quite important) message about new European roaming tariffs. This market issue seems to have exploded rather quickly recently and I couldn't help but wonder if this commercial was originally shot to communicate something else.
Clear and distinctive price advertising is one of the basic requirements of many advertisers and agencies yet it often evades the best of them.
The most obvious and popular solution is to find a device or vehicle to carry all the messages and in the case of bmi (5) the vehicle appears to be an airport trolley. As a travel brand, I suppose that makes sense; it could after all have been a bubble, a ball, or perhaps a ribbon ... although on closer inspection, it seems they haven't quite been able to resist the allure of some passing clouds.
From retail price advertising clutter to internet clutter; the data shows that click-through rates on banner ads are not surprisingly increasingly woeful, so these for Virgin Casino (1) represent a laudable attempt to garner some interest; they're simple and fun. That said, to the unsophisticated gambler (honest), the subject matter is somewhat difficult to comprehend and seems like it might easily be confused with that other popular internet subject matter ... what on earth is a "double-down"?
Which neatly brings me on to the soft porn crudely disguised as the latest Lynx (3) commercial - hundreds of gorgeous, scantily clad girls descending on a dopey guy liberally spraying Lynx in the air. For me, this misses the intelligence and surprise which has come to typify the more recent Lynx work and seems like a retrograde step (though the lads will probably like it just for that reason); it's certainly reminiscent of the one from years ago with those prehistoric women all Racquel Welch-like. Can this fantastic campaign be finally running out of steam?
Back to bubbles, or at least beads of condensation on a mailer for Gordon's Gin (4). Eh? A mailer for a spirits brand? A nice little booklet on entertaining etiquette sent from the Gordon's Master Distiller no less. But who on earth would you send this to and why would anyone bother opening it? All this did for me was to remind me what a tired old brand Gordon's has become.
Given the resurgence in other white spirits, shouldn't its owners be doing something to put it back on its rightful pedestal?
Finally to Volkswagen (6), which, given my time at DDB, is a brand and a campaign dear to my heart. Now, I have to declare an interest here and say that I was at the agency when this script was written and presented.
I liked it then and still do, and it's been beautifully shot with a nice soundtrack - although perhaps some fluttering ribbons or racing clouds might have added to the mood. One little niggle: I have the benefit of knowing this is a great-looking car and can't help wonder why can't we share that little secret with a few potential owners?
Let's see a little more of the product ... please, Jeremy!
1. VIRGIN CASINO
Project: Virgin Casino
Client: Ross Sleight, marketing director, Virgin Games
Brief: Dramatise Virgin's approach to online gambling through online ads
Agency: Lean Mean Fighting Machine
Writers: Sam Ball, Dave Bedwood, Zoe Hough, Claire Baker
Art directors: Sam Ball, Dave Bedwood, Mark Beacock
Project: Speech bubbles
Client: Dave Wheldon, global director of brand and customer experience,
Brief: Promote Vodafone's Passport tariff
Writer: Jason Berry
Art director: Ben Short
Director: Walter Stern
Production company: Academy
Exposure: Pan-European TV
Clients: Karen Hamilton, regional category vice-president, deodorants,
Europe; Carlos Gil, global brand director, Axe
Brief: Spray more, get more
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers: Adrian Rossi, Alex Grieve
Art directors: Adrian Rossi, Alex Grieve
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production company: MJZ
Exposure: International TV
4. GORDON'S GIN
Project: Gordon's Little Book of Modern Manners and How to Get Your
Entertaining Spot On
Clients: Kathy Sawtell, Will Birkin, Gordon's Gin, Diageo
Brief: Communicate in a fun and witty way the fact that Gordon's is
"the" drink when entertaining
Agency: Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel
Writer: John Spinks
Art director: Chris Jones
Exposure: Direct mail
Project: Leisure fares campaign
Client: Adrian Parkes, commercial director, bmi
Brief: Promote the benefits of flying from Heathrow, from only £25
one way, including taxes
Agency: Euro RSCG London
Writer: George Leaney
Art director: Ben Parton
Exposure: National press, posters
Project: Rediscover your senses
Client: Heidi Cartledge, marketing communications manager, Volkswagen
Brief: Launch the Eos
Agency: DDB London
Writer: Simon Veksner
Art director: Nick Allsop
Director: Blue Source
Production company: Blink
Exposure: National TV , cinema, press