"Advertising as we know it is not dead," I'm told by a suave-looking account guy in a pin-striped suit. "Three-hundred-and-sixty is going to save it."
"I'm well up for saving advertising," I tell him, "but isn't 360 just the same as a big idea?"
"Yeah, but saying 360 every ten seconds makes the idea bigger."
So, in an effort to be "with it", I will attempt to give you my opinion on this week's work by grading it on its "360-ness".
First out of the bag is a campaign for the domestic abuse charity Women's Aid (1). It uses the draw of the celebrity to make us take note of the shocking abuse that goes on in some women's lives. This is a really powerful idea. It stops you, makes you feel sick and, most importantly, makes you want to do something. The idea is also big enough to carry across all media. I am giving this a 360 - and 360 to a great bit of cut-through strategy.
I do a 180 and pull out the next offering, which is a TV spot for Hyundai (4). I had to watch this spot a few times to make sure I hadn't missed something. I came to the conclusion that I hadn't. It was for any-old car that does any-old thing and gives you any-old offer. Sorry, I don't get why a client would spend so much money to say nothing. Fifty for this, and that's just for the music. At least you could play that on the car stereo.
Next up is a commercial from PruHealth (5) that tells us that it is going to reward us (the non-Priory people) for at least trying to keep healthy by giving us money off things.
I enjoyed watching this because it showed a real empathy with the everyday person. However, it felt as though it had been shot in Florida for the US market. Maybe that's just 360 at its best. Overall, it did what all 360 campaigns should do - create a simple and relevant idea. I give this one 320.
A quick 45-degree dive into the bag brings out the latest Land Rover (3) spot. A hottie from China tells a bloke from Chingford that he is about to meet someone who will fill his life with freedom and excitement. Lo and behold, it's the Freelander 2. Maybe it's a "man thing", because Johan, who sits next to me, feels the same way about cars. I liked it well enough, but wanted more. Probably a real twist. Personally, I would have given it to Richard Hammond for the weekend and watched what happens. I give this one 225, and my full appreciation of how hard it is to work on car accounts.
Next from the bag is a spot that's well and truly off its trolley. I loved it. The brief is you have ten seconds to tell the viewers that The Observer (2) has a special food supplement and a music supplement. The result is three Christians playing large vegetables as if they were instruments. This is attention grabbing and got the message over - 360 to this, and who cares if it works in Asda's frozen aisle or not?
Last, I get to go online and play the Cadbury's Creme Eggs (6) game. It's hard to say it isn't 360 because I am online, but I felt a bit let down by the initial experience. However, I did find the "Goo Earth" bit brilliant, along with some funny TV spots. The only let-down was the fact that the product looks about as appetising as a deep-fried Mars bar. Shame, it seems like the digital and above the line didn't get down to some 360 with each other - 290 out of 360.
And that's that. Remember, stop doing big ideas and start doing the 360. As the great Dicky Fox once said: "I don't have all the answers. To be honest, in life, I have failed as much as I've succeeded." So, if you have anything to do with this week's work, and are aggrieved, don't lose too much sleep over what I've had to say.
MARKETER - Roisin Donnelly, corporate marketing director, Procter & Gamble
To begin with, the most provocative campaign this week, the Women's Aid (1) print, left me with mixed feelings. Women's Aid ran a very powerful radio campaign - including "valentine messages" and "mills & boon" - that really leveraged the power of radio. It allowed the listener to powerfully dramatise the terrible problems of domestic violence for themselves. Featuring celebrities is always a double-edged sword, as we saw in Celebrity Big Brother this year. In this print campaign, the celebrities, complete with injuries provided by the make-up artist, do get attention, but it seemed like it was a trick just to get attention, and was focused more on the celebrity and fake make-up rather than the central issue of domestic violence. But the campaign does work brilliantly as an eight-page editorial piece in the March edition of Marie Claire. There's some provocative editorial from Marian Keyes, which accompanies seven of the print ads. Not many clients will secure an eight-page editorial on their campaign.
The ad from PruHealth (5) was called "brand version". So I yearned to see the "agency version", which was rejected to the cutting-room floor, but possibly breaking all bounds of creativity for medical insurance. This ad was cluttered - as brand versions often are. These were involving vignettes of some of the things that go wrong when you try to take care of yourself. I could really relate to the challenges of trying to balance on the Swiss Ball, and the smoothie exploding out of the blender. There was a value message - "it pays to be healthy" - 30 per cent off, but 30 per cent off what? The end super has a "Winner Health Insurance Awards" which seemed superfluous. It may have been a great award for the client, but I'm not sure what it was offering me as a potential prospect.
Moving to cars, there were two very different executions, but neither would make me rush to test drive or buy a new car. Hyundai (4) is beautifully produced and looks fabulous on the big screen. Very powerful shots that bring the "quality flows" idea alive, but it didn't make a rational or emotional connection that would make me change my brand loyalty. More art than advertising.
Next was Land Rover (3). There is a great dramatic story with an Eastern lady reading the tarot cards of a handsome stranger from the West. "You will meet a stranger ... do extraordinary things." But our hero (and the viewer) would be disappointed if the stranger turns out to be a Freelander, and not an intriguing human being with the whiff of danger. The biggest risk for me in this campaign is that so many viewers do not watch TV with undivided attention and, as both clients and agencies, we often forget this. Research suggests more than 70 per cent are doing something else at the same time. So, a voiceover completely in Chinese (not sure if it was Cantonese or Mandarin) except for the word "Freelander", with the story told in subtitles, is surely a risk for the 70 per cent who are eating, texting or doing their own "extraordinary things" on the sofa.
Next, The Observer's (2) ten-second TV ad entitled "veg group" is just that, with three generations of a family as a jazz band, who are playing a super-sized aubergine, corn on the cob and a broccoli floret. It is simple, focused and memorable. However, I added "aubergine" to my shopping list and not The Observer.
I was looking forward to the last campaign. I love Cadbury's Creme Eggs (6). They're a great seasonal product, with an ever-increasing season, and are now available in minis to minimise your guilt. They have consistently delivered funny and involving creative work. But this website and the "Goo Earth" game were a huge disappointment to me and my children. The idea is to find your house, office or worst enemies' hangout and "goo" them. The site was slow. We couldn't zoom in closely, and the "gooing" was very disappointing. More like a giant snowball on the roof than a Creme Egg. No-one sent it to a friend. No-one wanted to repeat the experience. No stickiness here.
1. WOMEN'S AID
Project: Women's Aid
Client: Nicola Harwin, chief executive, Women's Aid
Brief: Get people talking about domestic violence
Agency: Grey London
Writers/art directors: Nicola Hawes, Andy Forest
Exposure: National press
2. THE OBSERVER
Project: Veg group
Clients: Marc Sands, Vicky Zimmerman, Guardian Newspapers
Brief: Promote The Observer's food and music supplements
Art director: Mother
Exposure: National TV
3. LAND ROVER
Project: Fortune teller
Client: Land Rover
Brief: Launch the Freelander 2
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: Jonathon Thaike
Art director: Lee Tan
Director: Rob Sanders
Production company: Amarillo Films
Exposure: International TV
Client: Jim Campbell, UK marketing director, Hyundai
Brief: Highlight Hyundai's stylish quality
Writers: Paul Kemp, Tony Hector, Rooney Carruthers
Art director: Rooney Carruthers
Director: Howard Greenhalgh
Production company: Home Corps
Exposure: Terrestrial TV, satellite TV, online
Project: It pays to be healthy
Client: James Ferrin, acquisition marketing manager, PruHealth
Brief: Promote PruHealth's offer of rewarding healthy people with
Writers: David Prideaux, Ross Newton
Art directors: Kevin Bratley, Sarah Richards
Director: Jeff Thomas
Production company: Weilands
Exposure: TV, press, outdoor, online, DM
6. CADBURY'S CREME EGGS
Project: Cadbury's Creme Eggs
Client: Cadbury Trebor Bassett
Brief: Tell people Cadbury's Creme Eggs are back
Agency: CMW Interactive
Writer: Chris King
Art director: Will Miles
Exposure: Lycos, MSN, Yahoo!, The Sun website, The Mirror website,
MySpace, viral films on YouTube