"WhamBamThankYouMam", "be-bop-a-lula", and "ramalamadingdong", while not quite in the Edward Lear class, are all complete and utter nonsense that have passed into the vernacular.
Sadly, "Mmm, I do feel hydrated, come on world, I'm Tyrannosaurus Alan and I'll have you for breakfast. Grrr," from the new Volvic (1) "volcanicity" spot is just complete and utter nonsense. Even worse, it's a so-pale-it's-almost-on-its-deathbed imitation of the classic Steve Coogan self-motivational "What are you? You're a Tiger! Grrr!" speech with which his Gareth Cheeseman character used to start the day. Consequently, it has about as much chance of capturing the nation's imagination and passing into common usage as this article, and almost enough to turn you off water altogether, which, of course, could have potentially disastrous repercussions for world health.
So, thank God for Oasis (4), "the chuggable fruit drink for people who don't like water". "Chuggable" alone is nonsense so wonderful that it should pass into the vernacular immediately, and these well-written, well-executed, rather charmingly odd executions should ensure the world doesn't dehydrate just yet.
If only I believed these virals for Stop The Traffik (5) would be as effective. Using the analogy of humans as mass-market commodities to highlight our indifference to the issue, the campaign falls into that classic trap of telling me nothing I don't already know, and giving me no indication that there's anything I can do about it other than visit a website. So what's the point? Raising awareness? Awareness of what? Human trafficking? Christ, you must have been rehydrating in the Volvic volcano for the past ten years not to know about human trafficking. Give me some insight into this diabolical industry. Shock me into action. Make me feel guilty about my passivity in the face of such horror. Do anything. Do something. But please don't just state the obvious with a sanitised analogy. Nick Broomfield's controversial "docu-drama" about the appalling tragedy of the Chinese cockle pickers will undoubtedly put this issue back in the public domain with an emotional and dramatic intensity sadly missing from this well-intentioned campaign.
The banner ads for the Frank (6) campaign, on the other hand, are excellent. They're genuinely interactive, interesting, and informative about cocaine, its effects and its provenance. They reinforce Frank as the place to go for non-sensational, non-judgmental, non-Daily Mail-style advice on drugs. I have nothing but admiration for this campaign, and its inspired rebranding of The National Drugs Helpline. The name alone was a stroke of genius.
As was the last commercial for Florette (3) packet salads. The operatic face-off between Italian veg pickers encapsulated everything that makes advertising at its "John Webster-esque" best so beautifully, wonderfully, life-affirmingly daft, while at the same time building a brand on the back of a product truth. The latest spot was always going to struggle to live up to that, but it's still just daft enough to make me smile, and love Florette just that little bit more.
Finally, the latest executions in the Flora (2) "Love your heart" campaign are an outstanding example of how to use sponsorship as the foundation of brand strategy and communication, rather than just as a bolt-on. Just in case you really have been in the Volvic volcano for the past ten years, Flora sponsors the London Marathon, and all these ads play off that in a variety of ways. The pick of the bunch is the viral sent out in an e-mail to all runners, which was to be forwarded to their sponsors to remind them to pay up. It's brilliant in conception, execution and through its use of media, but my only query is why it wasn't thought worthy of a TV airing. The TV spot is perhaps the weakest of the bunch executionally, but still reminds me that you don't need to run a marathon to look after your heart, you can just walk the dog instead. So that's exactly what I'm going to do now. Job done, WhamBamThankYouMam.
EDITOR - Jane Bruton, Editor, Grazia
OK, I know what you're thinking - what could a Miranda Priestly wannabe tell us about advertising? Actually, halfway through the reel, I was thinking something similar.
And then I came to the ads for Frank (6), an unusually progressive drugs campaign from the Department of Health. Maybe, I thought, this was pushed my way with the thinking: "Fashion magazine, models, heroin chic, ah, we'll give her an anti-cocaine ad!" I still remember the 80s "just say no" work, which was so far removed from the real threat of drugs that it became a standing joke. Frank's banner ads, which will run on MySpace, are far less heavy handed. They show a rolled-up note vacuuming up credit cards, mobile phones and your family, as well as a side-banner with cascading white powder illustrating how many thugs cut drugs before they reach you. Wait? What am I saying? No-one in advertising takes cocaine. Obviously.
The work for Stop theTraffik (5) - the charity dedicated to fighting the issue of people trafficking - covers an equally important global issue. The message is that people shouldn't be bought and sold. It's a very simple idea that features a factory manager returning damaged goods that turn out to be frightened men and women. We've covered this in Grazia, especially regarding women and sex trafficking, and we know how it can destroy the victims' lives. It's really important to draw attention to the horrors of this criminal trade, but the message is slightly undermined by a faintly comic delivery, which could have been written for a pretty sick Little Britain sketch.
And talking of dark sketches, the new campaign for Oasis (4), from adland's blokiest agency, Mother, has shades of The League of Gentlemen writing the next Child's Play movie. Spoofing Westerns and horror flicks with the same panache as Mother's Orange film sponsorship idents, it features a slightly bonkers bald guy assuring us that for people who don't like water, Oasis has a "chuggable fruitiness". For all the clever scripting, the product still looks like the Slush Puppies I used to drink at the roller disco when I was 12. And the bald guy looks as if he has drunk far too much of it. Perhaps he needs to eat more salad ...
Florette (3)'s kooky opera-singing men-in-a-field, who hand-pick crispy leaves for a couple at a McDonald's-style leafy drive-in look like they're doing their best to help. It's a bit risky, though. These days, salad is a hot potato (sorry ...). What about spring water over chlorine, the air miles travelled to get the food to you and, of course, biodegradable bags? Still, I do love the 50s feel and the yellow car. Yellow is the new black.
Staying with health, we've got Volvic (1). Most mineral water ads are full of impossibly perfect people living unrealistic spa lives, so it's quite refreshing to see a foam volcano and a puppet called Tyrannosaurus Alan discussing how the drink helps you eat the world for breakfast. Silly and fun, but I'm not sure it hits the demographic - my sons, Arthur (five) and Jonah (two), would love it.
The problem with getting a fashion magazine editor to write "Private View", of course, is that we're all about trend-spotting. I spent most of the time looking for a common theme and I realised it's all about do-gooding this week. The final ad is for Flora (2) and the London Marathon, which has a powerful place in my heart, if only for the number of our employees who failed to turn up the Monday after this year's race because their muscles were in spasm. They all forgot to warm down properly. Next year, I plan to run it myself (I say that every year, obviously), and - looking back over this week's good causes - if I do manage it, I'll run for Stop the Traffik. Anyone want to sponsor me?
Project: Volvic volcanicity
Client: Patrick Kalotis, sales and marketing director, Danone
Brief: Communicate more clearly than ever before what "volcanicity"
means and that Volvic comes from volcanoes
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writers/art directors: Jonathan Thake, Lee Tan
Production company: Blink
Exposure: National TV, radio
Project: John Wayne
Client: Sarah Wilcher, brand director, Flora
Brief: Promote Flora's association with the London Marathon
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers/art directors: Cameron Short, Mike Oughton
Director: Max and Michael
Production company: Home Corp
Exosure: National TV, online
Project: Crispy salad
Clients: Sandy Sewell, commercial director; Elaine Smith, marketing
Brief: Underline the quality of Florette salads
Agency: Hooper Galton
Writer: Maxine Hodgson
Art director: Rob Auton
Director: Anthea Benton
Production company: Believe
Exposure: National TV
Clients: Caroline Bonpain, senior brand manager; Paul Woodward,
director, performance and adult beverages, Coca-Cola GB
Brief: Give Oasis substance
Writer/art director: Mother
Production company: Tantrum Productions
Exposure: National TV
5. STOP THE TRAFFIK
Project: Stop the Traffik
Client: Peter Stanley, strategy director, Stop the Traffik
Brief: Highlight the problem of people trafficking
Agency: Leagas Delaney
Writer: Ben Stilitz
Art director: Colin Booth
Director: Michael Geoghegan
Production company: The Pink Film Company
6. FRANK/DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Project: Mess with your mind
Clients: Nathan Jones, marketing manager, Home Office; Chris Neish,
senior campaign manager, Department of Health
Brief: Prevent young people from taking Class-A drugs and change
attitudes and behaviour around cocaine and its use
Writer/art director: Scott Clark
Designer: James Booth