I have to start with the new Nike (6) ad. It's raw and exciting. It comes in various lengths. The 60-, 90- and even the 120-second version leave you gasping and wanting more. Directed to look handheld and crudely cut together. The eight or so football superstars are treated with contempt with even a close-up vomit shot right in the middle. Nike advertising has always had the luxury of never having to tell us anything about the products it makes or come up with a brand idea. They just do stuff and it works.
At the end you're directed to the Nike football website. But when I went to it, the first thing I saw was Cesc Fabregas being doused in petrol and then set on fire. What's the BACC's point of view on that? They won't let that piece of film on air but will allow an ad that encourages you to view it online.
No such controversy with the Feel Good Drinks (4) drinks campaign. Twee animation layered with a twee voiceover. Let's just say the brand name three or four times so people remember it. There's nothing here that has much personality or traction. This must have been a really good brief but this advertising will find it hard to compete with the likes of Innocent, Robinsons or many of the other drinks in this crowded market.
The next ad for the 24/7 IT service from BT Business (5) got my attention and was quite enjoyable. It's an ambitious task. Let's get the cast of Gremlins to destroy an office and leave Peter Jones from Dragons' Den in disarray. Well directed, it's full of amusing little moments and for a non-actor multimillionaire, Jones isn't bad either. It makes its point about BT's IT services without getting bogged down in business speak. But the 90-second version probably won't get much airtime. There's likely to be a 40-second cutdown lurking somewhere.
Another ad in the Carling (1) series is further proof that there's still plenty of money around for big productions. But this one isn't quite as good as the first two. Set in the Wild West, a group of cowboys rescue their mate from a boring tea party. Yet it's not clear why he's there in the first place. I admire this campaign because of its sheer single-mindedness, although they do feel a touch old-fashioned. They've also dropped the idea of using the word "believe" instead of the word "Carling" at the end.
Can't help thinking the Christian Aid (2) ad is a missed opportunity. It's basically a before, after and then before again story of a village hit by a hurricane and put back together by Christian Aid. The modular animation doesn't really bring the emotion of the story to life. Charity clients are traditionally meant to be award-winners, but I don't think this one will do it. A noble cause, but there are a lot of charities out there trying to get my money and my vote.
Did you know that Gaymers (3) was the official cider of Glastonbury? No? Well, here's a campaign to tell you. The strategy is "we understand what it's like at Glastonbury, so you should drink our cider". It works reasonably well, but the art direction looks a bit like it's trying to appeal to students and young people. I don't think I remember the main campaign for Gaymers. They're probably hurting from loss of share to Magners over the past year or two.
Finally, I'd like to remind you all to go to Nikefootball.com, but would only be encouraging emulation and irresponsible behaviour. Please don't try this at home.
SUIT - Johnny Hornby, managing partner, CHI & Partners
Last year, a very nice guy I had once been on an IPA course with sent me a first edition of a book he had just written - it was called Fat, Forty and Fired.
I had a look down and was struggling to see my shoes. That's one ticked.
I went round to dinner at a friend's house and my wife had organised a surprise party with all my mates to celebrate my 40th ... that made two out of three.
I resolved to try to avoid the third. The world was changing. It won't be good enough to broadcast to consumers, or even enter into dialogues with them any more. It's now about trialogues, content creation and branded widgets - and my creative partners in this new world won't be limited to Charles, Ewan, Warren and Thiago at 7 Rathbone Street. I was off to embrace all the Mac users of the world as my co-creators in a new world called web 2.0.
One year on, I'm asked to do Private View. I'm prepared (well not completely). I ask Thiago to clamber out of his Google analytics and be on standby for when I open the envelope in case there's something a bit too web 2.0 or, worse still, web 3.0 lurking within ...
I open the envelope, five TV ads and a print campaign. I can do this all by myself ...
I wouldn't imagine there's a more cynical, web-savvy, "don't you try marketing to me" audience than you'd find in the crowd at Glastonbury, so maybe the writing of a print brief that must have said something like "Gaymers (3) gets Glastonbury" wasn't the place to start.
Feel Good Drinks (4). Ten-second ads can't tell you an awful lot about them and, while these are sweetly put together and tell me there's no added sugar, they ask me to feel good and I am not sure how much I really do as a result.
I'm not sure why, but people don't feel as good as they should about Christian Aid (2). I spot them this week in the list of people's most hated brands. It won't be because of this ad; equally this ad won't do a lot to change that either.
Here's a proper old-fashioned advertising formula: a 90-second blockbuster for BT Business (5) straight out of Hollywood, with all the special effects and a return for the gremlins we first saw in the cinema in the early 80s. In truth, it's a very watchable, well-made and likeable piece of content. People will, I'm sure, enjoy the gremlins' comeback too. My question is whether it's a good ad. The insight that there may be gremlins in your IT seems pretty generic and to me a step back from a stronger thought in the previous "stick to what you're good at" campaign with Gordon Ramsay.
Talking of good old-fashioned ads, it's back to the Wild West with Carling (1). Belong, or "you know who your mates are" is, for me, a great populist big idea that fits brilliantly with this brand and both "spacemen" and "arctic" were great executions of it. This one doesn't do it for me in quite the same way, but I am sure that with an idea like this, the campaign will run and run and the boys at Beattie McGuinness Bungay have lots more up their sleeve.
Last up, Nike (6). Before I press play, I wonder where else there is for a bunch of famous footballers to dribble a ball around. We've seen the airport, Thierry Henry's flat, space and most of the cities of the world. This ad again has all the big names on show again with a football, but this time it takes a new and very fresh point of view. The POV of the player, and my POV is that people will find this very engaging and enjoyable - just as engaging and enjoyable as the website it's advertising. And Nike for me does that very well - engaging on- and offline. Whether that's this ad and site, Nike+ or Run London - they are genuinely bringing ideas to life in an integrated fashion. No need to worry about the publication of Fat, Forty and Fired for the authors of this work.
Client: Martin Coyle, brand director, Carling
Brief: Celebrate the greatness of the Carling group
Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer: Pat Burns
Art director: Gav McGrath
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production company: Sonny
Exposure: National TV, cinema, outdoor, online
2. CHRISTIAN AID
Project: Christian Aid Week
Client: Tom Barratt, lifestyle marketing manager, Christian Aid
Brief: Poverty is no match for the human spirit
Writer: John Long
Art director: Matt Gay
Production company: 2AM Films
Exposure: National TV
Client: Fiona Chinn, marketing controller, Gaymers Cider Company
Brief: Communicate that Gaymers Original Cider is the official cider of
Agency: Dye Holloway Murphy
Writer: Phoebe Coulton
Art director: David Goss
Photographer: Laurie Haskell
Illustrator: Paul Bower
Exposure: Music press, websites, posters
4. FEEL GOOD DRINKS
Project: Feelgoodness campaign
Client: Steve Cooper, marketing director, Feel Good Drinks
Brief: There's goodness in every bottle of Feel Good Drinks
Agency: Ambition Communications
Writer: Phil Wiggins
Art director: Stuart Baker
Director: Morgan Powell
Production company: Seed Animation
Exposure: National TV
5. BT BUSINESS
Project: BT Business
Client: Mick Hegarty, marketing director, BT Business
Brief: Convince owners and managers of SMEs that BT Business can help
them get on with doing what they do best
Writer: Jules Chalkley
Art director: Nick Simons
Director: Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink
Exposure: National TV, outdoor, online
Project: The Next Level
Clients: Paolo Tubito, director of brand communications; Adam Collins,
senior ad manager; Colin Leary, ad manager, Nike
Brief: Promote Nike's association with football and nikefootball.com
Writers/art directors: John Boiler, Glenn Cole, Jason Norcross, Bryan
Director: Guy Ritchie
Production company: Anonymous Content
Exposure: TV, online