Feature

The Work: Private view

CREATIVES - Sophie Reeve and Sophie Isherwood, Diageo placement team

We imagine we're sitting in a CD's office. The floor-to-ceiling windows frame London's glittering city like a giant postcard. It's no big deal.

We lean back on our huge squeaky leather chair and press a button on the Bang & Olufsen phone. No big deal. "Send them in."

Two young boys called John Hegarty and Dave Trott walk in, knees shaking. They tell us their names. We wonder which is which.

They sit down on the less comfortable chairs provided and hand over their portfolio. It's decorated in sweaty palm marks.

In reality, we're sitting at an old Ikea desk, with old Ikea stools, and what we're looking at is six ads for Private View. But, for a second, it's easy to imagine we're on the greener side of the CD's desk.

Of course, being unemployed and completely inexperienced in this field, we're terrified. We're here to crit work from agencies we want jobs off. Nightmare.

As students, we've been able to make ads in whatever format we want. To look the way we want. With the budgets we want. We don't know much about difficult clients or over-restrictive research. The only way we know how to judge work is by measuring it against one thing: would it get us a job?

To be honest, this House of Fraser (2) number probably wouldn't. The visual is of two women on rocking horses in evening gowns. They look about as enthusiastic as two women on rocking horses could be, knowing the copy beside them is "Dress-age up". The horrible stuff bordering the photo is what we're guessing happens when 12 designers all tell you they want their names on your poster.

In the Doritos (4) viral, a chicken and a multicoloured tomato in a cape scamper around a boxing ring, pushing each other over in front of a crowd of people you can only imagine are the film-maker's friends and immediate family. It's all a bit awkward to watch, and we get to hoping the tomato and the chicken will eventually knock out the slightly annoying ringmaster, but it never happens.

Next up, the Barnardo's (6) banner ad. Chances are you've never seen it. Among the other shouting banner ads and webpage muck, there is a line of copy that politely asks you to click on the words. We do, and we're rewarded. With each word you click, a teenage boy attempts, with difficulty, to read it out. The idea is that Barnardo's helps kids with learning disabilities. You feel a bit wrong for clicking on every word, but it's strangely addictive. We'd like it in our book.

"See the world. Visit London (1)." Rubs us up the wrong way. We're guessing they mean that in September there are lots of worldly things going on.

It comes off a bit haughty, especially as one imagines these festivals are London's version of the world, which, a bit like English tikka masala, has little to do with the real thing.

The Land Rover (3) DM is also a little confused. It's a letter from Land Rover asking you to buy its car, but, hey, it's also a kite. The envelope reads: "When was the last time you did something just for the hell of it?" We imagine it gets opened without anyone actually considering the answer.

New Coco Rocks (5) are brought into the world by a Kellogg TV spot, where two newt-sized cavemen hit each other over the head with brown rocks. You probably won't run into many hurdles convincing a kid they want balls of chocolate for breakfast, so seeing two animated cavemen hurt each other is just going to be a bonus, really. Whether you can convince Mum that these new and improved balls of sugar are a good idea for breakfast has always been a challenge left to the kids.

OK, enough time spent in the CD's chair. It's back to unemployment for us.

PLANNER - Ruth Chadwick, graduate planner, DDB

I'm currently on a train back home to Manchester and I'm told it's going to take five hours - so plenty of time to think about what to say.

I start with the Land Rover (3) piece, because the envelope challenges me to "do something just for the hell of it". Sounds exciting. I look at it, full of anticipation, because, in the style of all the best DM, this grabs my attention and makes me wonder what on earth could be inside. So I open it up and pull out a letter in the form of a kite. I'm a little confused, but when I read it, I find out it's all about the spontaneity and adventure associated with the Freelander 2. I kind of get it; the Freelander is an exciting car, but is kite-flying really that maverick? And even if it is, I can't help but think, for a car that's so "spontaneous", the piece looks surprisingly corporate.

Next up is the Visit London (1) work, which shows a series of simple images, representing various events in London, with the shape of the Thames running through them. It is certainly visually arresting. It's a clever way of telling people that London has something to offer everyone - it makes it seem like somewhere diverse and exciting. But I'm just not sure, if you're not a Londoner, would you immediately understand the image of the river? I hope so, but if not, the whole thing wouldn't really work, which would be a shame.

As I leave our action-packed city, I have a look at the Barnardo's (6) banner, which talks about the people who have managed to complete a full year at school but won't be coming out with the grade As. It works really well. It's simple, provocative and it gets right to the point. I can't help but think about those kids who work really hard at school and never see any kind of recognition for it. It makes me feel a bit guilty and, actually, quite angry. So, the ad? Well, it obviously did its job.

The angry feeling suddenly intensifies as a bloke (who's obviously very busy and important) sits opposite me and starts shouting into his BlackBerry. Perfect time to put in my headphones and watch the Coco Rocks (5) TV spot. Actually, I like it. The way it starts, you think it's going to be like every other cereal ad - happy kid sat at a table with a bowl of wholegrain goodness or whatever. But it turns out that it's actually quite funny. The characters make me smile and, in true Coco Pops fashion, it makes cereal that bit more exciting.

Feel slightly better after that, but, unfortunately, it's short-lived. The House of Fraser (2) ads made me a bit sad. You see, I'm from the North, and I really thought this was a premium brand, but if anything could convince me otherwise, it would be these ads. The only insight seems to be that women like shoes and handbags, so, as long as there's a few in shot, we're good to go. Not my cup of tea.

The final thing I look at before folding away my laptop (obviously very busy and important - how I hate myself) is the Doritos (4) digital work, which I think is great. It's for its new range of "collisions" (two flavours in one bag) and is based around a wrestling spoof. You can see that it spent a lot of money on it, but I think the result is really quite funny and engaging. It's found a good way to inject life into a new product development and I think it will get people talking about it.

Speaking of talking, you've probably had enough of me now, so I'm off home for a brew and a chocolate digestive.

1. VISIT LONDON
Project: See the world
Client: Martine Ainsworth-Wells, marketing director, Visit London
Brief: Ensure that people believe that London is the greatest city on
Earth
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writers: Pip Bishop, Amber Casey, Dan Hubert, Tim McNaughton, Freddy
Mandy
Art directors: Chris Hodgkiss, Dan Hubert, Amber Casey, Tim McNaughton,
Freddy Mandy
Photographer: Staudinger & Franke
Exposure: Press, outdoor, online

2. HOUSE OF FRASER
Project: Come and play at our house
Client: Amanda Green, head of external communications, House of Fraser
Brief: Position House of Fraser as the destination for fashion on the
high street
Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
Writers/art directors: Steve Boswell, Steve Drysdale
Photographer: Lee Jenkins
Exposure: Press

3. LAND ROVER
Project: Freelander 2
Client: Peter Lee, CRM and internet manager, Land Rover
Brief: Increase sales of Freelander 2
Agency: Wunderman
Writer: Iain Hunter
Art director: Jamie Bell
Designers/photographers: Kevan Ansell, Kristina Matovic
Exposure: DM, digital, ambient

4: DORITOS
Project: Collisions
Clients: Pete Charles, senior brand manager; Adam Warner, marketing
assistant, Doritos
Brief: Get young adults playing with new Doritos Collisions
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Alistair Robertson
Art director: Alex Braxton
Director: Matt Hollis
Production companies: Rehab Studios, Collective, Park Village
Exposure: Online

5. COCO ROCKS
Project: Coco Pops "Rocks"
Client: Paul Humphries, brand manager, Kellogg
Brief: Promote the milky worlds that Coco Pops turn chocolatey
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writer: Chris Birch
Art director: Caroline Rawlings
Director: Ark
Production company: Blink Productions
Exposure: National TV, cinema

6. BARNARDO'S
Project: Exam results (tactical)
Client: Barnardo's
Brief: Raise awareness of the work Barnardo's does to deal with children
with educational problems via a tactical to coincide with GCSE results
day
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers: Nick Gill, Dominic Goldman
Art directors: Dominic Goldman, Nick Allsop
Director: Arran Bowyn
Production company: Bare
Exposure: Online