There's a new Private View in town, and the bad news is you can't post your dog poo to this one. The latest work now appears on Campaign's website and everyone can express a view on it. The more virulent opinions tend to be anonymous, you won't be amazed to find. So let's see if any of them share the dazzling insights and preternatural fairness of this week's old-school reviewer: me.
They're unhelpfully split over the new posters for The Daily Telegraph (5). I'm not. The paper is currently ablaze with extraordinary revelation and fury. The ads sit in muted contrast. I can see Mail readers jumping ship because of the Telegraph's scoops, but not because they are told Lamborghini used to make tractors. "It pays to think big," the pay-off says, and I agree with it.
The Sainsbury's (2) endline tells us it has been "trying something new" for 140 years. Its latest innovation is that all of its eggs come from cage-free British hens. One assumes any company that has been around for so long would have a few stories to tell. Yet, since the Second World War, apart from its new egg policy, the only two world-shaking masterstrokes Sainsbury's appears to have pulled off are the introduction of the avocado pear and making reusable bags sexy (its choice of words). This is meagre fare, frankly, and allows the blogsters to concentrate on the elephant on the bacon counter: that the ad doesn't so much nod to the recent Hovis epic as pick a fight with it, shouting: "I've got decades of British history, me! Hear my tinkling piano track! Look at my loveable urchin! Watch my wartime reconstruction!" The bloggers are less than whelmed by the similarities, and I feel the uncomfortable frisson of kinship with them.
Lucozade (4) is looking back, too. Its premise is the rather odd one that a 2009 cyclist, footballer or sprinter would beat his 1923 or 1962 counterpart if they were able to compete with each other. Er, yes, I think the record books and a granule of common sense would bear this theory out. Less obvious is Lucozade's role in it. It doesn't make any actual claims (thankfully, we have laws against that kind of thing) but the ads exude a desperate hope that they can associate themselves with sporting evolution. This is even more bizarre when everyone knows that until the 80s, the only people who consumed the stuff were children with measles and housewives hoovering an undulating red line. Even the bloggers are largely rambling and at a loss with this one.
They are more fired up for MasterCard (6)'s attempt to mend broken Britain by encouraging the nation to organise lunch with their neighbours. As the endline says: "Turning our streets into neighbourhoods: priceless." Well, they've got a job on their hands if our blogsters are in any way representative. A chap trading under the moniker Corn Flake reckons the ad warrants "one word: vomit". Another contributor complains about the prostitutes living in his street and draws an envious response from a Ronnie Blogville who would rather meet the hookers than his "pikey neighbours". MasterCard's noble scheme is dealt a final, crushing and misspelled blow by Mr Flake's observation: "who likes there neighbors - no-one that's who".
Coca-Cola (1) tries to cheer us up with a whimsical offering showing a man coaxing music out of Furby-alikes by spraying Coke at them. It just strains a little too hard for quirkiness to be genuinely charming. But, to be fair, there are more enthusiastic noises from some of the bloggers this time.
E.ON (3) has breathed some family values into its FA Cup sponsorship with some digital trickery that lets you wave their press ad around in front of your webcam and see yourself holding the FA Cup. For some reason, this generates a unique, but surprisingly welcome, response from the blogosphere: no response at all.
MANAGING DIRECTOR - Robert Marsh, managing director, Lowe London
I'm a firm believer that in our business the power of the collective outnumbers that of the individual. So, the first thing I did when asked to do Private View was to team up with a very talented team of guys, and so we became the "power of three", the opinion of both creative and account man and the merging of two generations of men.
Which brings us to our first question. How old are you? A question you should never ask a woman but one that big brand names are currently jumping over each other to answer. Heritage, it seems, is a big thing in advertising at the moment. First, there was Hovis giving us a concise lesson in British history crammed into 60 seconds, now Sainsbury's (2) has jumped on the bandwagon to remind everyone how long it has been around for. The line "trying something new for 140 years" is a nice extension of its current brand thought. However, the tonality of this ad ignores what Jamie Oliver has consistently delivered for many years, a brand that expresses accessibility and quality in unison.
Lucozade (4), like Sainsbury's, has chosen to remind us of its own unique heritage. A montage of clips artistically pieced together that shows us how athletes, like Lucozade, have evolved throughout history. The direction clearly demonstrates this concept with an energy and vigour that suits the brand, but after 30 seconds, we're bored. The nostalgic packshots at the end are a nice redeeming touch.
Back to the modern day and the newest kid on the digital block, augmented reality. E.ON (3) uses this technology to allow us to get our hands on another piece of British heritage, the FA Cup. The idea here is that you use your computer so that you can picture yourself holding the cup and then send the picture on to your friends or family. Are people likely to do this? Probably not, unless you're Accrington Stanley. It feels that the technology pushed this concept through rather than the idea.
On to The Daily Telegraph (5) and the rather more conventional media of poster and print. Big isn't always victorious over small. Goliath will testify to that. But big thinking is something that everyone strives to achieve. With a fantastic line to write to they've created a simple thought, simply executed with lovely art direction. Let's just hope it sells papers.
MasterCard (6) makes its money by encouraging people to spend theirs. Wisely, it ducks out of this responsibility in favour of a feel-good campaign that promotes an event to bring communities together, a sense of reality. Money can't buy that, we're told, but if we do feel like spending lots of money there's always MasterCard. Although we've seen this style of execution before, it's refreshing to see MasterCard move away from its "Gettyesque" imagery. A delicately written ad for a (financially) delicate time.
Last, but definitely not least, is the latest of many ads for the world's most recognised brand, Coca-Cola (1). Creatives across the globe would give their right arm to work on this account, big-budget ads with the freedom of creativity and access to chart-topping musicians. Expectations are always high, but this ad delivers. Uplifting, funny and different. For us, the only contentious point is the beautiful people who all clamber up the hill to enjoy a dance and a sip of their favourite beverage. If this is a nod to the 70s ad, it should have stayed there. Personally, we've all had enough of nostalgia for one day.
So the conclusion. Whether it be nostalgia, humour or reality, there is definitely a recessionary lens which marketers and their communication partners are looking through when developing comms. And finally, let's continue to talk about work and have a point-of-view on it but, most importantly, enjoy and appreciate it.
Project: Summer "Yeah yeah yeah la la la"
Clients: Guy Duncan, creative excellence director; Cathryn Sleight,
marketing director GB; Hilary Quinn, MyCoke brand director GB Coca-Cola
Brief: Engage with a teen audience over the summer months
Writer/art director: Mother
Director: Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink
Exposure: TV, digital
Project: Sainsbury's 140th birthday
Client: Claire Harrison-Church, director of brand communications,
Brief: Demonstrate that Sainsbury's has been trying something new for
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Bonnie Doman
Art director: Charlotte Horton
Director: Justin Chadwick
Production company: Tomboy Films
Exposure: National TV
Project: E.ON family cup final
Clients: Phil Boas, head of sponsorship and events; Catherine Woolfe,
head of advertising and brand strategy, E.ON
Brief: Celebrate E.ON's family football campaign at the FA Cup final and
create one last push to familyfootball.co.uk
Writer: Gabriel Miller
Art director: Marcello Bernardi
Exposure: Press, DM, matchday programmes, e-mail, online
Project: Lucozade Sport - evolution
Client: Chris Rodi, group brand manager, Lucozade
Brief: Portray Lucozade Sport as pushing sporting performance forward
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writers: Joe Miller, Tristan Cornelius
Art directors: Joe Miller, Tristan Cornelius
Director: Tony Kaye
Production company: Supply & Demand
Exposure: National TV, online
5. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Client: Steve McLaughlin, newspaper sales director, Telegraph Media
Brief: Celebrate The Daily Telegraph's unique broadsheet format and its
ambition to give its readers a bigger and broader point of view
Agency: Adam & Eve
Writers: Ben Tollett, Emer Stamp
Art directors: Ben Tollett, Emer Stamp
Exposure: Cross-track posters, London, the South-East, London
Project: The Big Lunch
Clients: Rita Broe, VP head of marketing, UK & Ireland; Ben Rhodes, VP
marketing UK & Ireland, MasterCard UK
Brief: Encourage people to get to know their neighbours at the Big Lunch
Agency: McCann Erickson
Writer: David Chalu
Art director: Simon Friedberg
Director: Steve Reeves
Production company: Another Film Co
Exposure: National TV