For a while now, Private View has been two Views, with the addition of my fellow reviewer on the opposite side of the page. Today sees it become three Views, as I have enlisted the help of James. James is in his second week of work placement here at CHI Towers and is well qualified to help me today. For many reasons, but particularly because, compared with myself, he's a lot closer in age to the target audience for most of the products on offer.
So ... "Thanks for helping, James." "My pleasure," he replies.
And first out of the digital bag is Tango (2). (Private View has gone digital since the last time I did it. No more goodie bag through the post; it's all click on the link below stuff now.) I think James is going to be useful here. And as I'm saying "Tango with added Tango, great idea - it's about the larger can and warning you about the side effects of drinking too much of the stuff", James comes straight in with "dece". "Dece?" I ask. "Yes," James says, "dece, as in pretty decent. It's using all the language you'd find in Urban Dictionary to tell kids what happens if they drink extra Tango." "Urban Dictionary, is that like Urban Outfitters?" I ask. James shakes his head politely.
So, with one campaign working very well with its target audience, let's head to McDonald's (1) and a campaign probably targeted more at people of my age.
A very simple idea, beautifully executed, with lovely attention to detail. Another ad in a campaign that's doing a great job at taking something that's as American as they come and making it feel as British as a bulldog in a bowler hat. Giving McDonald's a large dollop of Waitrose. Very clever. Our only quibble? Well, maybe a shorter time length could have worked better - you kind of get the idea and then wait for another 30 seconds for the pay-off.
Which leads us effortlessly to the Currys (5) sponsorship of The Simpsons. Which are actually three mini-campaigns in one. Our favourites being the ones about not having to wait around with Currys' special delivery service. Mainly because we both loved the great performance from the basset hound. Where would the ad industry be without funny animals?
We agree on the Vodafone (3) Taxi Grand Prix work as well. Particularly the web game, which allows you to pick real taxi drivers (Rob from Manchester is leading at the moment) and then the actual miles they clock up determine how quickly you get around the racetrack. First around the track wins the big prizes. The idea that a wait-and-return to Piccadilly station becomes a virtual lap of the Nurburgring racetrack is an excellent idea. Original and engaging.
Ugly Betty causes a bit of a problem for both James and I. You see, neither of us are Diet Coke (6) drinkers and, between the two of us, we have seen one episode. James 1 Ewan 0. We do decide, however, that using puppets is a clever way of depicting what happens in Ugly Betty without actually mimicking the show - a no-no in the world of sponsorship idents.
Lastly, the latest in the great Orange (4) Gold Spot cinema campaign. This time Juliette Lewis stars and I'd forgotten just how sexy her voice is. James uses many words (all in the Urban Dictionary) to describe his liking for this campaign. From "awesome", which I understand, to "zinz", which I pretend to understand. As we discuss our favourites from over the years, James says: "The great thing is they keep saying one thing and saying it well." "He'll go far," I say to myself.
So that's our Private View over for this week. "Thanks for the help, James," I say. "Npz," he replies.
James Duddy is on work experience at CHI & Partners.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE - RICHARD EXON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RAINEY KELLY CAMPBELL ROALFE/Y&R
One of the many innovations of the digital age has been the death of the Private View tape and art bag - circulated discreetly to whichever media hounds are doing the reviewing - and the birth of the Private View e-mail link. Less romantic, perhaps, but brilliantly targeted and fully interactive.
With the click of a mouse, the work you see before you is beautifully laid out on campaignlive.co.uk. And not just the work. We get the work, plus related links, plus comments, plus some relevant sponsored links and the odd display ad for good measure.
In fact, just the kind of rich media, individually tailored and mutually rewarding online experience that so many of us are busy delivering for our clients' brands.
Except, that is, the team working on Tango's (2) new "bigger can" launch. Bartle Bogle Hegarty has tried valiantly, but God knows what the briefing was like. I imagine something along the lines of: "Sorry about this, but the field marketing agency has had a big idea: Tango With Added Tango. We love it and the packaging design guys have done a new can. I know it looks like 'TWAT' is spelt vertically, but the PR lot reckon nobody will notice. Please do us a print campaign, preferably with a massive shot of the can. Thanks."
A quick look online confirms that unless this is an elaborate "deliberate mistake", the PR, packaging and marketing guys were all wrong and the world at large did indeed notice. So BBH's blunt but impactful print ads will be all but forgotten. And this despite them featuring such delights as a bull's cock and an orange-scented fart. The elegant art direction neatly houses the hooligan headlines, but no agency on earth can recover from a four-letter word on the pack.
Brutally, Tango's own-goal is laid out on campaignlive.co.uk next to HHCL's "orange man" classic under the Related Work link. Ouch.
Maybe the Related Work link is there to keep us all honest. For there's no pretending a good Orange (4) Gold Spot is a great Orange Gold Spot when the top ten of all time are just a click away.
Fallon's new film is certainly enjoyable despite being more complex than its forbears. But, somehow, the cinema spots are just not as funny when you see snippets of the nightmarish movies, rather than hear them pitched.
Next up is the fully integrated, multimedia bid to remind us that Vodafone (3) sponsors this year's also-rans, McLaren Mercedes. Big brands sometimes need a lightness of touch to really engage online, and this film undoes itself by taking more than two minutes to tell a simple joke - imagine Lewis Hamilton as a taxi driver - and then invites us to hand over acres of personal information in return for access to the Taxi Grand Prix game. I felt it asked me to invest too deeply in what could simply have been a welcome bit of fun.
Nobody could accuse McDonald's (1) of asking too much of us, though. Over 60 gruelling seconds, a selection of suspiciously healthy kids run around an idyllic farmyard spelling out a big fat zero. And then they do it again. And again. And again. I'm a big fan of McDonald's - good, cheap food, fair employer, scary clown - but, by the end, I was praying that all of this schmaltz wasn't leading up to the oft-repeated and no longer surprising statement that its burgers contain nothing but beef. It was. Bugger.
Finally, two sets of idents. They're both well executed, but these affairs tend to live and die depending on how the programme, the brand and the audience all fit together. Get the right fit - Diet Coke (6) and Ugly Betty - and you're in the game. Get it wrong - Currys (5) and The Simpsons - and all us couch potatoes are left wondering where those lovely pizza people have gone.
Project: The big nothing
Client: Jill McDonald, chief marketing officer UK & Europe, McDonald's
Brief: All that's added to the beef in a McDonald's burger is a pinch of
salt and pepper
Agency: Leo Burnett
Writer: Tony Durston
Art director: Trevor Webb
Director: Tony Barry
Production company: Academy Films
Exposure: National TV, print
Project: Tango with added Tango
Client: Sally Symes, senior brand manager, Tango, Britvic
Brief: Launch "Tango with added Tango", the new and bigger can
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writer: Wesley Hawes
Art director: Gary McCreadie
Exposure: Press, poster, Facebook
Project: Vodafone Taxi Grand Prix
Client: Belinda Stevenson, sponsorship manager, Vodafone
Brief: Find a way to make Vodafone's sponsorship of the McLaren Mercedes
team engaging to a wider audience and provide them with a reason to get
Agencies: Dare, Ignite
Writer/art director: Fergus Jackson
Director: Phil Churchward
Production company: Ignite Entertainment
Project: Gold Spots
Client: Noel Cottle, senior advertising manager, Orange
Brief: What would the Orange film funding board do next?
Writer: Toby Moore
Art director: Selina McKenzie
Director: Baker Smith
Production company: Harvest
Exposure: UK cinema, online
Project: We can help
Client: Katie Bickerstaffe, director of human resources, marketing and
Brief: Bring to life Currys' broad range of services in a humorous way
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writer/art director: Orlando Warner
Director: James Griffiths
Production company: Moxie Pictures
Exposure: The Simpsons sponsorship on Sky1, Sky2 and Sky HD
6. DIET COKE
Brief: Sponsor series three of Ugly Betty to connect with less loyal
Art director: Mother
Production company: Rokkit