Carling (3). Times is hard - whether you're out of work or shipwrecked. Chances are, the latter is less likely. But whatever - this spot, continuing the "you know who your mates are" campaign theme, should bring a smile to the face. A gang of mates, shipwrecked for two years, spurn the chance of being repatriated to society by a passing Clipper because their mate Jamie is a bit "coconuts" and isn't stood at the "rank" with everyone else. I'm a fan of this campaign, particularly the alien ship/trainer gag ad.
Weetabix (1). This tells the story of a plucky jockey triumphing against adversity as his butt parts company with his mount in the 3.30 at Newmarket. It's charming, sweet and I love the three-year-old's voiceover. Good old-fashioned stuff - in the nicest possible "horse" sense.
Home Office (2). A paraplegic man demonstrates the lamentable consequences of carrying a blade in this hardhitting spot. I found this pretty shocking and just hope it "cuts the mustard" (pun intended) with the boys from the 'hood. Personally, I go for the "Louboutin to the nuts" approach - works every time.
Beechams (4). This ad shows four sumo wrestlers attacking "Becky" as she makes her way to work. The oriental gargantuans represent the typical cold symptoms: headache, sore throat, chesty cough and runny nose. Just a pity the annoying narrator couldn't have been sat on by the big guys or pick up a mild dose of H1N1.
Sony (5). This is beautifully directed and has a Disney-like quality to it. It's titled "make.believe". They've certainly pulled off the "make" bit big time, but "believe"? Not so sure.
Very (6). Finally, something festive to deck our halls with Holly, both metaphorically and literally. This ad for Very.co.uk, the home department store, stars the lovely Holly Willobooby and Fearne Cotton. I love these pair from Celebrity Juice and although it makes the case for it being the season to be a jolly shopper, I can't help being haunted by the ghost of Christmas past - M&S. And I don't mean Mister Scrooge.
Compliments of the season.
ACTOR - Craig Kelly, actor
I've never done this before, review for an advertising magazine, but because I've done countless voiceovers over the years and waved at some of you adfolk through a window in a sound booth, I feel I can add my tuppence worth to the mix. So here goes ...
Carling (3). I think this is a brilliant ad campaign. I really liked the idea of a close bunch of mates in extreme circumstances always sticking together, no matter what. All for one and one for all. I love the humour and the sense of banter, which I think is perfect for selling beer. However, although good, it didn't grab me in the same way as the previous two I've seen ("South Pole" and "astronauts"). That said, the premise of the ad is great: a bunch of mates marooned on an island for the past two years and along comes a ship that they decline to board because it would mean leaving behind their slightly camp mate who's collecting coconuts. The production values were good and I love the "you know who your mates are" tagline.
And now for Weetabix (1). Good-looking, witty and stylish. And that's just Rattling Stick, the production company behind this ad. This is very well-directed and I particularly loved the voiceover, the fabulous Michael Gambon as the horse (why wasn't I seen for that?). This ad is about triumph over adversity, delivered with a large dollop of tongue-in-cheek fun. For me, it is well-shot and well-edited with good use of cinematic-type music. I have to say, it reminded me of the old-school ads from the 80s, which as a kid I really responded to. Wasn't the tagline "Someone's had their Weetabix" the one they used in the original campaign? Anyway, it made the brand seem inspiring. Casting was excellent too. The jockey's cartoon-like face made me want to root for him. Great job.
Sony (5). A big, expensive-looking ad with slick production values. I like the use of music and the strong, Darth Vader-like voiceover at the end (seriously, why wasn't I seen for that?). A young lad with an impressive hair-do is followed around by a big, glowing Strepsil that leads him to different dimensions. I think this is an effective ad that is well-targeted towards a younger audience. It will probably appeal to that market because of its inspiring, teen-America vibe. However, being slightly older (and English), I'm outside the demographic so didn't feel it was meant for me.
Very (6). Fearne and Holly in a snowy, scarf-wearing ad for Very, an online department store. Very Christmassy. Very M&S. Why the ice-skaters? Is it a subliminal plant by ITV to encourage the two blondes to sign up to the next series of Dancing On Ice?Think carefully girls, think Very carefully ...
Beechams (4). These cold and flu ads tend to strike the fear of God into me. I always feel like I'm about to come down with something as soon as I've watched one. The ad works in the sense that I remembered the brand name and that's what it's all about, isn't it? Hang on, I feel ever so slightly groggy with a temperature of 106. Just popping off to the chemist. Back in a sec ...
That's better. Now for the Home Office (2). This is a depressing but effective ad tackling the scary consequences of knife crime. Bleakly shot, documentary-style, and the story told through good use of voiceover. Although quite uncomfortable viewing, the powerful message of the dangers of carrying a knife does hit home, so job well done.
Project: It's odds on for Weetabix
Client: Sally Abbott, marketing director, Weetabix
Brief: Reinvent the famous Weetabix campaigns of years gone by and
promise an energy-giving breakfast that sets you up for the day
Writer: Larry Seftel
Art director: Dave Day
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Production company: Rattling Stick
2. HOME OFFICE
Project: It doesn't have to happen
Client: Sharon Sawers, head, Marketing Unit and Communications Strategy
and Insight Unit, Home Office
Brief: Reduce knife carrying among ten- to 16-year-olds
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Writer: Steve Moss
Art director: Jo Finch
Director: Debbie Anzalone
Production company: M&Y Films
Clients: Martin Coyle, brand director; Annette Middleton, brand manager,
Brief: Demonstrate greatness in the Carling group by showing the
unwavering loyalty of a group of close mates
Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Writer: Pat Burns
Art director: Gav McGrath
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production company: Sonny
Exposure: National TV, cinema
Project: Fight back with Beechams
Clients: Julian Fletcher, category director; Carla Speering, senior
brand manager; Hannah Norbury, brand manager, Beechams
Brief: Using the brand's "fight back" proposition, promote Beechams
Ultra All in One as the strongest product from the range
Agency: Grey London
Writer/art director: Grey London
Director: Henrik Sundgren
Production company: Acne Film
Exposure: National TV
Clients: Andrew House, chief marketing officer; Susan Jurevics,
vice-president, corporate marketing, Sony Global
Agency: 180 Los Angeles
Writers: Lee Hemstock, Dario Nucci
Art director: Ben Walsh
Director: Noam Murro
Production company: Biscuit Filmworks
Project: Very festive
Client: Gillian Singh, head of marketing, Shop Direct Group
Brief: Launch the new online department store in time for Christmas
Writers: Andy Mancuso, Anthony Stamp
Art directors: Ravi Beeharry, Richard Yates
Director: David Edwards
Production company: HANraHAN