You know that point during any reasonable sado-masochistic activity when your thoughts begin to drift beyond the exquisite agony in hand, as it were, to gentler images of a recuperative cup of tea and perhaps the chance to send a few ragged smoke rings on their futile journey toward the bedroom ceiling?
Imagine then, for one moment, that you have forgotten the release word, your pre-arranged signal that, all things considered, you've had quite enough of this sort of thing, thank you. "HYACINTH ... SUTCLIFFE ... NIMROD ..." you moo through the restraining gag.
In vain. Your fateful memory loss is compounded by the biblical beasting still being meted out by your partner whom, you suspect, is well aware of your lapsed recall and taking pitiless advantage. "ROMMEL ... SPIKE ... JESUS ..." you whimper. Your humiliation is all the more profound because not only are you complicit in this degrading spectacle but now its unwitting agent.
This is how it feels to do Private View. You said you'd do it, then you forgot and now you want it to stop. But when the work comes, you can't find the words. The words, they don't come.
This week starts innocently enough with a playful slap on the bottom from Diet Coke (2). This brand hasn't had a consistent campaign since it dangled a hunk in front of some office laydeez to give them the kind of hots only Diet Coke could cool down. Now it's dangling some Bratz-style puppets in an Ugly Betty office scenario. The Flashdance routine will stir fond memories among fiftysomething cokeheads, but the challenge to lay some sharp bitchy dialogue over the puppet cast has yet to be taken up.
KFC (3) is fighting back against the McSlurry with an equally thick milkshake called Krushems. The agency has created a cute crush-filled high-school yearbook animation around the inevitable product shots. "You never forget your first Krushems" is the sort of strapline that should come with a cymbal crash and a "thanyewverymuchgoonite".
Volvo (5) is out to persuade us that the new sporty S69 is a "naughty Volvo". Given the American voiceover, this comes out as "knotty Volvo". My only concern would be that a few slalom stunts are not nearly "knotty" enough for our jaded English palates. We want the "utterly disgusting Volvo". I blame Clearcast.
From Volvos to vulvas. (I know, but it begged me.) Some years back, the hand-lettering artist Alison Carmichael sent out a mailing featuring the c-word in beautiful italic script. I think Mark Denton had a hand in it. Could this be the inspiration for the Mooncup (1) outdoor campaign, I wonder? Here, coy soubriquets for the c-word invite us online for a pretty straightforward testimonial-driven sales pitch on behalf of this remarkable alternative to tampons. The site also invites us to submit our own pet-names for the c-word; I suggest Candour is what's required.
Specsavers (6) has lovingly recreated that Lynx ad where millions of babes are drawn moth-like to the geek on the beach who's sprayed-up with every teenage boy's antidote to BO. Why would they do that? OK, apart from the shoot, the beach, the girls. Why? The twist is that this geek gets rejected because he's got crap specs. But who's to say they're crap and not cool? What this painstaking tribute actually reinforces is that old David Ogilvy adage: "Girls with cute arses don't sit on faces with glasses." Any glasses. Unless you're Jarvis Cocker.
Jarvis and Christopher Biggins are the only celebs not in the Walkers (4) sandwich promotion. The premise for this vigorous rebuttal of COI's plot to get kids to eat healthily is that only c-listers and c-risps can make boring Sandwich (town/bread-based snack) interesting. Look out for Marco Pierre White, the man with a dishcloth on his head. He steals the show because he's the only one who really doesn't give a fuck. That's a real star.
DIRECTOR - Mark Denton, creative director and director, Coy! Communications
I really like ads.
I have done since I was a little kid.
I know that Trebor Mints are "a minty bit stronger", Cresta is "frothy man" and "when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle, they all prefer the sunny, funny one they call Um Bongo!"
I'm one of those boring advertising people who go on the internet and look at commercials on specialist websites.
Of course, the advent of computers has made it really easy to pursue my hobby, but there's a piece of technology that has had an even more significant influence on my life.
My Sky+ remote.
Bloody handy when you're watching a programme such as The Wire and you can pause it and say to your Mrs: "What did he just say?" Ironically, given my keen interest in ads, what I use it for mostly is fast-forwarding through them.
What I normally do every ad break is fast-forward (x30), only to pause and rewind if I see an ad that grabs my attention in some way.
So here's my review of this week's ads as if I was sitting with my Sky+ remote in hand (for the purpose of this exercise, I'm ignoring the fact that one of the pieces of work is a print campaign).
First up is Lynx. I've seen this old ad before so F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD it's got a Specsavers (6) logo at the end, what was that all about?
Diet Coke (2) ... puppets, great, I like puppets, so PAUSE, REWIND. Oh, they're not very funny so F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD.
Walkers (4) F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD.
Volvo (5) F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD.
Mooncup (1) ... pause ... I like a bit of fancy hand lettering ... but I don't understand what it's for ... F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD.
KFC (3) ... F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD, F FWD.
That's about the strength of it.
That's how the average ad break occurs for me.
I know I'm not the only viewer who watches ads this way, so thank God that clients are insisting on really attention-grabbing commercials that force the punters to pause, rewind and watch instead of fast-forwarding.
Oh, they're not, are they?
Project: Love your vagina
Clients: Kath Clements, campaigns and marketing; Su Hardy, director,
Brief: Raise awareness of Mooncup - making it a normal and accepted form
of sanitary protection
Agency: St Luke's
Writers: Natalia Frizzi, Jamil Bhatti
Art directors: Jamil Bhatti, Natalia Frizzi
Exposure: London Underground
2. DIET COKE
Client: Ricardo Miquelino, European group creative excellence manager,
Brief: Appeal to twentysomething girls by making the brand into the
emblem of a lighter attitude to life
Art director: Mother
Production company: Partizan
Clients: Jennelle Tilling, vice-president, marketing; Jane Walker,
senior marketing manager, new concepts, KFC
Brief: Launch KFC's new range of Krushems
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Writers/art directors: Jon Fox, Rik Brown
Director: Andy Lambert
Production company: n/s
Project: Walkers lunch
Clients: Miranda Sambles, marketing director; Delphine Haas, marketing
Brief: Tell people that eating a bag of Walkers with their sandwich
makes it more enjoyable
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Writer: Steve Coll
Art director: Colin Jones
Director: Declan Lowney
Production company: HSI
Exposure: National TV, online
Project: The Naughty Volvo
Client: Volvo Cars Corporation
Agencies: Arnold Worldwide, Euro RSCG 4D
Writers: Mike Howard, Darren Reynoldson
Art directors: Luke Perkins, Feike Kloostra
Director: Scott Weintrob
Production company: Limey
Project: Specs effect
Client: Richard Holmes, marketing director, Specsavers
Brief: Remind consumers that as well as providing value for money,
Specsavers also has an unrivalled range of designer glasses
Agency: Specsavers Creative
Writers/art directors: Simon Bougourd, Neil Brush
Director: Daniel Kleinman
Production company: Rattling Stick
Exposure: TV, digital