The week in a Tweet?
Lipton: waste of money
Lucozade: waste of director
Comparethemarket: 'nuff now
John Lewis: meh
Lastminute: last decade, more like
Disagree? Could do better? Of course you could. So hit Twitter on #PrivateView and get on with it. I look forward to the attributed abuse and will ignore the cowardly, anonymous stuff.
Now for some old-school musings to fulfil the terms of contract.
Nothing is what it seems in this mashed-up, crazy digital world. So, we don't ask why Lipton Ice Tea (4) is spending more money than it could ever hope to recoup on a 90-second TV spot featuring Hugh Jackman as a poor man's Christopher Walken. We ask: what's Hugh Jackman up to here? Then, if we're blog-nosey, we smite our brows in triumph - of course! This is his latest attempt to quell the digital tittle-tattle (digitattle?) and confirm to the world that he isn't remotely gay. And, with animal cunning, he makes his refutation through the medium of flamboyant dance.
If you've never seen the documentary about the birth of skateboarding, Dogtown And Z-Boys, cancel all plans, stay in tonight and watch it. Your life will be enriched. Stacy Peralta directed it and he's been signed up for the latest Lucozade (6) ad. It strings together some shots of people whizzing about on bikes and boards, all pursued by a stream of what your pee looks like after too much pudding wine. I'd have to say that Stacy's gifts are underemployed here.
Whatever your eco-politics, you could admire the tenacity, imagination and, occasionally, sheer courage exhibited by Greenpeace (2) over the years. But you can stop now. Its latest stunt is a would-be viral that rails against Nestle, who, it claims, kills orang-utans in the name of plentiful palm oil. If it has a case, it doesn't make it. Had Rick, from The Young Ones, ever turned his hand to an ad, this shrill, juvenile, artless schlock would have been it. I do you a service by alerting you to its existence so that you can find almost any way to avoid it.
Along with rest of the world, I love Comparethemarket.com's (1) brilliant gag and the skill with which it's been executed. But it is just a gag, and if you heard even your favourite Tommy Cooper joke ("A man crossed a parrot with a crocodile. He doesn't know what he's got, but when it talks, he listens") six times a day for 18 months, the appeal would surely dim. So it is with Aleksandr. I'm getting a bit fed up with him and, no, thank you, I don't need his app.
John Lewis (3): curtains, cups and puns. Arranged. What more can I tell you?
One should always declare an interest: we pitched for Lastminute.com (5) a while ago and didn't win it. It was a presentation scarred by fisticuffs and shattered dreams, but Private View is not the place for score-settling or personal vendetta. It is a forum for rational analysis and considered opinion, so I'm delighted to be able to tell you that the Lastminute ad we didn't end up doing is total poop.
PLANNER - DAVID HACKWORTHY, planning partner, The Red Brick Road
Now, I may be one of those "that's all very well in practice but how does it work in theory?" types, but I will happily admit that when a blinding creative idea comes along, theory goes out the window, or at least gets rewritten to fit the work. So I'm actually a little disappointed that none of this week's work takes one of those big creative leaps that send us theorists packing.
Encouraging people to "do more" by replenishing their energy sounds like a good jumping-off point to let it rip creatively, but this Lucozade (6) execution doesn't push the boat out very far. In fact, it reminds me of those pitch videos creative directors hate - the ones where the client says: "I don't get where you creative guys have taken the idea. Can't we just turn the mood tape you showed before into an ad?" Harsh words, I know, but I would have hoped Lucozade was a little more adventurous with this one.
In a similar vein, Lastminute.com's (5) "do more good stuff" commercial comes over as a beautiful but generic rallying cry to shed our skins and dive into the big wide world now that winter is over. Apart from the obligatory bungee-jumping shots, there are no scary leaps here and the brand seems to be connected to the work by only the slenderest of threads.
Lipton Ice Tea (4) has gone for a 90-second dance extravaganza to bring to life its "drink positive" strategy. As a naturally flamboyant boy from Oz myself, I'm all for watching Hugh Jackman unleash a dizzying array of his own creative leaps, but I still crave a bit more Walken-esque weirdness here.
The spring John Lewis (3) print and outdoor work is clean, well-ordered, nicely crafted and has dolls houses in it...
just what a lot of John Lewis customers would enjoy. This campaign is not going to set the world on fire, but it's a nice little hop from what I imagine would have been a pretty standard "range" brief. Not stonking, but sweet.
Greenpeace's (2) assault on Nestle scares the shit out of me. I've spent many a day sitting in the safety of my office theorising on how to beat up Kit Kat with nifty strategies for brands such as Twix - is it "two for me, none for you", is it "made for sharing" or is it "betwixt and between"? All pretty harmless stuff. But Greenpeace has turned it up to 11 in this viral onslaught on the impact of palm oil trading in Indonesia. Its uncomfortable parody of the "have a break" campaign shows that sometimes apes and chocolate shouldn't mix. As clunky as the creative work is, it certainly points the finger at Nestle.
Comparethemarket.com (1). The original incarnation of Comparethemeerkat is just that blinding creative idea I was talking about up top, and I'd hazard a guess that not that much theorising went into the creation of Orlov in the first place. These days, however, Orlov is probably more effective in the form of soundbite reminders on this iSimples application than as long-play exposes of his ancestry on TV. But this is just a quibble as the meerkat still sets the creative bar for getting your brand name stuck in people's heads.
Enough creative bashing for one day, I'll get back to honing my theory of transgenderational media planning in the post-post-modern age.
Client: Mark Vile, marketing director, Comparethemarket.com
Brief: Continue to educate consumers on the difference between
Comparethemeerkat.com and Comparethemarket.com
Writers: Rich Connell, Matt Lloyd
Art director: Clem Woodward
Project: Give the orang-utan a break
Art director: In-house
Production company: In-house
3. John Lewis
Project: John Lewis spring home
Client: Craig Inglis, head of brand communications, John Lewis
Brief: Showcase the eclectic, inspirational and unique product mix of
the John Lewis home offering
Agency: Adam & Eve
Writer/art director: Nici Hofer
Exposure: National press, magazines, window displays, point of sale
4. Lipton Ice Tea
Project: Tokyo dancing hotel
Client: Lipton Ice Tea
Agency: DDB Paris
Writer: Marc Badinand
Art director: Laurent Toth
Director: Michael Gracey
Production company: Partizan Paris
Project: Do more good stuff
Client: Robert Moss, head of marketing, Lastminute.com
Brief: Waking people up to a whole new season of "goodstuff" to fill
their free time to the full
Writers/art directors: Tom Woodington, Robin Temple
Director: Anthony Dickenson
Production company: Pulse Films
Project: Lucozade Energy. Do more
Clients: Suzy Smith, brand director; Nicholas Godsall, brand manager,
Brief: Establish Lucozade Energy's new action-oriented positioning
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Writers/art directors: Curtis Brittles, Will Bate
Director: Stacy Peralta
Production company: Home Corp
Exposure: National TV, cinema