Archive | January, 2009

Deja vu

20 Jan

Have a look at this: Remind you of this? John Hegarty writes in Campaign this week that he has never seen anything like it in an ad. Ideas don’t win their creative wings just when they make it into an ad, they are creative long before that happens, in this case, back in 1996. Now look at this: The same creative who alerted me to Sleeveface.com (see my post on Jan 15) told me about this. It’s a bit long and there’s no plot but I’d never seen anything like it before. Imagine my surprise (ho ho, I love saying that!) when Campaign told me about this ad from BBC6 music: If the Brazilian artist who made the original film didn’t get paid for this he should sue. So here’s my plea to the world’s advertising creatives: have your own ideas. Be confident in your ability to create. Taking existing ideas might keep clients happy and pay your mortgage but every time you do this, the industry dies a little.

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On me ‘ead Grandad!

18 Jan

There’s a new Actimel ad out and I like it. It’s good honest advertising. I prefer this one:

I love the casting – none of the kids are the typical kids you see in ads. They genuinely look like they are from an estate in Oldham. And Charlton plays it well – he’s understated not a superstar. Gold stars all round to all involved.

It’s just too easy

15 Jan

Last year a designer at the agency where I was freelancing sent round an all staffer featuring the inspired photos on sleeveface.com. Imagine my surprise (ie, not surprised at all) when this campaign appeared:. We see, we copy, we take the glory. Likewise, I was at a conference five years ago and was shown this short clip. Need I say more? It upsets me that Campaign raved about this so much. Has creativity really been reduced to watching someone else’s work and saying to your partner ‘we could use that in an ad’? It seems advertising really is that easy.

Sudafed – headache relief!

14 Jan

Has anyone else noticed how few ads require people who can act? Or directors who can direct dialogue? I can remember a shoot set in an office which utterly depended on dialogue, where the actors hadn’t nailed it after the seventh or 8th take and then we all had to stop for 30 minutes while the desk lamps on the set were art directed to make a better shot. For someone who believes dialogue is king and who spent pretty much 12 solid hours over New Year watching Series One of the Wire on DVD, there is woefully little of it in the world of commercials. The Sudafed ad won’t win any awards

but the casting is spot on, the dialogue is great and the delivery is excellent. Wouldn’t it be great if more commercials showcased writers who can actually write? Sudafed’s ad won’t change the world but it’s still a little gem.

Arriva Aviva!

13 Jan

Brief: take a company whose name suggests heritage and history and give it a name that means nothing and suggests bland corporate nothingness. Next, take 4 celebs, 3 of whom have probably never heard of Norwich Union and pay them an enormous amount of cash (Aviva’s not a charity after all) to explain why they changed their own names. Finally, add on a ludicrously unbelievable rationale that a name change allows us to be who we’ve always wanted to be. End result, no one comes out looking better than when they went in.

Pulling a sickie

12 Jan

Thank God for Benylin.

Finally someone’s come out and said it’s OK to be ill. In an age where government ministers return to work 5 days after having a C section it’s refreshing to see a brand bucking the trend. Why should we struggle through a day just because there is medication out there that can numb the worst symptoms a little? Most of us catch colds from people on the tube or colleagues at work who are jacked up with Beechams or Lemsip but who are still riddled with germs. Today’s companies are enlightened enough to offer paid sick leave – maybe workers should be enlightened enough to take it. Thank you Benylin, and thank you even more for using the Clash in your advert!

Editors or Creatives?

9 Jan

Welcome to day one of adspike, a brutally honest take on today’s advertising. And so to today’s question. Not ‘are we human or are we dancer?’ but ‘are we creative or are we editor?’ Take this little gem:

‘Inspired’ by this phenomenally successful pop promo:

 How many more times are advertising creatives going to take other people’s creativity (Honda Cog, Flat Eric, Sony Bravia) and pass it off as their own? I guess there is some creativity in appreciating the good in other people’s work and then adapting it for your own needs but really, is that why we wanted to get into advertising? I know we have to find something that shifts units but gratuitous lifting is only one option. The world is filled with the weird and wonderful. My tip is to steal from life, not from other people’s creative work.