Archive | May, 2012

Scary Phones4u ad

30 May

I’ve always liked the Phones4u ads. They seem like they come from a different world where a casting agent simply calls up a local freak show and a director starts the camera rolling.

This one, however, comes out of nowhere:

It’s the first ad that has ever made me jump or feel vaguely scared. It’s fantastic. If a commercial doesn’t make you laugh, or cry, or get angry, or make you think, or jump, what’s it’s purpose?┬áThere’s so much filler in between TV shows and sometimes it feels like every agency in town is happy with the status quo.

Well, how about this for a thought: ┬ásafe work sells. Brave work might sell more. Surely in these reduced times, there’s an agency and a client who is brave enough to do something different?

Happily for us, there is. The agency is Adam and Eve and the client is Phones4u.


21 May

It’s worth writing about this one just to say ‘Check out this checkout’.

Maybe this stuff works. Maybe people who are at the checkout in a major store think to themselves, ‘Ooh, the food’s good, maybe I could insure my holiday with these people’.

You think? What exactly is jumping out at you from this mess? Where’s the single minded, unifying call to action that tells us Sainsbury is a financial institution that will make my life easier, safer and better? There isn’t any. It’s a mishmash of flyers and leaflets vaguely held together by some orange circles and a font. I doubt if one in a hundred shoppers picks anything up from here, despite Sainsbury paying good money to an agency.

One day an agency and client will embrace the challenge of POS properly and the results will be game changing. In the meantime, the checkouts of major supermarkets remain as cluttered as board full of ads in a newsagent’s window.

She’s back for more

7 May

This woman is unstoppable! Fresh form her passion for the drug busting exploits of the British Armed Forces, this woman is now rushing to tell us how she felt when she learned she had cancer.

Only she isn’t, is she? She is a voiceover. Probably one of the few people of Caribbean origin on the books of talent agencies that provide voices for advertising. The trouble is, if as an organisation you are intent on representing multicultural Britain, you might be limited to the same old hacks that do all the black/Pakistani/Chinese voices. Which is why ‘Caribbean Lady’ has shown up again pretending to be a member of the public who wants to tell us something in an advert.

Surely, if you are a cancer charity who wants to tell people how you support them, why wouldn’t you use real people? And if you are putting on an event that showcases our armed forces, why not use real people who are coming along to evangelise about it? Because if you don’t, you come across as shallow, fake and disingenuous. And as a charity, surely that’s the last thing you want to be.



Thankyou Old Spice

2 May

There is still beauty out there. Watch this:

It’s well written, well cast, well acted and well directed: four checkboxes that rarely all meet in the same ad. Some might say the product is tagged on to the end, but the Old Spice campaign is now so hugely famous they could almost leave the product out altogether and still have us thinking about Old Spice.

I’m jealous as hell of this ad and I hope you all are too. Unless you wrote it, in which case: nice work!