CREATIVE - Pablo Minces, creative director, Santo
It's Sunday morning, and it's sunny on my patio. I'm eating some alfajores with dulce de leche and drinking mate. The only thing that reminds me I'm in London is Private View.
Well, we have this antique media called print. And nobody really knows what to do with it. It's been at least five or six years since I've seen a campaign that has really stood out for me. One that makes me go: "WOW!" It's just that, in comparison to other media, this one's the coldest of them all. I can't shed a tear when facing a newspaper, or laugh out loud in front of a magazine page. It simply doesn't work.
OK. Let's take a look at this week's ads, starting with Maestro (3).
Maestro is showing us the faces of banknotes attached to the bodies of the elderly, as if they had retired. The headline reads: "Cash has retired, Maestro is the new cash." I like the execution. It's simple and easy. But Maestro isn't the new cash. Cash is the new cash. Because I have it with me, and it's not deposited in a bank you can no longer trust in. Because it's not a number in a bank account, but something real that nobody can take away. In the middle of a crisis, I don't think this is the most appropriate message.
Air New Zealand (5). This airline tells us: "We have the longest business flatbeds, entertainment during take-off and landing, we fly to LA and Hong Kong, and we have better food in premium economy class." I like what it offers. I think this company has real product differences, and to communicate these clearly makes sense. And I like the art direction of the campaign, I think it has personality.
Moving on to TV. I think this media has, in contrast to print, the ability to connect emotionally with the consumers in a strong way. I think this isn't what is happening with the Wall's (6) campaign.
Wall's is showing us the two best bits of something, finishing off by telling us its sausages are made with the best bits of pork. There are four commercials that follow the same logic. One could argue that the examples used aren't the best, but this is a question of discretion for each ad. The commercials are intelligent and very well produced. The only thing I have to say is I don't think it has the ability to generate an emotional reaction. It simply comes and goes.
Bell's (1). These are the best of the week. One of the things I like the most is the strong identity of these commercials. They couldn't be for any other brand. Bell's plays with its history and mystique. The commercials are unpretentious, simple, impactful, agreeable, and, above all, charming. And that's in a category that is accustomed to being serious, boring and stiff. Well done.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA (2). I can't applaud enough a brand that is generating content to strengthen its relationship with consumers. The only caution the brand needs to take is that the product one gives, the content generated, must be original and truly entertaining. However, this example reminds me of a mix between Memento and The Bourne Identity. It's not new enough. Sorry.
What I like most about this work for Cancer Research (4) is it doesn't leave me sad. It gives you the possibility to reflect, it gives you information, and the chance to contribute, but without making you feel bad. It's something I really appreciate. Looking at the creative, perhaps they could have chosen someone a bit more similar to my dad, who has breasts of such a prominent size they would make many women envious.
SUIT - Sarah Gold, managing partner, CHI & Partners
Here I am doing my first Private View. Having obviously read a few of these in the past, it seems the way to write this is to have an angle; a cunning theme for all the praise and pity handed out.
So what would be a clever theme to choose? Well, the credit crunch might be a good one. I could adopt a nifty little scoring system around bailouts, bankers and bonuses. Problem is, I, like everyone else, don't really understand it and it all feels a bit too gloomy to bring up again. What about the X Factor? I'm on much firmer ground here. Have I got the next Leona Lewis in my Campaign jiffy-bag or simply a bunch of Michelle McManuses? Or I could adopt a five-star rating like AA Gill does every Sunday. But even he admits he doesn't write these himself because they're too hard to think up, so what chance have I? Sadly, all this nonsense has meant I've run out of time. As I write this, I'm already well past the deadline for submitting it, so I've decided to stop trying to be clever and am just going to be honest ... here's what I think.
First up, Wall's (6). I like these because they made me laugh. They are not big but they are clever. They are quiet and well-observed, and a million miles away from the talking dog. Sadly, I fear they could get a bit lost as a result. And they do leave me with a slightly unpleasant after-taste as I sit wondering what actually are the two best bits of the pig that go into a Wall's sausage?
Next, I've got Bell's (1) whisky. I have to declare an interest here because these ads are done by Adam & Eve and my natural disposition is to be mean about everything my other half does. Annoyingly, I couldn't with this campaign. It targets an audience that few ads try to reach and does so with a persuasive charm. I like them, but I've told him I don't, of course, so mum's the word.
On to Air New Zealand (5). Sorry, I don't like these at all. The staff look like they're on Prozac, the headlines are impossible to read, especially on a poster, they don't look very premium given they're advertising the posh cabins, and I don't like the endline asking me a question. "Is it just a Kiwi thing?" I don't know, but having seen these, I'm not inclined to go and find out.
Now for several years I'm sure I've been seeing ads like the ones for Maestro (3) proclaiming that cash is dead. These are nice enough executions within the campaign but are now being a bit less final about the demise of cash, preferring to pension him off. However, given the state of the economy right now, I think cash may soon be coming out of retirement.
Next out of the bag is the Sony Ericsson XPERIA (2) "who is Johnny X?" campaign. I like the idea of using a film to tell a product story and Nice Shirt Films has executed it well. Very Bourne Identity. These seven fast-paced films are way more ambitious than the usual handset campaign but they are simply not gripping enough. By the time I'm halfway through the third one, I can't help thinking: "Who the hell cares who Johnny X is?" And the chance of winning a mobile phone, even in these tough times, isn't reason enough to keep me excitedly waiting for the eighth episode, apparently "coming soon". I'm sorry to sound so web 1.0, but if you want this sort of entertainment, don't you just reach for your boxset of 24?
Finally, a viral film for Breast Cancer Awareness Month from Cancer Research (4). Here we're introduced to Tommy, the rather tasty product demo guy, and some scary bespectacled lady who tweaks and cups his well-chiselled chest. This is certainly one for the ladies and they handle a sensitive subject with a cheeky smile. Great pecs ... hang on, that's given me an idea for a good theme. Maybe next time.
1. BELL'S Project: Bell's whisky Client: James Pennefather, brand director whisky, Diageo Brief: Remind consumers that Bell's is a whisky with enduring character Agency: Adam & Eve Writers: Ben Priest, Ben Harris Art directors: Ben Harris, Ben Priest Director: Jonas Odell Production company: Nexus Exposure: National TV 2. SONY ERICSSON XPERIA Project: Who is Johnny X? Client: Cathy Davies, head of global marcoms, Sony Ericsson Brief: Produce an epic idea to launch the XPERIA sub-brand and the first product under it, X1 Agency: Dare Writers: Carina Martin, Nicky Palamarczuk Art director: Matt Firth Director: Stuart Douglas Production company: Nice Shirt Films Exposure: Online 3. MAESTRO Project: Cash has retired Client: Rita Broe, head of marketing, UK and developed markets, Maestro Brief: Reposition the Maestro debit brand as the better way to pay for small-value items Agency: McCann Erickson Writers: Matt Crabtree, David Chalu Art directors: Simon Hepton, Simon Friedberg Illustrator: Harry Malt Exposure: Outdoor 4. CANCER RESEARCH Project: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2008 Client: Sarah Pickersgill, acquisitions manager, Cancer Research UK Brief: Create stand-out during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Motivate people to donate Agency: Ogilvy Interactive Writer: Emma Poole Art director: Maciek Strychalski Director: Susanah Hayes Production company: Ferocious Films Exposure: Viral, e-mail, online, microsite 5. AIR NEW ZEALAND Project: Is it just a Kiwi thing? Client: Kathryn Gregory, marketing manager, Europe, Air New Zealand Brief: n/s Agency: Albion Writer: Spanish Bob Art director: English Tim Photographer: Brian Finke Typographer: English Tim Exposure: Print 6. WALL'S Project: Wall's sausages Client: Tim Barkey, marketing controller, Wall's Brief: Reassure consumers of Wall's quality by dramatising the fact that Wall's only selects the two finest cuts of pork for its sausages Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay Writers: Ian Heartfield, Richard Harris Art directors: Matt Doman, Jamie Starbuck Director: Danny Kleinman Production company: Rattling Stick Exposure: National TV
This article was first published on Campaign