Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Rabbit than Sainsbury's

Before we start, I should get out of the way the fact that I love Innocent smoothies. In fact I am drinking one right ... now ...

Yet despite the cutesy nature of their new ads, something about them just doesn't quite work for me. They feel a bit flat and a bit dull sadly.

Innocent as a brand has still not found a good way to make it's brand work on tv; which is a shame. If they ever get it right it could be brilliant.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Have you learnt nothing?

Poor old Harman, forced to live life with a name that matches that of a brand. In these times you wouldn't think that any advertising agency would ever dare to steal a person's identity in the name of a campaign. You'd be wrong.

Carat asked nicely if they could have the facebook address for their client Harman, and when the rightful owner said no he found Facebook kicking him off for violating terms of service.

Now Carat have been a bit stupid here. They haven't been paying attention to the social world.

Facebook on the otherhand have been monumental cocks to agree to this. All you have is your users Facebook, if you treat them like shit (and let's face it it's not the first time) you will fade and die like every other site that thinks it can screw around with its lifeblood in the name of money.

Whoever made the decision to let this happen needs a bollocking of the biggest order.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The 10 O Clock Show

I sat down to watch the Persuationists last night, initially thinking it was the UK version of the Gruen transfer. I wish it had been...

Let me say right away that it wasn't terrible, for the first episode of a comedy it had some good lines and a couple of laugh out loud moments. The problem was however, that it just felt like a cliche machine in places. Stereotypical characters selling to a stereotypical 'funny' client. Poor Adam Buxton playing the beaten up account man just seemed weak, give me another series of Adam and Joe anyday (even a repeat would be nice).

When Iain Lee playing 'Iain Lee in threadless t-shirts' is the best character in a series you know things are iffy. I hope they can expand and develop over the next couple of episodes in the same way the IT crowd took a while to get going, otherwise I won't be watching much longer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Fashion for Wolves - Sheepskin

Given that I would find it hard to even consider voting Tory in a month of elections, I probably don't fall into the undecided voter pool. Only campaigning on a manifesto of BNP member floggings and Tony Blair war criminal charges could get me to tick that blue box.

So does the new Oil of Olay influenced poster of David Cameron do anything to change my mind?


If you are trying to convince me that Cameron is not a slimy toff, airbrushing him to destruction and showing him in a "I'm not wearing a tie, I am so cool; my Eton buddies would kill me if they saw me without a hat" pose is really not going to help.

Then it talks about not destroying the NHS. Yes you should be clear you support the NHS, but before you go shouting it you might want to tell us why we can trust what you say. It's tackling a symptom not the illness.
I think it's right for the Tories to make this election about people, they know Brown's image is a weak point; this ad however says nothing convincing to me whatsoever.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Time for Tea

During my A levels we had a common room to stay in during lunch or free lessons. It was decorated in hideous lime green paint that had chipped and faded. It looked awful.

Everybody hated it and wished the school would do something about it.

One day a few of us were bored and we decided to create something on the wall to liven it up a bit. We got our friend Laura to stand on a chair, then drew her outline in black marker; added a teapot and the words "Time for Tea".

Everyone loved it, apart from the teachers.

They wanted it removed, and were angry at those who did it (we didn't tell anyone). In protest we wrote an angry letter of response and posted on the door of the common room. I never did see what they did with it.

Then something unexpected happened.

Someone else drew a weird picture on one of the other walls. Then someone else. Then another.

The walls filled up with poems, thoughts, images and randomness. It was like this amazing place of expression and creativity, for a few weeks we went in every day to see what else had been added.

Within the month though others starting just scrawling names and rubbish, it lost it's appeal and started to resemble a graffiti wall. From decreped to art to waste within a month.

Shortly after the whole room was repainted.

I learnt a lot that month.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ad Pit Review of the Year


As I am going through the whole decade in a review type format, I will make my summary of 2009 relatively brief! Here goes:

Most Improved Advertiser of the Year

Who would have thought it, a couple of times this year we really were loving it. The use of Poem was brave and showed a pleasing willingness to try create ideas. Their other work has been good this year too, a marked improvement over the past few years. Long may it continue.

Runners Up - Compare the Market, Ford

Best Advert of the Year
Compare the Meerket - Market
Runners Up - McDonalds - Poem, Cadbury's - Eyebrows

Worst Advert of the Year
Go Compare - Tenor
Runners Up - Pot Noodle - High School Musical (How can you not make a parody of HSM funny?!!), Just for Men - Touch of Grey

Whilst being loathe to reveal two categories in one, the reason Go Compare's ad falls so low in my estimation is quite simple; all over it is written the words "I want a Meerkat". It is so steeped in trying to be something else that it fails to be anything itself. So as the ad has been born out of battle, it's only fair to judge it in battle.

Meerkat was brave and bold, Tenor is safe but acting like it's bold.

Meerkat was first out the blocks, it was a courageous step by the client to get away from the lifeless dull hard sell work that surrounds insurance and particularly comparison sites. By time Tenor came out they weren't taking any brave steps at all.

Meerkat was clever and funny, Tenor is just irritating and brash. See the many thousands of Facebook fans for Aleksandr Orlov, and the tiny number for Gio Comparo (dear god why). VCCP actually created something with an idea that gave people a reason to interact with it online, the bloody Tenor was flat in comparison. The Compare the Meerkat team also do a brilliant job of making the world of Aleksandr an interactive one, the characters and language are kept running skillfully.

Meerkat was well planned and magnificently answered the (reported) brief whilst also being good work, Tenor felt like it had very little thought behind it other than "Why haven't we got a Meerkat?!!"

Meerkat has been followed by interesting work that keeps the idea going well, Tenor has been followed by the same ad with a different background setting.

I'm not a huge fan of MoneySupermarket's stupid Dragon ad, nor's 'real life' stories; but at least they attempt to do their own thing.

It's easy to judge ads from within our world of adland, but to make the point: As my wife saw me type Go Compare as worst ad of the year she cheered. Meerkat on the other hand is a brilliant classic-in-waiting campaign that proves you can make creative work that sells. Definitely the ad of the year.