Wednesday, 24 June 2015

and so that was christmas...

Friends from the YooK arrived with schooners of Christmas cheer to prop up the bar down Molly Malone’s. As always there was much to catch up on including the wonderment of festive offerings from adland on the sceptred isle.

Amid the shimmering tinsel and gargling egg-nog a few ideas sparkled.
For a while now the famous PG Tips tea Brand has used a stuffed monkey to promote itself, appearing alongside Al (comedian Johnny Vegas), the commercials have a cult following amongst the English TV viewing public. For Christmas they launched a parody of the Queen’s Speech with Monkey as the Queen trying to tell the world about his and Al’s Christmas day special, but one too many sips of bubbly played havoc with his performance.
See it at:
Monkey’s message, voiced by Ben Miller, gets more and more convoluted with every toast to the past year. Luckily the super at the end tells us what we need to know. “There should be one thing on one’s telly that one shouldn’t miss this Christmas. It’s Monkey’s Christmas Sketch, shown on ITV1, Channel 4, Five, Sky1, Sky3, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, E4, More4, Film4, Virgin1, Gold, Dave, MTV One, TMF, 4 Music, Nickelodeon, Jetix and Many More.”
Go to and catch Al and Monkey’s 90 second remake of the classic Morecambe and Wise breakfast sketch from the late 70’s, using the same music (The Stripper) and some of the same moves, ending of course with a great cup of tea.
Developed at AKQA by executive creative director James Hilton, creative directors/copywriters Colin Byrne and James Capp, copywriters Ben Oliver and Leo Thom, Shot by director Chris Balmond via Red Bee and AKQA.Film.
It’s fun, in a slightly quirky, good old-fashioned romp kinda way.

M&C Saatchi London entered into the spirit of Boxing Day with a charity-focused Christmas promotion. Boxing Day, December 26th, a public holiday in the United Kingdom, is based on the tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society.
Staff at the agency this year filled 400 boxes to be given to the UK charity Action for Children and delivered in time for Christmas. Because even the simplest piece of corporate responsibility deserves to be preserved for posterity, the agency shot a stop frame animation film showing how the idea came together in their reception area. It’s ok , if a tad dull, in a typically MC Saatchi stark, clean lined way.
The M&C Saatchi team included creatives Nick O’Brien and Paloma Reed and agency producer Charlie MacPearson.
Filming was shot by director Dan Lumb via th2ng with producer Mark Farrington. Post production was done at “th1ng.”
Music was provided by composer Lorenzo Piggici at Felt Music with executive producer Dominic Buttimore.
See the whole thing at :

New year, of course, is a time of reflection, a time to review our time on this wonderful planet. The new Audi commercial by BBH reminds me of many things, the simple pursuit of origami perhaps, that ads don’t have to look expensive to be interesting and most of all, why Woodie Guthrie remains a cult figure after all these years rather than a mainstream artist.
Created by Maja Fernqvist and Joakim Saul and put together by Aaron Duffy and Russell Brooke of Passion Pictures and 1st Ave Machine it’s a simple little idea about unboxing the box that is the Audi Q5 accompanied by the enigmatically named “Car Song” by Mr Guthrie. It’s on show at:

Flying into 2009 with a “Flock of seagulls” haircut, an Asteroids arcade game, a Rubik's Cube, a yuppie banker with a cell-phone bigger than his briefcase and a newspaper headline shouting about the miner's strike. It can only be the 80’s, again. 1984, in fact.
The commercial celebrating the launch of Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airline 25 years ago this year was put together by Y&R/RKCR in London. Looking like a sey from Dynasty It’s crammed full of 80’s iconography and some slinky flight crew in bright red gear. If nothing else it’s a timely reminder that even in times of trouble a good idea can really take off.

Speaking of good ideas, I must admit the concept of “Guitar Hero” sounded a tad lame to me, after all what can it achieve that I can’t get out of an old tennis racquet and Led Zep III on vinyl?
The new commercial for the latest Guitar Hero World Tour game, however, did change my mind a bit. It’s a homage to Tom Cruise’s scene in “Risky Business” but instead of the couch-bouncing Christian scientist we’re offered Ubermodel Heidi Klum in lacy black lingerie for our viewing pleasure., it certainly had me banging my head against the wall.

To round off the festive season, one of the younger guys hovering around the bar the other day was muttering darkly about how he’d “gone large” over Christmas, presumably building himself up for a bit of a new year’s gym resolution. Anyway, looking for health tips myself, somewhere between the turkey and chips of Boxing Day and the suspicious turkey curry of two days later I came across a commercial for the British Food Standards created to remind us to watch out for food poisoning.
There’s no other way of putting it, it really is a fart-laden online offering. The video, complete with retro colour grading and 70’s typefaces, is designed to make us think twice about how we use the turkey leftovers, and includes the rather frothy line, “A fabulously festive feast of faeces.” Marvellous.

The Safe Christmas campaign was developed at Farm London, by creative director Gary Robinson, art director Raymond Chan, and writer Simon Cenamor.
Shot by director Mark Denton via Coy! Communications with producer Sara Cummins. Catch a whiff of it at:
I’m off for a little well deserved cold turkey.

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