“My name is Ian Franks. I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.”
The first thing I notice in this alternative world is an ad for Cadbury’s. Reassuringly it’s the usual montage of runny chocolate being poured over a saccharine soundtrack and lots of purple foil type colours. And odd response to the genius that was the Gorilla ad. Ahhhhh but the 70’s are a great time to be alive and advertising.
Then a Tiger Wheel & Tyre commercial crammed with an end to end super fast voice-over bounces on and whips off with a frisky jingle ShowaddyWaddy would have been proud of.
Adland sure is a simple place, nice big product shots, some of them even in focus, lively voice-overs peppered with soothing, often vaguely illegal sounding, promises,
A Sunlight Washing up liquid commercial pops up, mam and other family members are still racing to see whether an “alternative” detergent will wash as many plates as our hero. I wonder if they’d be as keen and smiley if they knew that in 30 years time they would still be washing the same pile of plates, adlands’ own Groundhog Day.
Like Michael J Fox in his DeLorean, I race back to the future in time to catch the new Guinness ad from Saatchi’s Capetown, created by Tim Hearn, Anton Crone, Alice Gnodde and Larissa Elliot and directed by Martin Krejci of Stink London, it’s an epic. Well, it’s quite big.
The effects are quite good, the shot list is mostly Twister and other leaving the road to chase big windy things films, but it’s ok. The link to the guys in the bar is odd but once you’ve read the publicity blurb about a modern African storyteller you kinda get the idea. Catch it at:
The commercial for Neotel called “No Restrictions” goes on, and on. It’s one half-arsed technique stretched over 60 seconds with those annoying little symbol guys turning up everywhere. It’s ok but if this is the challenge to Telkom’s Do It stuff then I fear it’s hardly going to scare the competition.
If you’ve been away on Mars and missed the massive media spend take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Z8l9k9Ch8
Great ads come from great ideas. Simple? You can’t get any simpler than the new Harley Davidson Cologne commercial by Fran Luckin and Tetteh Botchway of Ogilvy Johannesburg. It’s well shot, beautifully timed and very, very funny. And for those parochial idiots who warble on about “local content” all the time, the joke is as local as the shop in “The League of Gentlemen.” Catch a sniff of it at: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1244284/harley_davidson_cologne_smell_like_a_bad_ass/
If local is indeed lekker then the DDB Vancouver spot for Midas tyres is a perfect example of why. Set in a Canadian high street it’s a car chase in deep snow that goes nowhere fast. It’s a daft joke that makes its point quickly and effectively without a special effect in sight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibWO6KaYXfI
At the other end of the scale there’s the new Barclaycard commercial out of BBH London, created by Pete Bradly, Gary McCreadie and Wesley Hawes and directed by Peter Thwaites of Gorgeous Enterprises. To that well-loved classic tune “Let your love flow” by The Bellamy Brothers.
We see a young guy in an open plan office as his mates are all heading for the door home. He strips off his clothes and walks through the office in some very fetching under-wear, his work mates smile knowingly at him.
He opens a store cupboard and we see an opening to a waterslide,
He slides down and we cut to the outside of the office skyscraper and see the chute runs down the side of it at a hair-raising angle before shooting off across the city taking our guy with it.
The waterslide takes him through other offices and and across the cityscape, before he shoots through several stores, swiping goods from shelves then swiping his card as he goes.
It’s all about some new “contactless technology” that Barclaycard have introduced to make payments simpler evidently. What it really is, however, is a water-sliders dream and a bit of a laugh to boot.
Make contact with it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUDtkD_CjLg
With the recession lumbering around us there’s the usual panic in adland that clients will be hacking away at budgets to save their pennies. As always we will respond by citing studies and reports that show why this is short-sighted and how it’s the companies with the foresight to maintain and even increase their ad-spend in difficult times that are the ones who are left standing afterwards. New media pundits will punt their wears as the final solution and traditional media will circle the wagons and shoot protectionist arrows at all comers. And as always it will come out sounding something like The Emperor’s clothes meets Chicken Little.
Those who’ve seen it all before will nod sagely and keep their heads down muttering how they’ve seen it all before. But this is a new world, brave or not, and there’s a lot of new stuff to consider this time.
Many of the things in this 2009 world I find confusing, the fakeness of Reality TV, the popularity Paris Hilton most of all why is the Dakar Rally racing across South America?
All I know is they never had these worries in the 70’s.