Joint executive creative director and partner, CHI & Partners I write this on the hottest June day since 1976. It’s 34.1 degrees and I have dribbles of sweat collating in crevasses I didn’t know I had.
Everyone is talking about it. Not my crevasses. The heat.
It makes me think we should look at advertising like we do the weather. When we have extremes, everyone talks about it.
Oh my God, it is so fucking hot. Christ, it’s freezing.
When it’s clement, mild, nice, it’s only mentioned in polite meetings or awkward conversations.
So I wonder: is the work I’ve been sent the ad equivalent of sunny intervals, mild south-westerly breezes and a balmy 22.5 degrees? Or will there be thunderstorms? Perhaps the odd, glorious flash of lightning? Let’s see.
First up, SUBWAY. Unlike Subway food, this ad is deceivingly well-made. It’s well-written, well-cast and well-directed. I like it, I like her – I just don’t like the unappetising salad shot at the end. It’s like a lovely sunny day with a quick downpour around eight o’clock that dampens the mood.
Mother’s swansong for BOOTS is a lovely idea: celebrate summer as much as we do Christmas. It has taken a Christmas classic and given it a summer lyric. Unfortunately, that gets a little bit lost and all I’m left with is my idea of hell – a busy lido. Anyway, to make another tortuous, weather-based analogy – it’s like a day where the forecast was great but the breeze never came and you end up swearing you will never wear leather trousers again.
Trains are serene, planes are nasty things. VIRGIN
TRAINS is in danger of sounding like a broken record with this strategy, but it has twisted the argument to “Spandau Ballet v speedcore”. Spandau represents the ease of train travel and speedcore the torture of plane travel. It’s nicely done and at least I got the extremes here. Altogether, the ad is like the glorious schizophrenic weather of the north Cornish coast – I’m getting out in it.
JURYS INN tells the heartfelt tale of a luggage trolley looking for a home. It eventually finds it at a… Jurys Inn. It’s sweet, nice and likeable, like a mid- to late-september breeze on a Sunday afternoon with some tea. Will it cut through, though? Jury’s out.
The final ad has a grand ambition to make us put aside our petty differences. To see each other differently. The strategy threatens thunderstorms and lightning and freak typhoons that would get us talking for months!!! But it’s for CBEEBIES so they never materialise. Instead, it is rightly very gentle and cute, if a bit familiar in construct. (I am putting this sentence in brackets and a slightly smaller typeface like it’s a secret aside because I am getting a bit sick of brands trying to make the world a better place at the expense of imagination and joy. Only me?) Sorry, I am getting hot and bothered. Time for a cold shower.