Campaign UK


Ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor, J Wal­ter Thomp­son Lon­don


It’s a pretty sim­ple cy­cle. Great work from oth­ers makes you feel an­gry. And a bit jeal­ous. You wish you had come up with the idea first. You wish you had done it. But then all that turns into pride and grate­ful­ness. Proud and grate­ful to be part of our in­dus­try. And re­spect. Re­spect for the creatives who came up with that great piece of work. Af­ter that, it makes you an­gry again and want to work harder at get­ting to great work like the one you just saw.

The line-up to­day is full of work ca­pa­ble of trig­ger­ing that cy­cle. I’ve been moved, I’ve been tick­led, I’ve been run over. I felt an­gry, a bit jeal­ous but full of re­spect. Be­cause I’d have been proud to make any one of this week’s ads.

WARNER BROS (1). Ev­ery­one loves Bat­man. Es­pe­cially Bat­man. Three pow­er­houses (Lego, Warner Bros and Chan­nel 4) have come to­gether to pro­duce a piece of work that adds to the magic of Lego’s movie fran­chise. It’s great to see col­lab­o­ra­tions and, in this case, we have two. Bring­ing Bat­man to Chan­nel 4 plays to each brand’s mer­its. And it makes Chan­nel 4 in­ter­mis­sion takeover fun, in­ven­tive and all things Bat­man! It worked won­ders on my kids and – let’s be hon­est – my­self.

GAM­BLEAWARE (5). Ooof! The cast­ing in this ad is bril­liant and the ex­e­cu­tion is as sharp as its dia­logue. I sense there has been a lit­tle in­spi­ra­tion from Sir Ben Kings­ley’s Don in Sexy Beast, but that’s only be­cause the per­for­mance is as cut­ting and men­ac­ing. The tor­tured in­ner voice of a gam­bling addict is equally re­as­sur­ing as it is ma­nip­u­la­tive and this plays to the men­ace of ad­dic­tion in­cred­i­bly well. Although trou­bling, I do want to see more of them. I’d be in­trigued to see how this idea plays out in other me­dia, es­pe­cially con­tex­tu­alised on­line and out-of-home.

PADDY POWER (3). Now for the op­po­site end of the spec­trum. An amus­ing ad with an ear­worm of a sound­track turns this over­looked chubby coach driver into a love­able char­ac­ter. This ticks all the boxes for me en­ter­tain­ment-wise. And, on top of that, it’s about see­ing the sil­ver lin­ing and stay­ing pos­i­tive. An in­sight­ful piece of work that em­pathises with the ev­ery­day and leaves you with a smile, hum­ming.

LAND ROVER (2). Be­ing based in Knights­bridge, we’re sur­rounded by these, so it’s good to see the Chelsea trac­tors in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. Land Rover stays true to its roots of be­ing hard-work­ing ve­hi­cles but still doffs the cap to its King’s Road au­di­ence with a Miche­lin-star restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence. Land Rover puts its prod­ucts to the test and demon­strates that the proof is in the pud­ding.

BRI­TISH HEART FOUN­DA­TION (4). Mullenlowe de­liv­ers an­other in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful piece of work, rais­ing aware­ness of heart dis­ease. This out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ence, through the eyes of a brides­maid, demon­strates the im­por­tance of hav­ing reg­u­lar health checks. Told through the rip­ple ef­fect it has on loved ones, the ad does ex­actly what it in­tends to do, and I’m left with a right­fully wor­ry­ing af­ter­taste.

OK. Enough. Now I’m an­gry again. Back to work­ing hard to get to great work that makes some­body else an­gry.

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