Campaign UK


Chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, Mr Pres­i­dent


It seems to be a week of thought­fully ob­served hu­man emo­tions. A lot of in­ter­nal mono­logue and self-re­flec­tion. Plus the ap­pear­ance of a Lego su­per­hero. So let’s start there.

WARNER BROS (1) is a play­ful me­dia place­ment. Lots of fun to be had, and I al­ways en­joy Chan­nel 4 and its ex­per­i­men­tal ap­proach to its own chan­nel – but this feels like the kind of part­ner­ship you see now for many an­i­mated-char­ac­ter-based Hol­ly­wood films. Not my star of the week, but quite good fun, sim­ple and I’m sure six- to 12-year-olds will smile.

To LAND ROVER (2). A sweet stunt that jumps on the ex­treme food tourism trend started by the likes of An­thony Bour­dain and Chef ’s Ta­ble. Unashamedl­y aimed at those for whom driving long dis­tances for a fancy meal is both ex­cit­ing and has so­cial ca­chet, the films I liked the most are the short vi­gnettes with the chef for­ag­ing in the woods. They’re quiet and hon­est and some­how bring the warmth of Si­mon Ro­gan’s fire to the brand.

A dif­fer­ent kind of travel now with PADDY POWER (3). The in­ter­est­ing thing here is the lack of prod­uct at the cen­tre, in a sec­tor that is all about show­ing the prod­uct and the bet. Light­hearted rather than ir­rev­er­ent and more hu­man than its lad­dish work of the past. Those mo­ments, from hedge-wee­ing to stop­ping for chips road­side, might seem stereo­typ­i­cal as a set but they still feel firmly based in real sit­u­a­tions. It’s a great song to carry the story along and keep ev­ery­thing light­hearted rather than feel­ing too sorry for the poor bloke be­hind the wheel. I couldn’t help think­ing that our driver wasn’t very good at his job, though, and he should have counted his pas­sen­gers be­fore set­ting off again post-wee.

Which brings us on to GAM­BLEAWARE’S (5) “Voices” films – be­cause, for ev­ery gam­bler who can hap­pily bet on a game, there’s po­ten­tial for things to get out of hand. This is the most pow­er­ful piece of work for me this week and started me think­ing about an­other equally plau­si­ble in­ter­nal voice that our Paddy Power bus driver might have been hav­ing. The voice of the gam­ble is bril­liantly ob­served and feels as though it comes from real un­der­stand­ing of the is­sue and the in­ter­nal tur­bu­lence of ad­dic­tion. If I were a prob­lem gam­bler, I think I’d recog­nise that voice. My next ques­tion would be “What now?” – di­rect­ing peo­ple to seek help is some­thing that could be pushed more strongly as a call to ac­tion.

And so to our last heart­string tug of the week.

It’s hard to come at health-re­lated char­i­ties with some­thing un­ex­pected – and, in choos­ing both a wed­ding mo­ment and a young woman, the BRI­TISH HEART FOUN­DA­TION (4) cer­tainly has a dif­fer­ent view­point. The in­ter­nal mono­logue is mem­o­rable, par­tic­u­larly as it has been on high ro­ta­tion this week, but both Paddy Power and Gam­bleaware have used cre­ativ­ity to make more im­pact.

All in all, not the worst week in the world for ad­ver­tis­ing. And a good re­minder that, as em­pa­thy and hon­esty in ads grow as a trend, mak­ing sure that there’s still the cre­ative li­cence in there to play is what makes the good great.

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