LAURA JORDAN BAMBACH
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.