Campaign UK


- Executive creative director, The Community London

Fast cars, fried chicken, beer, bras and illiteracy. Reminds me of my summers as a carny in the Canadian prairies. But wait, it’s actually the contents of this week’s Private View locker.

I like the SIXT campaign. The ads are pretty kooky but made me smile. And I like the insight that when you get a badass car for not very much money, you feel kind of smug. Between Sixt and those “UK car hire with US customer service” spots for Enterprise, the car-rental category seems to be having a pretty good time these days. Must be trying harder.

Changing gears rapidly, PEARSON’S Project Literacy spot nearly had me blubbering. Anyone with kids knows what a strange experience it is to watch the blank canvas of a child’s mind slowly learning to apply sound shapes to lines on a piece of paper and then to link them together into words. To see adults going through the same process is agonising. And terribly moving. Especially when you consider – as the spot forces you to – the doors adult illiteracy keeps locked. Great track from Rag’n’bone Man too. Where do I volunteer?

And speaking of adult confusion, that’s how I felt after watching KFC’S “200% Irish” film. My first reaction was to question whether this is a promotion that genuinely needs to be invented. And if it is… is this the best way to bring it to people’s attention?

Pint glasses of fried chicken? Waterproof chicken? All mixed in with familiar Irish gags such as large, red-haired families and hard-to-pronounce Gaelic names. Pot Noodle always managed to combine the absurd with food and get away with it – but these shenanigan­s don’t exactly whet my appetite. If this film proves anything, it’s that kooky is harder to do well than it looks.

And so to Warsaw, where DESPERADOS beer and DJ duo Mount Kimbie “turned a train into a musical instrument”. I’ll just let that hang there for a minute. This is, of course, supremely cool as well as superbly shot and edited. If I’m dead honest, though, the beer seems like a bit of an afterthoug­ht. I’m not really sure what it’s doing there besides paying for the party.

But maybe that’s the idea. I suppose in modern media parlance, Desperados is using “key inf luencers to create brand experience­s, which in turn generate content to be consumed and shared by their audience” – all of which inspires people to release their own inner tequila (Desperados beer has tequila in it). Fair enough, I suppose. Certainly braver and more thoughtful than most beer advertisin­g these days.

And now to the SLOGGI bra spot, which is well-cast, beautifull­y shot in a jaunty Amélie kind of way and set to a super-catchy tune that once again underlines the power of music in ads. The only problem is… I don’t get it. Or I don’t get half of it. The strategy seems clear: she loves her bra so much, she wants others to try it. But of the four scenes, half support that thought and the other half seem to be supporting a different idea. I shouldn’t have to think this hard about a spot to reconcile what I’m seeing with what the brand is saying. For that reason, lovely as it is, I give this one a double-d.

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