Campaign UK


Founder and chief creative officer, Creature of London


Fundamenta­lly, I believe everyone is trying their damnedest to make something good, and one of the things I’m responsibl­e for is constantly reminding our gang to be outrageous­ly ambitious and relentless­ly courageous and to shoot for the moon. At Creature, we call it being “creatively ferocious”. I think it was David Bowie who said: “If you’re going to work in an advertisin­g agency, try to make your adverts really good, yeah?”

So, given the briefs they’re working to, have this lot been creatively ferocious? Have they aimed high?

ALDI has not aimed high. It has used the budgetfrie­ndly Brownlee brothers to compete on the price of some barbecue favourites. Everyone knows Aldi is the bargain-basement supermarke­t. Alistair was never going to win. And now he’s in a bin. With some ice. The prat. The whole thing is executed horribly and the “Win gold” message is confusing. It feels like the ambition to justify the brothers being there at all has been nobbled by a sack of low-budget production values and a mess of mandatorie­s.

Next up, there’s KAYAK. Which, after thumbing through “100 Strategies For Beginners”, has alighted on “positivity”. Tough brief. Coke has wrestled with this for decades with a network of incredible agency partners, so I was keen to see how the in-house guys would handle it. Well, it’s barely got off the ground. I’m sure it’s done a great job of getting the internal team all group-hug-weepy, but it’s long, boring and doesn’t move my cold, dead heart. Kayak is good at what it does and should be making brilliant stuff.

AUNT BESSIE’S has taken aim at some low-level cloud in a self-loathing kinda way. The pair of previously lovable Brexiteers have gone giddy with power and lost their shit at a spot of diversity (I know). Having voted Leave on the new product, they find themselves out on their arse at a gloomy bus stop. It’s the stoned one I feel sorry for – the 1960s are clearly catching up with her, while the stroppy one just jeffs off. It’s nicely crafted in parts and I sense the brand is binning the old fogies for what’s to come, but I’m left with an image of old people being knobs and stuck in their ways. Which most of them aren’t.

Fair play to E.ON, which has taken literal aim at the sun with a music video using solar-powered toys (and Gorillaz). Unfortunat­ely, it has crashed into some space junk, which I’m gutted about because there’s ambition here. If you agree that making a music video for a brand is different, then this is a nice thing for an energy company, and a series of solar-powered pieces of entertainm­ent is a nice, rich space to spend time. But this execution just doesn’t do it for me. I blame

Toy Story. It set the bar horribly high.

Finally, everybody’s favourite frat-taxi company,

UBER. It has aimed high with this strategy and the embattled Bartle Bogle Hegarty has done a lovely job of convincing Uber to reduce what it does down to “anywhere effortless­ly”. But the film execution falls short for me. Despite Kim’s best efforts (it looks hawt), this is a well-worn executiona­l idea, which is a shame given how high the agency has aimed (and achieved) with the print work I’ve seen.

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