Sorry pigs. Better luck next time

Some agencies are made up of talented individuals who understand the complete creative process and who are wholeheartedly committed to the final product. Other agencies are filled with simple idiots who barely pitch up for work most days and are just there to take home a salary at the end of the month. This commercial was definitely created by the latter.

No self-respecting creative would have allowed this to air. Ever. All it does do is stand as a true reflection of its print counterpart: pathetic.

The expressions are fake. The end is ridiculous. And as far as the poor pigs it has been created to represent go, well they don’t stand a hope in hell if this is who they have doing the ‘talking’ for them. Like I said before, Public Service Announcements or messages for charitable causes don’t have to be soppy, but they do have to be clever. Sorry piggies – this one is neither. Better luck next time.


Spitting milk through your nose for Doritos?

I thank my lucky stars that we are all unique. I couldn’t imagine the world having to put up with two of me, let alone two Robert Pattinson’s, Justin Bieber’s, Robert Mugabe’s or two Mubarak’s. God alone knows, one of each keeps us busy enough. This makes for an interesting landscape for advertisers and the scope they aim their messages at. Even though we are unique, we most certainly fall into groups with common interests. Mine do not include Pattinson or Bieber, but yours might and that is cool too.

Advertising appeals to how we view ourselves. So at first, when looking at these two Doritos commercials, I would have said I preferred one above the other. In hindsight, I simply think they are smart enough to have hit on different audiences under the common element of humour. They work for the brand because they are able to attract the attention of a (hopefully) versatile audience that has one thing in common: a love for Doritos.

I don’t like The Best Part’s geeky guy. He is a little over enthusiastic about Doritos if you ask me, but, in all fairness, I don’t fit into a group of people who think electrons, data and the hypothetico-deductive model is cool or phenomenal. The guy in this spot strikes me as one who does – so that is exactly who they are appealing to. His type – and anyone closely associated with his type – is going to find this funny, whereas it just left me straight-faced and unimpressed.

The House Sitting version appeals to me in a bigger, better way. Yeah, it’s silly, but it is also simultaneously cheeky and self-deprecating. The college guy forgets to attend to any of the things he was supposed to do and is faced with that last minute panic to get the house back in order – with one final clincher that aims to score points for the power of Doritos.

The difference between the two is that one highlights Doritos as the hero and the other lets the (supposed) humour take over. No matter which one you prefer (if any) it comes down to whether you are buying into these corny chip ads or not – and whether that is translating into sales of their products. The rest of the series proves they are definitely that – corny. I am sure that their creative team salutes everything about Revenge of the Nerds, and I don’t doubt for a second that they have some people laughing so much they spit milk through their noses or suddenly discover their own incontinence. But, like I said, I thank my lucky stars that we are all unique.

Others in the series:

No matter how you feel about these, they are harmless. Even if you don’t like them, it is unlikely that they are going to mean you refuse to buy Doritos from this moment forward. I’m thrilled they haven’t won me over entirely. I hate spitting milk through my nose and quite fancy the idea of being able to control my bladder.


Lost in translation

Sheiße! What happens when an idea that seemed so good in the brainstorm process flatlines just after that? Well, if you have the time – you go back to square one. If you don’t have the time, you pull an all nighter and go back to square one. Not only is your client’s communication and brand-building strategy at stake, but so is the reputation of your agency and the creatives that put their names on the work.

Frese & Wolff from Germany produced this campaign for Animal Rights and… well… I think that somewhere along the way, the greatness of where it began got lost in translation. It’s not the fight for the safety or care of the monkeys, horses, pigs and minks’ lives I am disagreeing with – it’s the execution and the final product I am not buying.

“The term art director is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions … but an art director unifies the vision. In particular, the art director is in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience…” – Wikipedia.

It must be said, I don’t think the concept here is the problem. However, someone chose very pretty models with no acting experience whatsoever. Stills or moving, believing feeling is all about expression and comes down to what a talented performer can offer with their eyes. It is either believable or not, and these I am sorry to say are not. Look at Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny and James Franco; these are artists that whether pretty or not, can convey emotion and power in a stills shoot as much as in a scene for a film. And if it’s unknown faces you are after, there are models with the same abilities and who can access the same depth of emotion.

“One of the most difficult problems that art directors face is to translate desired moods, messages, concepts, and underdeveloped ideas into imagery,” says Wikipedia again. I don’t think this work is short on merit in terms of concept. I just think the execution is weak. None of these models convey an experience of pain equivalent to what the animals would. To be honest, they all just look a little constipated if you ask me.

What do you think?

Credits: Advertising Agency: Frese & Wolff, Oldenburg, Germany | Creative Directors: Uwe Linthe, Ingo Steuber | Art Director: Thorsten Abeln | Graphic Designer: Alexander Wille | Photographer: Tim Thiel | Published: December 2010

Cell C reveals yawns and misses

Gary Bryant has published an article on Biz Community about Cell Cs new brand identity. Why? Not why to Gary, why to Cell C? Seriously. Such a strong identity as it was – and so well connected to their audience – why then go ahead and pick a new tangent? For?

And is the running away from red a fear for Vodacom’s impending move to red (Vodafone)? I mean really kids. If it ain’t broke and all that stuff. What happened to the cool and soothing notes of Cell C for yourself and the confident identity that went with it? That was Hi to the Larious. New look is not.


Check out Mr. Bryant’s commentary on the cringe-close payoff lines here.

Update: What is with the Trevor Noah TVC? Also not hilarious. He asks for your comments at Better things to do have we.

Blah blah boring yawn

Do you love it when you have to swoon over desert sand and grumpy looking men who take themselves verrry seriously, scowl at the camera (you) like it’s your fault they are lost in the desert and all alone, and then tell you how they love it though? Then you must hop in your car with haste and dash to the pretty shop. There you will find CK Free and you must purchase several immediately. That’s how ads are supposed to work, aren’t they?

Apparently this one made some people over at Ornico sit up and take notice.

I never said it was good. I said it made them sit up and take notice.

Award winner for Joe Public’s Roman’s Pizza

Wait. That’s not right. The awards were for several other things on several other accounts. All the same, they just can’t get enough with this momentum, can they? Client must have a pretty decent budget, but, that begs the question: have they spent any of it on market research? I can only shrug and assume so, because someone is buying into this advertising tripe and going out to buy this stuff. I know that with almost 7billion people on this planet, you can’t make everybody happy all of the time. Neither should you have to. But if you are being paid to handle a client’s account, the least you can do is your job. If I am seeing this, you have failed with your attempts on placement and are definitely speaking to the wrong audience. I like pizza. But since this campaign, would rather go hungry than order from Roman’s.

I have a few more questions:
• Why hasn’t some octogenarian from Bez Valley called the ASA yet and complained about the whole dancing on the front of the bonnet effort? (Their last ad had to be pulled.)
• What’s happening at the 27” mark? Phone camera recording ditz? Sure. Likely to happen.
• Mark Lottering look alike in the closing shot?

Apparently they are selling by the truck load, and don’t profess to be aiming their messaging at the high brow consumer. Oh good. They won there.

Please stop it? Please don’t do anymore ads?

Burnt Advertising. Good idea gone bad.

You know the feeling. A commercial starts so nicely you can’t help but being pulled in. You lean forward in your seat and wait for the double-clutch moment that drives home the message with style. The music, the lighting, the direction and the performances all work in harmony to tell you a story about the product, and why you shouldn’t want to live without it. Seems simple enough. Anyone working in advertising will tell you it’s not though and that the road to advertising-redemption puts every creative at a crossroads everyday, with every job.

With every story, movie or message comes the moment where you can liberate your message and leave it indelibly in the minds of your audience, or you can so badly misunderstand why you went into advertising in the first place, and lose the plot altogether that another day at the office should be questionable. “Burnt Toast” for Warburtons Bread by RKCR/Y&R in the UK ticks all the latter boxes for me. When does something go from witty to worthless, or clever to clumsy? Watch this TVC and to check it out. It happens at the 19” mark. The idea’s a seller. The execution is not. The fine line between ‘success’ and ‘silly’ is crossed and they have done themselves a disservice. It was so close to being there but didn’t quite make it, and unlike bread that has been in the oven too long, it is more like a premature baking flop. Pity. Nice William Orbit tune though.

Did it work for you?

What the BOERIEZZA are you trying to say here?

Crisis of note when something like this gets passed all writers, creative directors and by an act of somebody-still-has-a-job-but-I’m-not-sure-how, gets approved. Or, was it asked for by the client?! Is the “…lekker cheap and cheesy, but so is our pizza…” slogan supposed to excuse or save this bad presentation, or how the concept is being communicated?

Consumers are actually quite smart, and as the margins are blurred between socio economic backgrounds with the ‘aspirational’ crossing the street to where the ‘previously advantaged’ used to live, it seems marketing and advertising might be ignoring this and simply getting more desperate. This example certainly is. Who exactly is Roman’s Pizza trying to reach here? Do they even know? Experts say that the smart grid is dumb without smart consumers. What then are Roman’s saying about theirs? I’m not saying that pizza lovers necessarily expect a high brow, strategic message, but really now… this is just taking the piss.

We’re all consumers. And even though it’s staggering to acknowledge, so are the guys who wrote this drivvel up and believed it would rock the socks off a pizza loving audience. That was their second mistake. Their third is that they have since sadly made another in the series which means that, even if they can read, seeing this post might mean nothing to them. I’m worried to find out whether sales of this product have impressed… What do you think?

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