Creative Focus: Animal Magic

Creative Focus: Animal Magic

Every week two creative types from different agencies put pen to paper and share their thoughts on six different campaigns.


Up for review this week:

  • Odyssey House, 'The Petition', GPY&R Melbourne
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 'Find out you're not funny', Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • Coles, 'Down down whatever you need', Big Red
  • Cadbury, 'Cadbury Easter bunny', Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney
  • Telstra, 'Made by Mog', Droga5
  • Pet Rescue, Whybin\TBWA Melbourne


Craig Burtenshaw, creative director, Komosion

TV ads. What's the essential stand-out-from-the-noise ingredient in the age of always on, everything connected, information saturation, mobile and digital? Being a creative I tend to mull over ads, thinking, critiquing, absorbing. 

All too rarely I turn to my girlfriend excitedly and say, "That was a great ad", to which she replies "Huh, what ad?". Are these ads made of that essential ingredient?

Odyssey House (01). Wow! Maybe I'm just a big softy, but I'm not afraid to say that gave me goosebumps and a little bit of a lump in my throat. 

Brilliant music selection. A beautifully shot, powerful, emotive story developed over just one minute and 30 seconds. It's connected to a simple social digital campaign with a clear call to action. Be proud of that one.

MICF (02). It's for a comedy festival so it would be pretty unusual if it wasn't funny. Admittedly, at first I had to double check I was watching the right ad. Like all good comedy though it built slowly to a well delivered, unexpected punchline. Even grabbing one more chuckle in the final super. That super though was packed with info, a lot to take in in a short flash. 

It's good, but would I remember what it was for? I don't have rewind on my TV.

Coles (03). Oh boy. What do I say? 

My first thought was "are Status Quo really that hard up?". I'm a little embarrassed for them.  From the purveyors of the most annoying jingle of the last two years comes yet another one. They even admit it in the ad. The trouble is it works.  Everyone knows who it's for, they have the brand's big red hand in every frame. 

And who hasn't struggled trying to get that damn tune out of your head? "Down, down, prices are"… No!

Cadbury (04). Finally a Joyville ad that I get. Is it just me or has anyone else found Joyville to date to be often a little too obtuse, and sometimes just a little bit creepy? 

This is a nice ad, simply yet cleverly executed. It captures the childish magic of Christmas. No, hang on, which mythical holiday figure are we celebrating next?  I was disappointed though not to see it executed across digital, there would be so much mileage in it.

Telstra MOG (05). Huh? I'm confused. Seriously. I saw two products in there. Is this for a fruit juice or an online music service, like Apple's iTunes?  Apples. It certainly did feature a lot of Apples. I wonder if there was some hidden metaphor in the Apples? I think maybe this is what happens when you try too hard to be cool in a short space of time. 

Maybe I'm just not the target demographic?  Apple juice anyone?

PetRescue (06). Nice! Well done for not going down the A-typical path of tugging at the heartstrings of the viewer to provoke an emotional response and therefore hopefully action. 

I'm an animal lover and the A-typical just fills me with guilt because I'm not currently in a position to do anything.  Clever. Made me go "hey, funny, I like that ad, I'm going to check them out". 

And my girlfriend will turn and say "Huh, what ad?" But don't let that be a reflection on the quality of the ad.


Joe smith, creative director, ardentdigital 

Odyssey House (01). I really like this ad. I like the way addiction is represented as a nondescript cardboard box. This generic treatment denies the viewer the chance to judge the addiction itself: it's not about grog or gambling or other specific topics and so it proposes that all addiction is equal. 

I like the realistic suggestion that people carry their addiction with them, they manage it daily, rather than the simplistic "just say no" philosophy. 

The production values build a compelling picture of isolation: the makers of this ad have earned our empathy. In particular I like the positioning of Odyssey House: there for the addict who wants change, who wants to move on and recognises there's greater efficacy in support. 

MICF (02). It's got to be hard making a funny ad to promote a comedy festival. This ad reinforces that idea. It didn't make me want to go to the festival. In fact, I found myself thinking "yeah, some of those professional comics aren't very funny either". 

It's nicely shot and I like the pacing, but comedy, which must surely have originated with a caveman's confident "owning" of a prehistoric fart, belongs to everyone. The suggestion it be left to the experts is hard to embrace.

Coles (03). This ad works for me for one simple reason: the band is clearly having fun and it's contagious. They're enjoying a late pay-day; the frivolity of the set up and trading on former glory. 

They look in-shape and capable of smashing out a tight set. 

As a musician myself I wondered why the guitarists had operable "big red hand" instruments and the drummer didn't (I'm sure I'm reading too much into it)? 

"It's annoying isn't it?" asks Gran. The answer is "yes", but it feels like we're all in on the joke.

Cadbury (04). They had me at the first appearance of the BMX. It's a brilliant symbol of youth: stylish, gearless inefficiency with explosive moments of gravity defying self-expression. The "bunny-hop" in-joke is sweet too. 

It's a very clever way to connect with children's expectations and adults' memories. 

The CGI components aren't overworked and the bi-pedal rabbit isn't too scary (Frank, I'm looking at you!). The "mex" physics are convincing: nice momentum on the skid, good sense of weight on the bunny-hop into the warren. 

The idea that the Easter Bunny has a bludge, floating in your pool, mid shift, is ace.

Telstra MOG (05). Using narrative to introduce a web-based app is a great idea. So is showing the user interface and revealing some of the mechanics. But I just wasn't feeling the story. 

It did make me smile but it wasn't comedy. It seemed to be playing against a "real" stereotype but it wasn't a doco. In the end, I think the story got in the way of the product/service – too much about fruit juice, not enough about the personal power of defining the playlist of your life.

Pet Rescue (06). That dog is a great actor. 

The idea of building a family by choice is a nice way to position choosing a pet. The extension then, that you choose a pet that has lost or is without a family, is a strong one. 

I didn't find the ad funny but I applaud the attempt to use humour and the simplicity of the ad's message. 

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