Creative Focus: Fashion victims

Creative Focus: Fashion victims

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

Up for review this week:

  • Goulburn Valley, 'Something perfect in an imperfect world', Host Sydney
  • Carlton Draught, 'Footy Rules, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • Commonwealth Bank, 'Mate debt', One Green Bean and Imagination
  • Perfect Italiano, 'No celebrity chef required' Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • GIO, 'Whistle and Hum', Leo Burnett Sydney
  • sass & bide, '#Instawalk', WeAreDigital

Jim Robinson, principal and CD, Jamshop

Time is the most valuable commodity. It gives you space to think, to plan, to ponder and to improve.

As consumers, we have very little of it to  receive messages and get engaged by a brand. As communicators we have that relentless pressure  of being right every time and using what precious  little time we have to make a mark. I think some of the ads here have had too little  time spent on them, or maybe too much tinkering,  because while they are all good ideas, some lack  the element of surprise.

Here’s what I thought on a very tight deadline.

Goulburn Valley (01).The press release on  this campaign says that this product represents something perfect in an imperfect world. I love the  premise. I like the story and the twist. But what has Lovin’ Fruit got to do with this? I know that this is probably a mandatory, but drawn in by an unfolding story, I feel like I’ve been caught in a trap of ranting salesmen. A nice idea with too little time thinking it through.

Click here to see the ad.

Carlton Draught (02). This is a cheap shot at what we really like. It comes from the ridiculous headspace of “made from beer”. It’s a bit of fun. It’s a great way to shift the focus away from weighty issues surrounding the AFL and have some fun with footy. And it gives me permission to like the brand. And this probably has just enough time spent on it from the client’s and agencies’ points of view.

Commonwealth Bank (03). I think the idea of KaChing is good. I want to see it work. It’s an interesting way into a world of social media. But I can’t help feeling that what could have been a funny, engaging piece has failed in execution. I know CommBank wants to leverage its cricket sponsorship.

I love Bing and Booney, but I hate what they made them do. There’s a bigger thought here in ‘ending mate debt’, but it’s hidden by wrong calls. 100% security guaranteed. Big call.

Click here to view the ad.

Perfect Italiano (04). I suspect there are millions of Australians who’ll love seeing Gordon cut down to size. This is the perfect way to use a celebrity. It’s a perfect execution of a great idea. Yes, I’ve seen this form over many decades but it works because it’s the way we think.

Simple, relevant, fun. This is my favourite.

GIO (05). “Whistle and Hum”. Hmm. Do people really believe this sort of advertising? There’s a really nice thought here, that GIO just gets on with the job, but isn’t ‘doing’ the proof of the product. I unfortunately read the press release and must say that the rationale that this was “heroism and responsiveness in the face of real human experience” was a tad dramatic for me.

So I tried to put this out of my mind and let the spot talk to me. Then the voiceover earnestly told me that “when your world stops, we go into action”. I think it’s the delivery that I have a problem with. ‘It’s a trust thing’ is ‘real’. But for me, the stuff supporting it is tryhard. Have fun.

Sass & Bide (06). Since the beginning of time, people have looked at what other people are wearing. Fashion trends are but a moment in time. What’s clear to me is that fashion is unclear, it creates a tension. People want to be up with it. This approach grabs me because I’m trying to understand it. You’ve made it just hard enough to capture my interest but not so hard that I’ll give up.

What does it mean? Does it even matter?


Ben O’Brien, ECD, O’Shea & O’Brien

These critiques tend to be either nasty or nice. On one hand, I know a few of the lovely people involved, and nothing of the strategy and/or pain they must have gone through. So I could play the nice guy. But isn’t that boring?

On the other hand, I could slam everything as ‘total crap’ or a ‘wasted opportunity’ and paint myself as the tough, uncompromising CD. But what if the work’s not that bad? Perhaps there’s a way to do both.

Goulburn Valley (01). “You should be ashamed of this” is a phrase that could not be, in good faith, associated with this ad. It’s a solid answer to what I suspect was an uninteresting question. I do wonder why the strategy went down a ‘tastes really good’ path, rather than ‘kid-friendly, bite-sized pieces’, which feels like the difference between taking this product to school, rather than just an apple.

Carlton Draught (02). “This is complete crap”, I just heard someone say about a different ad. As for this Carlton ad, I like it. When I’m trying to describe to a client that sometimes it’s OK to take the piss out of yourself, I reference this campaign (going back to ‘Canoes’).

I think this execution will again make friends with the target, because it sounds like their funny mate talking. However, I have reservations about playing foosball with an oval-shaped ball. That is a ‘bad idea’.

Commonwealth Bank (03). “Digital is a total waste of time,” said the unemployed CD. I like the (potentially big) idea of paying your mates back. It’s true. What’s also true is that people don’t like banks, as can clearly be seen on the CommBank Facebook page.

As for the video, I found it pretty awkward. It was the opposite of funny and the actual functionality of the ‘send a message’ part was a bit lost.

But I worry I’m selling this idea short, by not hearing the radio and seeing other contact points. I feel very sorry for the social media manager of CommBank’s Facebook page, though. They seem to spend their time deleting comments or apologising.

Perfect Italiano (04). “Pathetic drivel” was presented for this brief, but the ECD picked this. It may not be the freshest idea (the product is so easy to use, you won’t need [blank], so use [blank] for something else) but it was done properly with Gordon Ramsey swearing, rather than bloody Manu French-ing. So I think it will work and sell cheese, without being too cheesy.

GIO (05). “You should all just give up,” I was saying to a dwarf high-jump team on the weekend, but that’s not relevant now. When I saw this the other night I thought, yep, Thunderbirds, International Rescue, GIO… got it. Great. Then I asked my girlfriend what she saw in the ad and the reply was, “people whistling while they work. They’re happy”. She could not identify the tune (which, let’s face it, is from a very, very old show) and therefore I worry the point will be lost on a great number of viewers.

Sass & Bide (06). “Bullshit. Unmitigated excrement” will help your Azaleas grow, but don’t fertilise before Spring. I’m clearly not in the target market for teen girl fashion. Having said that, I had a good look around the various touch points for this campaign and it seemed very heavy on scrawny-girl-pouting-at-camera and pretty light on ideas. I might be underselling this one, because I feel like I didn’t ‘follow it’, but it would be very interesting to see just how many people did.

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