Creative Focus: Heaven sent

Creative Focus: Heaven sent

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:

  • BOQ, 'It's possible to love a bank', BWM
  • Nandos, 'Peri-medics', 1000heads
  • Quit Victoria, 'Last Dance'
  • ABS, 'Run That Town', Leo Burnett Sydney
  • South Australia, 'Be Consumed', KWP
  • Aussie Mite, 'Sorry', Grown-Ups

John Perry, MD, Havas Melbourne and APAC chief strategy officer

BOQ (01). Is it possible to love a bank? Quite possibly one of the easiest questions for anyone to answer, but not in the positive. And unfortunately I’m not sure BOQ actually succeed in convincing us that it is possible. While you could love the creative technique, cartoon style or wry wit of this campaign, there’s unfortunately not enough reasons to believe to turn my financial services relationship from mild indifference to all-consuming love.

Nando’s (02). One of the oldest jokes in advertising used to be: “The answer is a 30-second TVC. Sorry, what was the question?”. Today, substitute ‘30-second TVC’ for ‘fully integrated, socially led, experiential, content activation idea’. I get the feeling many of these ‘stunts’ are just designed for award submission reels. While I wouldn’t mind Nando’s turning up at the office to hand out spicy sauce, I certainly wouldn’t feel compelled to immerse myself in the whole idea, watch the video and submit a request for ‘Peri-medical’ services. It feels a little contrived and creatively obvious, with a dose of pun overload.

Quit Victoria (03). A different approach to antismoking communication. Mostly, these campaigns are based on producing a strong ‘visceral’ response from the audience (i.e. ‘see how much tar is in your lungs’), combined with a hard call to action.

This spot shuns both approaches and tugs at the heartstrings with enough cues to the ‘illness’ for quick comprehension, the use of the son to illicit wider guilt, wonderful direction and a use of music that holds your attention. It might just tap into a new insight for smokers and produce enough of an emotional effect to motivate a call to the Quit line.

ABS (04). As a planner, I love ABS stats. But I struggle finding time to go through the stats I need, let alone embarking on some game where I can rule my own Aussie town. However, I’m not the target because I know ABS stats are highly valuable. But unless the target is 9 to 14-year-olds with a yearning to run for local government, I’m not sure the enormous amount of work gone into producing this digital experience is going to shift widespread opinions about the ABS and its census data.

South Australia (05). Tourism advertising is often seen as the poison chalice of creative services. But this one gets it just right.

A great line linked directly to the ‘product’, wonderfully brought to life in what can only be described as a sensual, indulgent feast for the eyes that eschews the superficially upbeat and sunny overtones of typical tourism advertising.

AussieMite (06). A classic product usage TVC using a highly unusual setting to gain attention. This is what advertising is all about, because if people aren’t talking about your commercial, then it’s just not working hard enough. Just a shame there’s no proof to why this product is sacrilegious beyond the setting of this one commercial. It feels like the advertising execution is leading the brand essence.


Paul Knights, creative director, Creative Oasis

When B&T contacted me and asked if I’d be part of this week’s Creative Focus, I was chuffed. As a creative who’s been lucky enough to work in this industry for longer than I can remember, I’ve always believed we should support one another. Lord knows its tough enough without us being our own worst critics. However, I’ve been asked to judge this work on its own merits. So if I tread on any creative toes, I apologise in advance.

BOQ (01). I really like this work. I think the banking category is one of the toughest to tackle. Agencies tend to put on their ‘bank’ thinking caps and wander round in the same territory. This campaign doesn’t. It’s fresh, the animation is charming and the ads make their point in a really entertaining way. Be great to see the research down the track. Is it possible to love bank advertising? I think it is.

Nando’s (02). This feels like one of those briefs where the client said: “We need an online campaign, one that everyone can be involved in.” I think it was probably funnier on paper than it is on screen. But I love a good pun, so ‘Peri-Medics’ and ‘Re-saucetate’ help the idea. The best line is the quick response ‘Katie Peri’ – made everyone laugh. Hopefully they’ll get more of those along the way, it will help keep the idea alive.

Quit Victoria (03). Is it just me or is this style of Quit advertising wearing a bit thin? I’m sorry but for me the Death Dance just isn’t effective. It’s creepy. The idea is soft, the use of a child as an added tug is emotional blackmail, and the line tumbles out of the music track (you wonder what came first: the track or the line?). I kind of wish people would Quit making ads like this.

ABS (04). This is a very cool, clever idea. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often wondered what they did with all that census data. Now I know. You can use it to rule the world, or at least your own town. This is turning dry data into something that’s fun, useful, entertaining and interactive. Well thought through and really well executed.

South Australia (05). Or, in this case, the Barossa. I saw this ad the other night and thought it was beautifully made. Intriguing pictures, powerful music score, unpredictable scenes (particularly the chicken plucking) – it makes you want to watch. But would it make you want to go, and for what exactly? For me it lacks a conclusion. There’s no line to sum up. The components are all there. A little more work, add a promise, and this could be brilliant.

AussieMite (06). Good Lord. I look at this work and think what a blessing it is that we weren’t involved. Is this a case of the client being hijacked by the agency with the old “get noticed” argument? Yes, it’s important to get noticed, but for the right reasons. For their penance, the agency should shoot another commercial for the client at their expense. And as the agency is called Grown-Ups, they should know better. Thank God they apologised.

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