Schmaltz? Not a bit of it.

This ad has come in for a lot of “talk” of late.

On three levels I love it.

1.  I am a big fan of Fyfe Dangerfield and he caresses this song by Billy Joel, so much so that it might go number one and bring his massive talent to a wider audience.

2. Once in a while an ad just nails it.  It is soooo John Lewis.  Sooo on brand.  Soooo middle Class.  But Soooo good.  I really do understand why people are breaking down watching it because it does “the seven stagesof life” like nobody I can remember.

3.  The director is Scots born and bred and used to work at The Leith Agency (Dougal Wilson)

Absolute hats off to Adam and Eve.  And of course, to Craig Inglis, the client who had the balls to buy it.  Much respect.

But…

This does spoil it a little.

Coincidence?  Yes.  Unfortunate? Oh yes.

Back in the day

In the 1980’s Tennent’s Gold Bier was a client of mine and I had the dubious pleasure of presenting this script, alongside Gerry Farrell, at an office in London’s Regent Street. We thought we might get fired but unbelievably the client went for it. Now that was a result. And the sign of a great client, willing to take risks.

You know you’ve made it when your ad makes Carrot’s Commercial Breakdown…

Solid gold

I’m indebted to a great advertising website for revealing this ad to me. Scamp is written by a creative guy at BBH and it’s festooned with advertising creativity, with some crossover to my own ramblings. I know little of the background to this ad but it appears to have been a little controversial.

Anyway, once you’ve had a look I’ll tell you what I think…

It’s verging on genius I’d say. A brilliant observation about non-observation. Although the strategy is to raise people’s awareness of cyclists whilst driving I’m more inclined to think it’s just a general ad about being a better all round driver. The number of idiots that can’t see past the car in front bemuses me and this takes one right back to one’s driving lessons where it was drummed into me to look way ahead, as far as you can see in fact, and be ready to take evasive action should incidents present themselves.

A brilliant ad, it really is.

And its predecessor is equally brilliant.

Recession? What recession?

If ever proof was needed that recessions do not necessarily dampen creativity take a look at this new spot for HSBC by JWT London. Now, the banking sector is not an area one might expect great creativity from at this moment in time. But this epic mini-movie with a soundtrack by the imperious Joanna Newsom takes some beating. In fact I voted it ahead of Hovis in this month’s Thinkbox poll.

It is truly wonderful. And nicely subversive.

And this is Newsom performing the song, in full, on Jools Holland. (Clam, Crab, Cockie Cowrie it’s called and can be found on The Milk Eyed Mender LP.)

If

Breaking news.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s iconic poem the new Irn Bru commercial has landed.  Set in various locations across Scotland and somewhere abroad it features some lovely vignettes.  Some work brilliantly, like the Loony Dooking pensioners (at 33 seconds) which struck a real chord with me, also the kissing Celtic and Rangers fans, the despondent Scotland fan with his wee lassie and the way folk choose the wrong descriptor for their meal times are all great.

Others are a less succesful and I’d question Martin Compston’s voiceover.

I feel the whole campaign suffers from being shackled by a weak strapline.  Phenomenal does nothing for me.  It’s unphenomenal frankly.

Overall it’s a nice , rather touching return to form.

But judge for yourselves.

]

Scotland’s best advertising ever?

I’m making a presentation to the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday and in it I have to demonstrate how good we are at advertising in Scotland.

So this is what I could find on Youtube that at least makes the cut. Some of it is very very fine indeed.

The best Tennent’s ad ever?

The best Irn Bru ad ever?

A rather nice VisitScotland ad that I was involved with at 1576.

and another…

Kwik Fit

S1

HEBS

Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. oh deary, deary me

I’ve seen (and heard on the radio) this ad far too often.

In the trade we call it “A pile of shit that’s beautifully lit.”

I know that selling cars must be hard.

Hard to differentiate and hard to be as good as Honda. Oh how the Ford boys must hate the Honda jibes.

But this is toecurlingly, truly awful.  Actually, no, it’s worse, much worse than that…

It’s just. You know. Embarrasing.

Sorry to inflict it on you again.

]