|April 2010 - 'The Work: Private View' - Campaign - 30th April - Page 31
"Call me "devil may care" but unlike the rest of Western Europe, I'm going to resist the temptation to compare Cadbury Dairy Milk (1) "the charmer" with previous Cadbury ads. This commercial is best judged within the increasingly woeful TV landscape it will awkwardly sit amid (a vista of DFS and Moonpig) like a veritable millionaire among swine. I find it to be a joyous, delightful, distinctive experience that entertains and commands attention, interestingly placing "chocolate" tangibly at its core. This ad has been crafted with passion, care and creativity. If all commercials were half as playful, then I would be glued to the television.
Sadly, they're not. Maryland (4) "temptation" uses the well-worn device of food literally tempting consumers. This is a purposefully dated approach to a dated product, but the combination of a great voiceover and the mother's performance strangely pleased me every time I watched it. Clearly, I'm a slave to mirth.
Confused, dull, lifeless - no, not Ant & Dec, but rather ITV1 HD (5) "the brighter side just got brighter". It has long been my opinion that, much like illegal minicab drivers and amateur doctors, some of us should require a licence to practice our art. This film in particular provides a compelling argument for tighter regulation or, at the very least, an entrance exam. It is more than a little baffling that a channel launch spot featuring the nation's two most beloved and far from disagreeable TV stars should result in an experience akin to someone with breathtaking halitosis yawning openly in your face.
If Channel 4's Time Team would struggle to find the entertainment (or message) in this, then Ray Mears would struggle to survive its humour. Taking a cue from the master of bush craft, I attempted to watch the ITV1 HD ad a second time while sewn inside a deceased yak. Still I could hear it. If you subscribe to the theory that all scripts can be made good (and I do), how has this calamitous ad achieved the opposite so comprehensively?
Fortunately, St John Ambulance (2) are on hand with some wonderfully tender photography from Nadav Kander. Expertly commissioned, these beautifully lit stills are sensitively combined with copy, effectively making life-saving skills a personal responsibility. The images are perfectly poised between sleep and the grave, the graphic sensibility and simplicity of the finished compositions in particular worthy of applause for their innate communication of life and death. Bravo, Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
I am ill-placed to offer a critique of MasterCard (6) "World MasterCard" owing to a personal loathing for all things Bonnie Tyler. Given that one would have to be over 35 to remember Tyler in the first place, I imagine that those younger are also going to be rather perplexed by the significance of her reappearance (not to mention her appearance), while the over-35s will understand for perhaps the first time the emotional landfill that lurks somewhere beyond irony. Somewhat brilliantly, this ad does a not unimpressive job of suggesting that Tyler has sold out, the vast irony of which would need its own handling facility somewhere remote and unpopulated.
Lastly (no pun intended), the Green Party (3) election campaign. Disconcertingly, it transpires that I am its target audience. I genuinely want to like this. I like the Green Party. I may not vote for it, but I like it. I still like it, but I will no more likely vote for it having watched this. Party election broadcasts are tricky to get right (who does get them right?) and this is a fair attempt made into an uphill struggle by invoking the primary-coloured visual language of pre-school to address an audience exclusively over 18. I feel that I can be forgiven for failing to digitally "create a bespoke personal video that I can send to my friends highlighting the party's stance" because, had I done so, my friends would not be nearly so forgiving."