April 29, 2016 - Comments Off on What ads do Creative Directors really like?

It’s always helpful to know what work is being favoured by the experts. Therefore when I heard about ITV and Thinkbox’s Creative Carousel at Advertising Week Europe, featuring some of my favourite creative people, I couldn’t wait to get in front of them.

On the panel was: Rosie Arnold (CD @ BBH) Nils Leonard (CCO @ Grey) Alex Grieve (ECD @ AMV BBDO) and Chaka Sobhani (CD @ Mother, and soon Leo Burnett). Each member of the panel showed a peice of their own TVC work that they were most proud of.

First, Rosie showed us her favourite ad that she made at BBH for Yeo Valley. The advert wasn’t your standard 30 second TVC, but a full length boyband music video featuring the product.

The panel discussed that the ad was a massive hit with the public when it came out, but it never won an award. Rosie explained that the advert was aimed at women, and didn’t resonate as much with men, which might have been why it was never awarded.

She went on to say: “When you’re a female creative, you have to show your work to your CD, who is usually male, then your ECD, who is male, then when it comes to awards, at this time most judging panels were predominantly male.”

Whether or not this was the male judging panel had an influence on the lack of award, it did make me think about the challenges that we face as female creatives within an agency. Does this mean that if we are working on a brand that is targeted at women, and our CD’s and ECD’s are male, it may not get noticed as a good idea?

As I’m writing this, I’m the only female creative in a creative department of twenty. Times may be changing, but it's going to take a while until the industry is full of female Creative Directors.

Rosie stressed that she had to fight for her idea, and that’s what we all need to be doing too. Wallflowers will struggle to get work out. So don't be one. Fight fellow creative! Fight like a bitch.

Next, Nils showed us a piece that he made for Mumsnet at Grey: ‘Teach your child to Dial 999.’ Not only did the ad communicate a simple and life saving message, but the execution showed real footage of a young girl calling 999 whilst her mum was having an epileptic fit. This highly emotional ad was something that Nils felt very passionately about (as we all should be), which made him want to make it even more.

He also mentioned craft: “It’s important to start doing stuff that doesn’t look like a crafted television commercial.”

This seems to be something that I’m hearing more and more. Yes, you’re still required to know how to execute a good print advert, but you’re also expected to make adverts that are disguised as non ads. Most people think ads are annoying, make them something cool.

This advert in particular was extremely impactful, due to the raw footage of a young girl’s voice in a scenario that we can only dread. Two emotions: cute and fear. Emotions that can only leave us with our hearts pounding and our eyes watering. Well done Nils. You succeeded.

Chaka then showed the Boots Christmas ad ‘Homecoming’ (2015) which she made at Mother. The long version of the advert tells an emotive story, showing a mum who is a nurse, coming home on boxing day morning after working through Christmas day, to find that her daughter, who was travelling, had travelled home to see her.

As far as Christmas ads go, this ad seemed to follow a fairly well trodden theme. Even though we’ve seen so many, emotive family tearjerkers at Christmas time still seem to work though. (Maybe it’s because we wish our own families weren’t as fucked up). But can you ever really remember which brand did what?

Finally we saw Alex’s Christmas ad for Currys PC World starring Jeff Goldblum, a ‘baked beans’ jigsaw puzzle and an awkward gay kiss. This to me seemed similar in tone to the Harvey Nichols ‘Sorry I spent it on myself’ campaign, where family members were seen opening terrible gifts.

Personally, I feel that when you have to rely on a celebrity to bring your advert to life, the idea isn’t necessarily a strong one. Especially when you're putting a book together, think original, not celebrity.

He explained that Jeff wasn’t their first casting choice, after their first choice pulled out. He then went on to give some great casting advice:

“If you’re looking for a celebrity, always look for the one who’s recently divorced.”

So there you go. Stop reading the Copy Book and start reading OK magazine.

To finish off the session, Nils then showed an American ad that he wished he’d done from outpost.com, showing gerbils being fired out of a cannon. The endline was simple: ‘Send your complaints to outpost.com’.

This hilariously offensive, and hopefully faked creative ad stood out more to me than any of the typically crafted ‘addy’ ads. Nils then went on to say that we need to be less serious in this country.

I too would agree. So what are you doing still reading this?

Go and be less serious.

Throw your laptop in the nearest lake, and pick up some salmon on the way, it’s good for your brain.

Anyway, see you around, I’m off to the pub.

Published by: admin in All

Comments are closed.