That's the kind of world we live in, the kind where Tiempo/ BBDO, Madrid, can produce perversely violent cartoon ads for lemon drink and win a precious-metal Lion at Cannes for its efforts.
Which we here at Global Ad Review assume will come to pass.
As the International Advertising Film Festival convenes on the C“te d'Azur, once again advertising strategy and basic civility will be sacrificed on the altar of originality-as if somehow it were novelty itself that impressed and motivated the viewer/consumer.
For instance, we are also more or less resigned to the fact that the campaign for Guinness' Grolsch lager from Bates Dorland, London, will win a Lion on the strength of its brilliantly executed production of a terrible campaign theme.
"Extra sensory perfection" is the banal wordplay in the tagline, around which some very striking ESP-themed images are cleverly strung together. But it is such shots as a pregnant woman on all fours licking a tire sidewall-not the advertising merit-that will amuse the oh-so-bored Cannes crowd.
Nor do we expect any less than unreserved delight at a very funny, very creepy Levi's 501 spot from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, featuring a leering-nigh-unto-drooling cab driver who picks up a slutty looking babe and gets all overheated until he sees her shaving her beard in the back seat. "Cut for men since 1850," says the endframe, hilariously. But like so much British advertising of late, the whole scenario is over the top.
Let us just hope such calculated outrageousness does not diminish the impact of the truly great advertising that will be screened there-advertising that requires no cheap shock value to move its audience.
From Grey Communications, for instance, is the spot for Allied Dunbar insurance: A family scene in which a tense confrontation over safe sex bursts wonderfully into a lip-synched rendition of Nat "King" Cole's "Let's Face the Music & Dance." Sure, it's borrowed from "The Singing Detective." It's also a masterpiece.
Pioneer Electronics and BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles, didn't break new ground, either. They broke an old bridge. Most of the commercial for Pioneer audio gear features incredible newsreel footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge as it twisted and swayed. Then a wonderful kicker, as a young guy in a car whose Pioneer stereo had been cranking looks sheepishly at the camera and says, "Sorry." Simple. Brilliant. No bizarre sexual imagery whatsoever.
Then there is the best spot of the year, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. It is called "Heaven," the latest in a campaign for the California Milk Processor Board to depict milk as a lifestyle item you simply need to have on hand because sometimes you need to have it on hand.
This one shows a creepy boss gleefully firing an employee and, moments later, being run over by a truck. He shows up next in an otherworldly afterlife, complete with sweet music, all-white furniture and a gigantic chocolate chip cookie-which, naturally, he devours.
But when he goes into the gigantic refrigerator full of milk cartons, and all of the cartons are empty, he realizes something's wrong. "Wait a minute. Where am I?" Next comes the now-familiar "Got milk?" logo.
It is in flames. Precisely what should be happening to lots and lots of Cannes entries, while this one takes the Grand Prix.M
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