April's Guest Review

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Eric Grunbaum
Eric Grunbaum
Ted Royer
Ted Royer


Sneaux "Human Skateboard"
PES crafts a stop-motion shred on a brah board.

EG: A cool stop-motion spot with an inventive homemade feel. The problem is, it was invented several years ago. I can only hope that the director who originally posted his (or her) video on YouTube the first time I saw this execution was the same director who was asked to shoot its commercial version. If so, props, Sneaux. If not, well, it wouldn't be the first time this "appropriation" thing happened in our business.
Two stars.

TR: Nice. Fun. Shoe? What shoe? Who cares. Simple and silly.Minus one star because there are many videos exactly like it on YouTube already.
Two stars.



Wasa "Healthy Nirvana"
The Swedish crispbread does psychedelic yoga in a print campaign.

EG: The art direction strikes the right tone for "better living" through the consumption of all-natural, highfiber, low-fat crispbreads. And the EatWasaFeelGood.com website, which readers are invited to visit, admirably carries on the theme. The only bummer is the product packaging, whose design is completely disconnected from the ad (or vice versa). It's an unfortunate but common occurrence in our industry that brands can have different voices in the world of advertising and in the world of retail - which, in the real world of the consumer, are the same worlds.
Two stars.

TR: I'm willing to bet the creatives did the best job they could with a client like this. I can see them in their offices, happy they turned out something pretty, and slowly dying inside because this is the best they can sell. Guys, feel good that you are competent professionals. The concept? Seen it a thousand times. I blame the person who bought these for their boringness, not the workers.
One star.



Pepsi "Destinies"
Life can go a lot of different ways when you're sipping a Pepsi.

EG: A visually-cool idea that invites multiple viewings to be fully appreciated. The screen, divided into six sections, opens on six identical images of a kid chugging a can of Pepsi.With the obligatory product shot out of the way after the first five seconds, I enjoyed the remaining 55 seconds in which the kid walks down the street and experiences six divergent destinies in the six different screens. Yes, it's a loose tie-in to the product. Sugar-water = endless possibilities? Sure, why not. It's better than sugar water = childhood obesity and frequent trips to the dentist.
Three stars.

TR: I love Michel Gondry, too. This spot is OK. I really wanted something more to happen in the different scenes. They all felt like they were agreed on by a committee. But whoever bought/sold/championed that horrible copy at the end should be ashamed.
One star.




Levi's "Copper Jeans"
Levi's throws it back to the web design old school with a huge, scrolling piece of HTML.

EG: Like most websites, this one for Levi's Asia Pacific wants to be sticky. But if it weren't for my obligation here as a reviewer, I wouldn't have stuck around long. Its tricky navigation, tedious focus on rational product details, and laborious attempt to build "community" into the site-by inviting visitors to print their own life-size PDF of the Copper Jean; photograph themselves "wearing" them; then post the photos to the site - was just too much work for too little reward. Granted, I'm not the target, as I have no interest in capturing that 1800s miner look. For Levi's sake, here's hoping the kids in Singapore are.
One star.

TR: Once again, a piece of work like this proves how hard it is to stay fresh in categories like jeans and shoes.We really just rediscovered rivets? Wow. It was kind of fun to scroll down into the "mine" part. But after that, there's really not much more. The photography feels very, very dated. And any site that has to constantly ask you if you're lost probably isn't a very good one.
One star.

Street Review

Jessica Massimi
Jessica Massimi
Jessica Massimi lives in Brooklyn and wants to be a lawyer when she grows up.

Pepsi "Destinies"

Life offers endless possibilities - so why drink Pepsi? This ad would be better if it at least emphasized the potential consumer's ability to choose based on what is out there, rather than based on what comes his way. It doesn't really answer the question of why, in a world of possibilities, one would want to drink Pepsi.
One star.
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