Adidas "180 Degrees: Pole to Pole"
Adidas follows two hardy fellows on a remarkable journey at
KM: Recently, I was interviewed about the adidas campaign and I said that not since the "Long Live Sport" days has adidas had such a great brand platform. This interactive piece continues the "Impossible" theme online with the ongoing adventures of two amped-up British youths going from pole to pole on pure human adrenaline. Adidas is doing what Nike used to do in its prime. It has created an amazingly elastic idea that not only provides a strong emotional halo for the brand but really shines when it taps into real athletes and their stories. I did find navigating it a bit "impossible," though.
MC: I open this site and I'm not sure what to look at first. I should be exploring, but I'm getting confused by "the impossibles"—the impossible story, "Impossible is nothing" (twice), and Rob and James' impossible journey, all on one impossible page. Give me a break, adidas. Rob and James' story is a big one, and I want to get involved. Give me some room to do this. For such an epic and technically demanding adventure, this site has all the content but its execution feels naive. If we're really following pole-to-pole action by two adventurous guys, it's the details that matter—give me the weather reports, the husky deaths, the live action, and give it to me fast.
Jig-A-Loo "The Smooth Life"
Cutout animation in a zany webfilm.
KM: I'd never heard of Jig-A-Loo, which turns out to be an industrial-strength lubricant on the lines of WD40, with a million practical uses. This execution does a great job of making some pretty mundane product benefits come to life. The JibJab-style animation is still eye-catching when done this well; I found myself wanting to watch it repeatedly. Pretty funny political commentary thrown in as well. Three stars.
MC: Having watched this, I sort of wonder how I've lived so long without Jig-A-Loo. From this film, I get what Jig-A-Loo does; I even looked it up online to check it didn't do more. It wouldn't be good to spray it in your sleeping partner's face, as the film suggests. Never mind. It's very much a show-and-tell film with a bit of topicality thrown in. With such a straight story, you need some fun in the execution, and this works for me. It would be worse if this product punched too far above its belt, and it doesn't. Tonally, it's bang-on. Three stars.
Tooheys Extra Dry "Harves-TED"
A strange hairstyle, patience, and a quick hand are keys to harvesting Tooheys Extra Dry.
KM: This spot makes no sense to me at all and I love every minute of it. It's beer stupid, but there's a lesson: Love who you are. A big-haired guy right out of a David Lynch movie plants a lock of his hair and waters it with Tooheys. He throws a good old-fashioned aboriginal-style hoedown with all his buddies to call on the beer gods, and up from the earth pop pod people holding ice cold Tooheys, which he harvests. His DNA-inspired brainstorm is a big success. Of course! Sometimes we forget we don't always have to be smart if we're just really, really creative. Four stars.
MC: This is nuts. There's some great styling, cinematography and music from the start that brings you right into this harvesting story. Actually, that's harvesTED. TED for Tooheys Extra Dry and a tenuous leap to TEDdy boys and quiffs. Fundamentally, let's remember, the world does not need advertising. So if we're going to do it, there's no reason why we can't be frivolous, ridiculous and self-indulgent. Tooheys has done a dying medium proud. Worth having a beer to contemplate. Four stars.
Wonderbra "No Glasses Required"
Pseudo 3-D bosoms beckon.
KM: At first, after looking at these ads I thought that my solo movement to bring back the two-martini lunch was taking its toll. If these are intended to be the thinking man's Wonderbra ads, I say thinking has no place in this category. Wonderbra has a brilliant history of great advertising and, yes, their past ads have unapologetically pandered to us hopeless males. But they always did it in such a way that all was forgiven. In the end, the brilliance of Wonderbra advertising has been much like the old Bugs Bunny cartoons—underneath the slapstick, Technicolor surface it had a sense of humor that appealed to grownups. Great Wonderbra ads appeal to our base male hormones, but in such an intelligent way that even women can look at them and laugh at our hopelessness. One star.
MC: It would be really hard to muck up or overcomplicate this product offering, something we do regularly in this business—and it appears that Saatchi Singapore hasn't strayed in a campaign where they have obviously readdressed the typically cheeky Wonderbra tone. It's more sincere and "in the know" than the "Hello, boys" era. Maybe it's aimed at a more grownup, selective audience. I'd be proud to have generated this, but I have a fundamental lingering question of whether cheeky is more fun, or even more effective. It feels like an Economist ad with nipples, but I still like it. Four stars.
Captain Beierschmitt is stationed in California, serving with the Army.
Tooheys Extra Dry "HarvesTED"
This strange commercial doesn't show the product or the website long enough. I saw a beer bottle with a deer on it; I know the ad is from Australia, so maybe if I lived there I'd recognize the bottle more easily. Watching plants grow isn't interesting in my book, but I was wondering what he was growing, and I'm still wondering how the party toward the end fits in. It's weird, but memorable. Four stars.