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March's Guest Review

Published on .

Ben Kay
Ben Kay
Rob Baird
Rob Baird


Ornge "Memorials"
A medevac chopper's rotor wash blows away roadside memorials.

BK: This is one of those beautifully shot ads where you watch it and silently hope it's for something good, and not just a lame conceit for some mobile phone company. Well, fortunately it's for an air ambulance service, so the blown away memorials are both appropriate and thought provoking. My only question comes with the stat at the end. Apparently, these helicopters saved 18,077 lives last year. Canada has a population of around 35 million, so one in every couple of thousand nearly died. That is one accident- prone nation.
Four stars.

RB: I watched this spot back to back to make sure I'd seen it right. It turned out I had, so I watched it a third time for pure enjoyment. A stunning, epic spot with a simple concept - for a medical transportation company. I love the insightful idea, I love all the shots and I love the fact that this spot will work in shining a spotlight on people dedicated to saving lives.
Four stars.



Mercedes-Benz "The All- Powerful SLK 55 AMG Convertible"
A Benz's impact on the human environment is measured in relics of the rich.

BK: Imagine the scene 20 seconds before each shot was taken: rich bastard in Mercedes convertible accelerates away from South African pauper. I can see why he hit the gas so hard. It must have been the smell of the unwashed scum getting within spitting distance of his fine automobile. "Thank you, Mercedes, I sure showed that repellent little ragamuffin a clean set of Pirellis." The sad thing is that these would have been fine without the poor-person angle - so why do it?
Zero stars.

RB: This is a tricky one - I actually love the photography in these ads, and I truly appreciate an iconic visual concept for the Mercedes SLK that doesn't need to show the SLK. But I don't understand the need for the lost scarf, hat and toupee to have been recovered and then solemnly worn by the completely destitute, including a homeless woman. I'm all for edge, and I love ads that do "wrong" things right, as one of my creative directors calls it. But somehow this just seems a little too wrong.
Two stars.



Apple U.K. "Pie Chart"
Ye merrie British computationeers hold forth on japes and chicanery provided by their soft wares.

BK: As the vast majority of people reading this are American, I should explain that these two are from a U.K. sitcom called Peep Show, which might be described as edgy (and very funny). This means that I have seen PC urinate on a rival's work and download porn, while Mac has a recreational drug habit. I only mention this to point out that over here these guys have baggage, and that kind of infects the way you accept them as characters. Is that a bad thing? Well, put it this way: I like these, but I prefer the untainted U.S. ones.
Three stars.

RB: I really love the American version of this campaign. It's charming, funny and it makes me feel like I'd want to hang out all day with Mac even if my job didn't necessitate it. I guess the banter in this particular spot isn't one of my favorites, but then again maybe I'm adjusting to the new characters and their accents - like when The Office came over here. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now I like it better than the original.
Three stars.



Diesel "Heidies"
Two models trap a photographer in a hotel room as their saga plays out live on Diesel.com/lockin.

BK: Two underwear-clad models arse around in a hotel room. Before you say. "What's not to like?" I'd just say that their antics get pretty dull pretty quickly. You can find prettier girls and better entertainment elsewhere on the net, so why would this hold your attention?
One star.

RB: This interactive campaign appears to attempt to channel all the web blockbusters at once - the audience control of Burger King's "Subservient Chicken," the daily reports and user chatting of Sega's "Beta-7," and the "We did this video all by ourselves" aspect of pretty much everything on YouTube. But it fails at all three, and the art direction and writing of the site reek of a fashion advertorial. And it's neither sexy nor funny. I miss the days when Diesel used humor, political awareness and whimsical oddity to take the piss out of all the vapid fashion campaigns. Now it sadly seems to be one.
One star.

Street Review

Andrew Gustafson
Andrew Gustafson
Andrew considers himself Michiana's preeminent Call of Duty 3 player. Find AndrewGus on Xbox Live if you want to test his Maschinenpistole 1940.

Ornge "Memorials"

I was thinking drunk drivers or suicides, then it's a helicopter and I'm thinking Coast Guard - but why are they out in a field? If I'd seen it on TV, I'd watch it to see what happens. You always see those memorials on the side of the road and you stop and think about what happened. And 18,000 people saved is pretty damn good.
Three stars.
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