November's Guest Review

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Todd Grant Partner/Executive Creative Director, Cole & Weber United
Todd Grant Partner/Executive Creative Director, Cole & Weber United
Oliver Altmann, ECD, Publicis Conseil
Oliver Altmann, ECD, Publicis Conseil
NYC & Company: The Ride
New York's rebrand begins with a wild taxi ride.

TG This spot grew on me like a cheesy fungus. It plopped me into the microwave and I was whisked away like a human Hot Pocket. I'm not sure all the talented dialogue writers in our midst would judge this a great spot and I'll admit that I'd probably be more critical if it was done for Sacramento. But a high-tech yet naïve & playful visual jingle for New York City that's chock full of historical innuendo? Good stuff.Three Stars

OA It starts great. You expect to see something really interesting. But then you realize that you're wandering through a big catalog of all that New York City is supposed to be able to offer you. I imagine that the creatives found themselves in the awkward situation of having to show all the "clichés" of this spectacular city, and that the unique art direction was used to overshadow the trite content. It's a shame that for such a rich subject the account planners didn't find a more unique angle to talk to potential tourists.Two Stars

Camper: Boxes
Camper mixes headspace and footwear.

TG Imagination walks? It kind of feels like imagination walked away from this one. I'm guessing that I'm supposed to be impressed by the creative use of the Camper box/logo as the person's head and the shoes being a very small product shot. This creativity aside, the execution is static, uninteresting and just sort of tepid. I wish the guy's head exploded and he was lying face down in a pool of his own words.One Star

OA I have to admit that I've already seen the idea of replacing someone's head with something else: flowers, lightbulbs, animals, and even boxes. However, what disappointed me the most was that this ad feels more like a campaign for an "integrated computer solutions provider." To me, Camper is known for selling cool shoes to casual young adults. Basically, rather then being told something, I appreciate it more when someone is able to make me feel it myself. One Star

Wendy's: Hot Juicy Burgers For Life
Wendy's trades testimonials for a lifetime of burgers.

TG A long walk for a very small burger. But I still have 70 words so here they are: The Komodo Dragon is the world's largest living lizard. It comes from the Lesser Sunda chain of the Indonesian Archipelago and the nearby islands of Rintja, Padar and Flores. It is a ferocious carnivore; one swipe of its tail can render an enemy defenseless. There is a stuffed Komodo Dragon in the lobby of the Khatmandu Hotel in Nepal.No Stars

OA I'm not sure I would have spent as much time on this minisite if I wasn't reviewing it, but I have to say that I found it rather well-done and refreshing. It was its objective— to win the most hot juicy burgers—and its grand prize—a lifetime supply of them—that left me wondering. Knowing of all the obesity issues the food industry is confronted with here in Europe, I guess I could just never imagine McDonald's ever daring to take this approach. One Star

Hyundai: Commitment
Hyundai asks about its rivals' values.

TG I can't figure out if the bride in this spot is actually Lucy Liu; that's really the only distraction for me. It's a smart and provocative commercial for a car that actually does have an amazing warranty. And in a category full of expensively mediocre work, it's refreshing to see something with craft and restraint: a simple premise with great film, copy and sound. Is that Lucy Liu? I really want to know. Four Stars

OA I'm a bit confused with this ad. I'm sure it was intended to look intelligent, but instead, I just get a sense of pretentiousness. Without a doubt Hyundai needs some credibility, but to speak to us as if it were Mercedes is just too big a leap. On top of that, even Mercedes understood that it was important to speak to the heart and not only the mind, if they wished to effect consumer purchase. The "think about it" concept is serious work. A little too serious for my taste. One Star

Street Review

Mark Graham
Mark Graham
Uncle Grambo is a picker, a grinner, a lover and a sinner who throws down the PHC-FYSB at whatevs.org

NYC & Company: The Ride

The Disneyfication of NYC has been taken to Seussian extremes in this visually dazzling but abhorrently whitebred tourism spot. As a vacationing (white) family breezes about The Big Apple, all of the city's famous landmarks begin literally bursting with all the colors of the rainbow. Pretty! Howevs, nary a person of actually color is depicted, save for two old black dudes playing (what else) jazz music. Look hunny, NYC is cuter, safer and WHITER than evs! Let's take the kids. Two Stars

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