Amir Farhang, Creative Director, 180, Los Angeles
Lance Martin, Creative Director, Taxi 2, Toronto
Heinz: Deli Server Mum
Get a New York -style sandwich in your home, without the big lout.
AF / It would be easy to point out how derivative this spot is, but once you let go of all of that it's pretty funny. The direction is solid and the performances work, although I did live in NY for close to five years and never saw a deli guy who looked like this. Maybe it's because I never went above 22nd street. Two Stars.
LM / Not really impressed with this spot. I think we need a moratorium on the Men Replacing Moms Equals Funny formula. Combos did it beautifully years ago, but that campaign supported it with fantastic acting, interesting scenarios and killer product link to wrap it all up. This spot is missing a lot of those nice touches. I find the whole exchange does more to romance ham or rye buns than it does Heinz Mayo. One Star.
Lexus: Jostlin' Jim
The voice of Lexus gets thrown around the cockpit.
AF /The first thing I wondered when I watched this spot is if it started out as a radio idea. Sometimes that happens and your CD says, "Wait, we should shoot this." If that was the case, the CD was right. But regardless of its origins, I love the way the voice of the brand is asked to deliver the product benefit while being put in a position where he can't. It's simple, funny, and smart. That always works. Four Stars.
LM / In the first second, I really thought this was going to be good. Interesting concept, but the execution fell flat. Maybe if the announcer had tried to read more of the script instead of saying "whoa" repeatedly (and un-convincingly) it would have been more exciting to watch. Even the driving footage seemed a bit pedestrian, in its shooting and editing style. I certainly didn't walk away feeling "whoa" this is one amazing car. Two Stars
The surf brand boosts its online offerings.
AF /Quicksilver is a surf and skate company with ties to some of the most legendary athletes in the genre. It also sells products and isn't ashamed to be transparent about that. This site works because it speaks to the target in their language without cluttering things up with any fancy navigation. It simply provides them with options—watch videos, check out blogs, shop, or just leave. If I'm a fickle 16 year old surfer/skater, I can't be mad at that. Three Stars.
LM / This site is solid and it works. It was easy for me to look at clothes, interviews and clips. I guess I just thought that as a leader in cool brands, this site would be more interactive with a more ownable look. I wish they had designed something they could continue to build upon for the next few years. I feel like this is something I've seen over and over again in Thrasher magazine. Two Stars.
Toyota: Banana Leaf
Toyota slips an eco-reminder in magazines via a fresh banana leaf.
AF / Most ads in this category depict treks to remote locations complete with volcanoes, base jumping, and the occasional run-in with some supernatural force. Allowing the consumer to feel an emotional benefit with their fingers rather than making any kind of false promise seems smart. Sure, most of us don't buy these cars to get in touch with nature, but if we do, at least this presents us with a real life scenario that won't get you killed. Three Stars.
LM /Really interesting execution. I think the impact of opening a magazine and finding the smells and touch of a banana leaf would really make people stop in their tracks. Kudos to the team and client for pulling off this non-traditional idea. Four Stars.
Ms. Byrd lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and is fond of episodic drama.
Heinz "Deli Server Mum"
I had to watch this three times before I knew what was going on. I didn't find it offensive at all, just a little confusing. I had no problem with the two men being together, but I had no idea why the "mum" was dressed like he was and speaking so roughly to his family. It wasn't until the tagline that I finally figured it out. Four Stars.