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September's Guest Review

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Rachael Heapps, Creative Officer, Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York
Rachael Heapps, Creative Officer, Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York
Louie Moes, Co-founder/Creative Director, Moses Anshell, Phoenix
Louie Moes, Co-founder/Creative Director, Moses Anshell, Phoenix
Toto: Toto's Washlet
Smiling bums reveal testimonials on a nouveau loo.
www.cleanishappy.com

LM I guess selling toilet seats gives you permission to show a butt or six. I'm interested when a half dozen asses appear on the screen; I'm still engaged when the vertical smiles turn horizontal, but that's when it all goes horribly wrong. The actors speak in a robotic tone that's way too Yul Brynner in Futureworld (or George Bush trying to explain his Iraq policy). "Clean is happy?" No, "Clean is creepy." If I wasn't reviewing, I would have been bailing. One star.

RH This site for an "ass-washing" apparatus really could have been witty, but instead it's more like a Saturday Night Live spoof. Any edge they had is wasted on the smiley-ass introductions on the home page; however, I kept navigating through the layers with some hope. Ultimately, I didn't know whether to laugh out loud or cringe from the overly acted testimonial to the embarrassingly graphic product demonstration. On SNL, it would be a winner. No stars.

Nissan: The All-New Altima Coupe
The Altima forms like Voltron into essential items.

LM I really want to like this ad. Slick art direction makes me pull the ad closer. Wow, those are little red cars making up this cool watch. The trouble is, the "True style" headline leaves me cold. I like the ad for its guts—it's ballsy to introduce a new car and make it really tiny. But I wonder if I'm looking at it wrong? Maybe that's a gigantic watch the size of the Coliseum, and if I look closer at one of the sunroofs I'll see a person waving at me? It's Horton Hears a Who for adults. Three stars.

RH I have to celebrate the client's bravery in this campaign. Rarely do you see the car manipulated in such a way that it taps the honest reason for buying it: vanity. Clearly, they are representing the car as an extension of one's personal brand—which couldn't be pulled off with a utilitarian car—and it works well with a bling ride like this. Two stars.

Norwegian Hydro: Train Stunt
Kids create a commuter roller coaster.

LM This feels like a YouTube video made by some kids down by the tracks. It sets me up perfectly for a stunt and pays it off brilliantly. I watched it over and over. Nicely done. Now I understand why Paul and John wrote a song about Norwegian Wood; that lumber is amazing. Thank God no one was hurt. Come to think of it, I should call my wife and make sure my kids are home right now. Without welding torches. Four stars.

RH For the first 30 seconds of this spot, I was expecting the worst, but, to my surprise, what actually came after was a pure joy. What had the potential to be just another shock PSA turned into an emotional roller coaster (if you will) and left me breathless. The rawness of this spot delivers a much bigger message for the brand. The clearly progressive company is telling us that they embrace young, fresh and innovative thinking. Do yourself a favor; view the car stunt version of this campaign—it's even more brilliant. Four stars.

Sony Cyber-shot: You Are What You Shoot
Nothing but photo heads.

LM After the third headless person, I thought I was watching a spot for "Hunting With Dick Cheney." Alas, it's just another "frivolous use of a special effect" spot. The claim seems to be that you need this camera because "You are what you shoot." Well, I shoot a lot of photos with a lot of different cameras and there's one thing I definitely need: my head. No stars.

RH While camera ads are full of Kodak moments and product benefits, this spot runs on pure emotion by literally turning people into what they shoot. What it's really saying is that we all shoot what we love. The visual nuances are so brilliant—from the uptight woman whose pictures are perfectly aligned to the chick who is obsessed with her dog—that I had to watch it five times. Problem is this spot could be for any camera, not exclusively Sony's. Three stars.

Street Review

Leah Thompson
Leah Thompson
Despite living in Manhattan, Leah Thompson is an avid supporter of Cal Bears football.

Toto "Toto's Washlet"

Upon meeting the group of "clean and happy" people who supposedly belong to the behinds flashing across my desktop, they attempt to convince me that not only will the Washlet revolutionize my hygiene habits but also make me a generally happier, more content human being. The latter half of their message is a bit forced, and I wish the site contained a text option.Two stars.

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