GUEST REVIEW:

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Nick Cohen, Co-Chairman/Executive Creative Director, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York

Western Union: A spoof on talk shows. People talking about the problems they face in their lives when Western Union wasn't used. Not a bad notion, but where's the drama? When do the fights break out? Where's the madness? I was really bummed out.

Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS Director: John Adams, Concrete Productions

Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch: Postman knocks on door. Pan up hairy legs to reveal less than beautiful transvestite. She/He seductively invites postman into house for sex. Pull focus to show box of Raisin Bran Crunch on kitchen table. Postman suddenly is interested. All right, it's a little predictable, and the hairy legs made my stomach a tad shaky, but it was definite progress in the cereal category.

Agency: JWT/New York Director: Baker Smith, Tate & Partners

Adidas: Any ad that has a picture of a man blowing a booger out of his nostril is OK by me. But why the bad shot of the running shoe in the corner? Did you make some kind of "OK, we'll put the product in if you let us keep the snot" deal with your client?

Agency: Leagas Delaney, San Francisco

Evian: Mmmmmm -- I never was one for being suckered into a delicious photograph, but somehow I've become a victim of this stuff. When I look at the ad with the bathing beauty surrounded by empty Evian bottles, I just want to dive in and drink the bath water.

Agency: MVBMS/Euro RSCG

Arrogant Bastard Ale: Pretty funny ads, but they seem kinda complicated for a beer with such an outrageous name. Hey, Big Bang, you guys know you can do better than this.

Agency: Big Bang Idea Engineering

Clairol Daily Defense: Oh, my good God. This may be the world's most expensive commercial. Stunt men, people flying through flames, explosions, heavy things falling out of the sky -- all to convince us to "Defend our hair with Clairol." Seems like a bit of an overpromise, but I ain't a woman so maybe I'm missing something. Can you imagine what the catering table looked like?

Agency: Kaplan Thaler Group Director: Ken Bates, Independent Artists

Mark Ronquillo, Associate Creative Director, Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York

Western Union: I hope this is a difficult client, because that would explain a lot. I think this whole talk show format should be scrapped. We don't believe it for a minute and it's just not that funny. Gary, I mean, Mr. Goldsmith, please help them.

Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS Director: John Adams, Concrete Productions

Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch: The housewife is so wonderfully cast that by the time I saw the Raisin Bran, I had two scoops of the shivers. Pretty unexpected for Kellogg's. I'm just wondering if there might be a better way to capitalize on their willingness to try untraditional ideas. For example, the Special K spot where men talk about their bodies. Different and interesting, but without the shivers.

Agency: JWT/New York Director: Baker Smith, Tate & Partners

Adidas: "Runners. Yeah, we're different." A simple, interesting and truthful idea. The nipple-taping and the Vaseline ads are great, while some of the others zipped right past me.

Agency: Leagas Delaney, San Francisco

Evian: Cool photography, but what's the big idea? "L'original"? I've worked on this brand before and they're as tough as a day-old baguette. So the fact that there are some interesting visuals is a victory of sorts. And with almost 60 product shots, the "Bartender" ad is almost certainly being framed for the client's office, if it's not already hanging there.

Agency: MVBMS/Euro RSCG

Arrogant Bastard Ale: It's funny stuff, and wryly written. And just think of the brand extensions. Ditzy Blonde Light, Blithering Idiot Ice and Dumb Ass Lager.

Agency: Big Bang Idea Engineering

Clairol Daily Defense: I'm torn. When I see those Pantene commercials with the beautiful women with the shiny hair, I ask myself, Where's the idea? But I still buy Pantene, because, hey, it makes my hair look really shiny. In this nicely shot spot, a woman goes through a James Bond-type ordeal, only to emerge with clean, shiny hair. Now the shampoo folks have given me a little adventure and a concept -- keep your hair healthy under all harsh situations, i.e. explosions and plunges off tall buildings. Nice effort, but I'm sticking with my concept-free Pantene.

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