Guest Review

Published on .

bill ludwig

Vice Chairman/CCO

Campbell-Ewald/Detroit

Craig Smith

Creative Director

Ogilvy & Mather/Singapore

1. Hewlett-Packard "Constant Change"

As a man walks through his office, to the strains of the Who's "Baba O'Reilly," the entire environment changes around him as everything, including the people and their clothes, is transformed through the wonders of technology.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners/S.F. CDs: Rich Silverstein, Steve Simpson CW: Rick Condos AD: Hunter Hindman Director: David Fincher/Anonymous Content

BL: I love HP's "Next Shift" and "Crime Fighting," but this spot is not as well produced as those. Then there is the song. Unlike the great Cure "Pictures of You" track, which really elevated an interesting photomontage execution, this Who track has been used before and is irrelevant for this message or idea. (2)

CS: Love the music. Great technique. Nice clothes and casting ... and then the bloke gets into a lift. I accept that this sector is hard to gauge as it's not all about rock 'n' roll, but HP is famous for its partnerships and marketing the fruits of its partnerships. So why did we just stick to the script here? It starts with such promise, but the spot overpromises and doesn't conclude. (3)

2. PS2 "Politician"

A political ad becomes a subversive appeal for recruits to a new military game.

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. CD: Jerry Gentile ACD/CW: Brett Craig ACD/AD: Doug Mukai Director: Erich Joiner/Tool of North America

BL: I think PS2's "Gravity Bomb" and "Tractor Beam" are the freshest spots on TV. This is not. I applaud the attention to detail-the building sign changing from Liberty Ave to AgencyHQ.com. I'm sure that consumers will find this very arresting, but it's very derivative. That being said, this spot still does not live up to the two aforementioned spots. (2)

CS: Pass the cheese. Oh, sorry, you just did! The idea of interference and tampering with regular recruiting messages is good, but it's too cheesy. The casting lets it all down. The bloke at the beginning is the image of a CIA man in the eye of an older director, and the dot-com in the background isn't clear. The idea is brilliant, but this is an illustration of the value of great production and postproduction people. I'd have asked for my money back-or got it right the first time, of course! (2)

3. Nike "Magnet"

Lance Armstrong cycles across various landscapes and cityscapes, attracting nature and admirers, which include pediatric cancer patients and an aspiring rider.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Portland CDs: Mike Byrne, Hal Curtis CW: Mike Byrne AD: James Selman Director: Jake Scott/RSA USA Music: Elias Arts

BL: Time and again, Nike demonstrates how the brand can enhance the quality of life of anyone who endeavors to excel. Lance's fist pump to the young cancer patients-outstanding. The climax of the herd of bicycle messengers, juxtaposed with the lone boy coming home from football practice, his wheels almost touching this superhero's, gave me chills. And the track is so down to earth, so clean, that it plays counterpart brilliantly to the triumph of Lance Armstrong. This is what Nike does better than anyone else. They let us dream that there is a little Lance, a little Tiger, a little Agassi in all of us. (4)

CS: Like their websites, this one took longer than all the others to download, but it was worth the wait. A story without words. No words needed-you just want to be that man. Vintage Nike. (2)

4. ESPN/Miller Brewing "The Squeeze-Part 2"

The second installment of branded entertainment shown during SportsCenter features men who face a dilemma: go to Uncle Mack's funeral or watch his beloved Red Sox in game seven of the World Series.

Agency: Ground Zero CD: Court Crandall CWs: Court Crandall, Sean Vij Director: Laurence Thrush/Headquarters

BL: When I first saw this I immediately logged on to check out Part 1. Great casting, great direction, great performances. So much about this spot is in its restraint. The irony comes through subtly and smartly. I laughed out loud when I heard, "Forgive me, Father, for I think I might be about to sin. We're still throwing ideas around." The cross-promotion with Miller is interesting and appropriate. They got me. I cannot wait to see Part 3. I hope it has a good twist. (4)

CS: Yes. I like this one. We all have to make tough decisions in life (we've all been there) and Miller People make the right ones ... don't they? Besides, any ad that manages to include a leafblower and a priest deserves a medal, in my book. (4)

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