Rate the Ad: The Hours: See the Light

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Last week on Rate the Ad, we looked at the first big brand campaign from Pillsbury in seven years. From Gerry Graf in his new post at Saatchi, the spot "Home is Calling" banks on a home cooking revival inspired by the rocky economy and even goes as far as borrowing Dorothy's "There's no place like home" footwork. In the spot, various everyday-American types, ranging in age, place and occupation, pantomime a big satisfied sniff and the "Wizard of Oz" heroine's trademark move, and the montage eventually resolves with a schoolgirl arriving home to piping hot crescent rolls. What did you think of the concept and the minimal presence of the Pillsbury prince, the Doughboy?

As always, Rate the Ad opinions of this new Pillsbury work ran the gamut of good to bad to boring. Representing one extreme, "RGAcopy" attributed positive reviews of the spot solely to the star power of Graf and Saatchi: "This is lame and follows the same old formula: random people do some random thing over and over for far too long, and then tie it up with a bow at the end. Gerry Graf or no Gerry Graf, Saatchi or no Saatchi, this has 'done before' written all over it and deserves a 'B' at best."

Chiming in from the opposite camp—some of which may or may not have been drenched in sarcasm—"brhavig" says, "I love the spot, but the: 30 version will be much better. Far too much heel tapping. The payoff, 'home is calling' is a brilliant insight. I also like that the Doughboy is merely looking on from the corner instead of trying to take the spotlight."

This week, we turn to a music video that's nearly as far as you can get from freshly-baked wholesome. For indie rock British band The Hours' newest single "See the Light," Tony Kaye directed a video starring a distraught Sienna Miller, with the help of art world superstar and king of the farm animal underworld Damien Hirst. Known for such pieces as a gold-crowned calf submerged in formaldehyde, Hirst art directed the video and left an undeniable imprint on the work: at one point, the hospital gown-clad Miller wanders amidst three crucified cow carcasses and smears their blood on the wall. We can also look forward to work from Hirst on the "See the Light" EP vinyl gatefold, out December 8.

As for the rest of the story, the video starts with Miller in a boutique, unhappily writhing around in a glass purse case and chucking shoes around the room. At times, Miller smokes and speaks to an off-screen figure about her mental state and suicide. There's also a scene where she trashes a hospital room.

What's your reaction to the project and the high-profile team? Is this something you'd expect from Kaye, whose career has seen an upswing of late after a few post-American History X years in the commercial directing dolrums? What do you think of Hirst's reference to his own work in the video? Amazing or gratuitous? As always, share your thoughts below.
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