October's Guest Review

Published on .

Mitte Blomqvist, Art Director, Storakers McCann, Stockholm
Mitte Blomqvist, Art Director, Storakers McCann, Stockholm
Brad White, ECD, Luckie & Co., Birmingham, Ala.
Brad White, ECD, Luckie & Co., Birmingham, Ala.

Xbox 360: Boxhead
A boxy-noggined lass breaks out of her shell with Xbox Live Vision.

BW: I'm ashamed to say that my first jolt of interest in the spot was not about the box but a little voyeuristic infatuation with the mirror shot. However, overall, it's a beautifully produced story with incredible cinematography, great talent and an awesome track. Not sure I understand what the hell is going on, but it's fun to watch. I'm not a big Xbox addict, so I'll have to plead ignorance here. 3 Stars

MB: It's one of those "jump in or you are a hopeless old fart" ads again. This time it's Xbox that wants its audience to feel left behind. Everyone without their new device is a silly boxhead. But I don't get it. I bet the old lady in the church doesn't have "live vision," and her head is perfectly normal. And what is that psychopath in the middle of the ring trying to do with his goofy moves? Hypnotize me? Not to mention what happens in the end: all of a sudden the commercial turns into an instruction book. No, I don't want to jump in. Not at all. 1 Star

British Airways: Upgrade
Copy-heavy BA ads tout in-flight amenities.

BW: I've been a fan of British Airways advertising for about the last 20 years. They did the kind of work that pissed me off when I saw it because I wished I did it. They just had a way of making a point with visual concepts that caught you off guard. Not the case here. When I look at this ad, I feel much better. I'm actually glad I didn't do it. It feels like a tidbit you might find in an obscure section of Travel & Leisure. 1 Star

MB: Words, words, words. A print ad full of them. Just to tell me that British Airways is soooo good at serving wine. The right kind of wine. Quality wine. What is this? A pretentious leaflet for the opening of a new Enoteca? In the middle of the global warming debate, one of the major polluters is lecturing me on different shades of pinot noir? It's a good thing for British Airways that this ad probably will pass unnoticed. OK, maybe it's a bit unfair to judge it as an ad; it is, after all, part of a "brand campaign." But even if this was a page taken straight out of their design manual, I'd say it's both irrelevant and boring. No Stars

Maxiprint: The World's Fastest Poster Campaign
Maxiprint scoops the dailies with its fast, fast printing.

BW: OK, now I'm pissed. What an excellent idea. Proof that a powerful concept is not always about a cool visual or a clever headline, it's about getting people's attention. I'd give this campaign a five but I can't in deference to Tracy Wong who managed to do the same thing in a little Fresh Mex execution he did about 15 years ago. I'm not sure who lost more sleep, the Maxiprint guys or Tracy. 4 Stars

MB: The fastest printer in the world challenges the fastest print media in the world: the daily press. News is printed overnight and it's out on the street before it appears in the morning papers. Despite an impressively well-synchronized campaign one cannot help but wonder: why? Why all this effort to prove something that isn't very relevant? I mean, if you want really fast there's always the internet, right? Strange that so many morning papers bought into what was obviously a PR coup. Then again, that was probably the whole purpose. Not that many ordinary guys on the streets of Germany need posters printed overnight. 2 Stars

War Child Canada: Camp Okutta
A getaway where kids can learn to work an AK-47.

BW: Wow, Invisible Children meets Meatballs. It's ironic that I have recently had several discussions on the use of humor when addressing a serious subject. My general opinion is that humor is disarming (forgive me), and that it allows you to create a dialogue when you would sometimes be shut out. In Camp Okutta, however, I'm not sure the outrageousness of the concept will have people running to donate to War Child. I found the information on the actual War Child site to be much more compelling. 2 Stars

MB: Very inviting indeed. Send your kids to Camp Okutta and they will come back without a limb or two. If they come back at all. Great idea! At first, it looks like a site for a friendly summer camp. But quickly enough you get a rather different view as short stories about how to turn children into little soldiers unfold. Humor is always effective. The message is loud and clear. I only wish the whole thing was a joke. 4 Stars

Street Review

Sam Blake Hofstetter
Sam Blake Hofstetter
Sam lives in NYC and one day hopes to be able to grow a decent mustache to properly honor Keith Hernandez.

Xbox 360: Boxhead

I'm more of a Wii guy, but it was nice to see a woman with a great ass rather than the two Japanese dudes running around. The spot has some of the same dramatic quality and compelling music of the new Halo ad, but it's not as intense. The opening shot of her profile on the screen is so quick that if you aren't already an Xbox Live user you may not understand why she is walking around with a goofy avatar instead of a cranium. And when she transforms at the end, what happens to the slime all over her face? Wait, you can play Uno on 360?! That's amazing. 3 Stars

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