The Work: Guest Review

Published on .

Gary Goldsmith

Chairman/Chief Creative Officer Lowe/New York

Marty Donohue

Executive VP-Executive Creative Director Hill, Holliday/Boston

1. Burger King "Small Talk"

This spot introduces the Burger King "Talking Menu," which interacts with real people in hidden-camera situations, in Deutsch's first broadcast effort for the brand. Here, the anthropomorphized menu, voiced by The Man Show's Adam Corolla, shoots the breeze with a couple of dudes in an elevator: "Women, you can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em . . . just like 99-cent crispy tacos," he wisecracks. The :30 closes with splashy graphics and product shots.

Agency: Deutsch/L.A. ECD: Eric Hirshberg ACDs: Karen Costello, Chris Ribeiro CW: Chris Schifando AD: Bernie O'Dowd Agency Producers: Kait Gaskey, Rebecca Darvin Director: David Shane/Hungry Man

GG: How do you do hardcore food-and-deal advertising and try to build a brand personality at the same time? You look for a device that allows you to say what you need to say while still giving you some freedom to have a little fun along the way. That's how I read what they've tried to do in these spots. Are they great spots? No. Are they infinitely better than the typical big food shots and '70s music, corny in-store scenarios or goofy spokesmen that have become typical fast food fare? Absolutely. 2 stars

MD: Ultimately, the Burger King menu board is just another wise-cracking mascot execution. I thought we all agreed to the moratorium. Nevertheless, the stark, simple way this is shot, and the use of what I hope are "real" people does breathe life into this all too familiar territory. 1 star

2. Ikea "Moo Cow Milker"

The follow-up to the Spike Jonze-directed "Lamp" opens on an enraptured couple about to get it on in the dining room, as Puccini's Tosca plays in the background. The camera cuts to a closeup of a whimsical ceramic cow sitting atop the dining room table, where the foreplay is clearly heading. Pressed against the table, the woman pauses a brief moment to glance at the cow, then sweeps her hand across the table, sending it, and the rest of the dishes, crashing to the floor. A tight shot of the casualties below reveals a shard of the cow's face, emitting a last drop of milk from its puckered mouth. That mysterious Swede steps in to chide the viewer, "You feel sad for the little creamer? That is because you're crazy. Tacky items can be easily replaced with better ones at Ikea."

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky/Miami CD: Alex Bogusky ACD: Paul Keister CW: Ari Merkin ADs: Mark Taylor, Steve Mapp Agency Producer: Rupert Samuel Director: Clay Williams/MJZ

GG: Ikea has really begun to develop a quirky and twisted personality in some of its recent work. I mean that as a compliment. A lot of its work that I've seen from around the world is smart, ironic and irreverent. It never takes itself too seriously. And best yet, it always ends up making a simple and strong point about the product. In this spot they've found a fresh way to talk about replacing tacky household items. It's well executed, and the slightly off but deadpan announcer at the end is well cast. 3 stars

MD: Ikea continues with its wonderfully twisted ways in this spot. It's bizarre, it's entertaining and it makes me want to buy knickknacks. Job well done. 3 stars

3. Chase "Teller"

A flustered man stands at a Chase bank teller's window. "You're all set," the teller says as the customer mutters about having to get a branch manager to sign something. "I can take care of it," she assures him, causing him to look up at her in awe. He then presses his palm against the glass window between them, and hers meets his on the other side, like they're doing a Vulcan mind meld in prison. A VO says, "Not tellers, doers. Chase, the right relationship is everything."

Agency: FCB/N.Y. ECD: Chris Becker CW: Gary Resch AD: Keith Ross Agency Producer: Winslow Dennis Director: Joe Public/Headquarters

GG:: The problems with this spot go all the way back to its strategic premise. I actually sympathize with the creative team. Do you really think you're going to convince me that your tellers are any different from those at other banks? Anyone that has had to actually do a transaction in a bank will look at this spot as some kind of sick joke. There is a reason ATMs are so popular. Adding insult to injury is the punny line about tellers being doers. Please. 1 star

MD: For a bank like Chase, this is a nicely done spot. I think we call it "good for the category." The spot is simple enough. The customer's cathartic, religious experience just isn't funny enough. And I think it was supposed to be. 1 star

4. Saturn "Filling Station"

The sultry song "For Your Love" kicks in as a Saturn, occupied by what appears to be a romantically involved couple, pulls into a gas station. The mundane task of refueling is lushly portrayed through slow motion and cinematic visuals. As the man steps out to pump gas, the woman's gaze, as reflected in the "POWER MIRRORS" (trumpeted in a super) clearly follows him. In the midst of ogling his butt, she realizes he's strapped for cash and engages the "POWER WINDOWS" to hand him a credit card. Tagline: "Everyday, meet elegant."

Client: Saturn Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners CD: Jamie Barrett CW: Bobby Pearce AD: Karin Onsager-Birch Agency Producer: James Horner Director: Luca Maroni/Plum Productions

GG: After the first new Saturn spot from Goodby, my expectations were incredibly high. The moving people spot set a new standard in talked-about car advertising. And while I recognize that at a certain point you have to show the sheet metal and talk features, this spot seems to lack any hint of the attitude and inventiveness that they had begun to establish. It's intelligent and tastefully done; it's just back to more-traditional car advertising, even in the choice of music. There's got to be a way to create product-focused work that still retains the impact, differentiation and life they achieved with the first spot. If anyone can figure it out, they will. 2 stars

MD: This is not spectacular, but it's real good. Integrating the key features of the car into a small romantic moment at a gas station is a simple story, well told. Yes, we've seen a lot of these "call-out" spots before, for different advertisers. But this one is very well done. 3 stars

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