Guest Review

Published on .

Olivier Altmann


Publicis Conseil, Paris

Gerry Graf

Executive Creative Director


1. Motorola "Transformer"

A woman watches as the entire room around her folds down, tile by tile, into a thin mobile phone-the Motorola Razr.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. ECD: Bill Oberlander CW: Ryan Blank AD: Mike Hahn Agency Producer: Melissa Mapes Director: Bruce St. Clair/Chelsea Pictures Effects: The Orphanage

OA: Normally, this style of ad should wow you with the special effects, provoking an astonished reaction but in fact it does the complete opposite. As the ad lacks any emotion, the result is one of boredom. It reminds me of the one done for Ikea by Bardou-Jacquet, where all the furniture changes while people move around from room to room. (1)

GG: Well, I guess I get it. Motorola has a new phone with a lot of stuff crammed inside. The spot is very slick, just like the phone. That's nicely communicated. The only problem is there are a lot of commercials out these days with walls and floors folding in on themselves. So to me the spot is kind of boring. No big idea and an effect that's been used many times. (2)

2. The Children's Place "Photo Shoot"

Children rule the catalog, playing stylists, photographers ("You're a grilled cheese and you're melting!") and of course, model. All act very grown up-until the ice cream truck's song is heard.

Agency: Mother/N.Y. CDs: Paul Malmstrom, Linus Karlsson CW: Ann Mason ADs: Rob Baird, Ryan Waller Agency Executive Producer: Jill Levy Agency Producer: Margaux Ravis Director: Sebastian Reed/Hungry Man

OA: The idea is admittedly quite interesting and fresh; however the execution does disturb me somewhat. I feel uncomfortable when I see children acting like adults, especially when you can tell they've been directed to do just that. Even with the added twist at the end of the spot, I think perhaps it's just not funny enough. (2)

GG: Well, this review came at the end of the year, and I guess everyone was a little tired. So here is another spot using another idea that has been around longer than folding walls and floors: Kids acting like adults. That is, until the ice cream truck rings and they act like kids again. Still, it's well acted and nicely shot. (2)

3. PlayStation 2 (U.K.) "Golfers"

In an execution that shows "life on the Playstation" as a struggle among different groups-which include athletes and stock traders-to survive on the African plains, a group of golfers attempt to cross a river until they are attacked by a small herd of porn stars

Agency: TBWA/London AD/CWs: Tony McTear, Paul Silburn Director: Daniel Kleinman/Large Editor: Steve Gandolfi/Cut & Run Effects: Framestore CFC, London

OA: TBWA/London strikes again, dammit! The "Life on your Playstation" concept is another masterful execution in a campaign where you live in a place with no boundaries. Where else can you see a golfer being sodomized by a porn star in an African river! The authentic voiceover adds to the documentary style ambience, and, as usual, Daniel Kleinman shot the spot perfectly. I would say that "Golfers" is for me the best in a series of ads and is without doubt a strong contender for the next Cannes festival. (4)

GG: I don't know what the hell is going on in this spot. I watched it five times in a row and I still don't get it. I can't even describe it to someone. But it's fun to watch. And I guess that's the whole point of the story: Life on Playstation is fun. Points off for the overused Marlin Perkins Wild Kingdom thing. But I give it three stars because I laughed and I work for TBWA. (3)

4. Georges Duboeuf Wine

Corkscrews personified worship before a bottle of wine. Another execution shows the metal tools balancing on one another while trying to get inside.

Agency: The Tucker Partnership, N.Y. CW: Sam Mazur AD: Tom Kane Photographer: Chris Collins

OA: To ask a French creative director to judge a foreign campaign done for a French wine, which incidentally is a very good Beaujolais, could be seen as a strange coincidence. Unfortunately, in this case, the bottle is considerably better than the ad. The concept of a human being represented by a bottle opener has been done several times (I admit I've even done it once, too). The best example that comes to mind was the English campaign for Grolsch beer, with the tagline, "You can't top a Grolsch," where the bottle opener had a little white flag in his hand. The older creatives may remember it, just maybe. No stars

GG: I don't know. This seems like something you would see in a student's book. And again, yeah, yeah, wine openers look like people. I know. And at the end of the day, all these ads say is Duboeuf wine is good. Whatever. It's just not a very special idea. (1)

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