Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Second Cracker Already

Just a few days since the drumming gorilla, and already, another cracking TV ad.

Yes, it's from my agency so you could accuse me of favouritism if you want. I don't care, I think it's brilliant... even though it makes me look bad 'cos it's so much better than the last Vodafone ad, the one I did.

It's a clever idea (written by Nick Gill, who has more good ideas in a month than most of us do in a career), beautifully shot (great job by Frederic Planchon) and it's a long time since I've seen a commercial as genuinely romantic. The last example might be that animated French AIDS ad.

Anyway, here it is.

32 comments:

Jon Howard (Living Brands) said...

Lovely. Exactly how I feel sometimes. Whether I believe my mobile phone can solve the problem for me is another matter!

proxikid said...

Following in the steps of 'mayfly', wonderful spot.

Anonymous said...

Too right, but a lovely ad.

Anonymous said...

lovely ad.

you however have slipped back into brown nose mode.

please, keep the creepy crawling out of it.

Scamp said...

I will try. I do think Nick Gill is under-appreciated though.

Angus said...

Yeah that is nice. Glad to see we agree on some things...

Toad said...

Very nice spot. Even nicer is that Vodaphone didn't make you put a product at the end of it. Something I'm sure all 4 major US carriers would have done. (Assuming they'd ever let such a blatantly un-American thought such as putting life before work on the air.)

Jetpacks said...

Sexy VO to boot.

Very Nice™.

To add to Toad's comments: Another thing we can't deal with in this country - a :90. Shame though. So much more can be said/shown in that format.

Charles Frith said...

Romance is indeed back. Beautifully shot and choice music. Well done!

Anonymous said...

just because you credit someone doesn't mean you're brown nosing. and you don't need to brown nose when your name is in every creative annual going. And Nick gill is as good as a creative gets. and none of this is brown nosing neither...

Anonymous said...

yeah nick gill is money. god he must be tired!

Poyzon said...

Yes it was nicely done, and the idea really shone through, which was nice. Hope they make a cut-down version though. I kinda got the point in 40secs rather than 1.30

Stan Lee said...

Is that Dame Judith doing the voiceover?

Anonymous said...

Very nice ad on a very generic benefit. I'd dump Dame Judy. She just sounds so old and actorly. Give Vodafone a more contemporary voice

Anonymous said...

It's a good ad, with a lovely core idea. The bit where she takes the chewing gum out of her mouth makes me bring up bile, though. Minging!

Security Dog said...
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Security Dog said...

So what is it telling us about Vodafone that O2, or 3, or Orange isn't.

This is poor. It's poor because it's disposable, it does not stay with us. It's indulgent, but not in a good way.

We care more about the people in the advert than the product. Once again, it's the product that is lost, but the story-line stays. Do people in Gateshead give a shit about Truffault pastiches?

Nick Gill should move on to features. He clearly wants to.

Anonymous said...

How naive are you Security Dog? Sometimes/more often than not there is no difference between one product/service and the rest. Then it's simply down to the creative work to battle for the hearts and minds. It's easy to be a critic. Let's put your work up against Nick Gills shall we? Or maybe you'd like to start by going up against someone from Grey or VCCP for starters before you're ready for the big boys. There's plenty of really poor work out there that deserves a slagging. This ad isn't one of them

Security Dog said...

Take the advert and break it into it's visual, narrative and soundtrack elements (I do not mean Dench's VO or the Vodafone graphic).

The soundtrack tells us nothing, other than clumsily reminding us this is a romantic tale with a happy ending.

The visual tells us that this man is suffering from a Groundhog Day experience, but it's OK, because they get to have lunch, dates, a fuck a happy life together.

The narrative does not exist, other than a scream.

Two white, middle-class young things meet at last and couple. Yawn.

Oh and by the way, hey...wait...there's a mobile phone company in there...somewhere.

Call that creative? Nah. More like nicely shot and edited fluff.

For creative, see below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsBvMvHk1BE

Not a bloke in a monkey suit to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Security Dog,

a)The soundtrack does NOT tell us "nothing, other than clumsily reminding us this is a romantic tale with a happy ending". It tells us everything. It tells us that this SHOULD be a romantic story - despite what we see, and the protagonist's endeavours

b) The visual does NOT tell us "that this man is suffering from a Groundhog Day experience, but it's OK, because they get to have lunch, dates, a fuck a happy life together". It tells us he is NOT okay with the Groundhog day experience, that being the point of the story.

c) The narrative is NOT non-existent other than "in the scream".

A 1st year screenwriting student will tell you that all stories, all narratives involve someone who wants something... and an obstacle to them achieving it.

Now watch the ad.

A man wants something. i.e. quality time with the woman he loves.

Something is in the way - i.e. work.

Mobile teachnology lets him triumph over the obstacle.

Happy ending ensues.

The ad is a classic piece of narrative construction. Desire-obstacle-solution.

Helps?

d) "Two white, middle-class young things meet at last and couple. Yawn"

Like Romeo and Juliet? Like Gone with the Wind? Like An Affair to Remember? Like When Harry Met Sally?

Conclusion?

Vodafone ad: A+

Security Dog's creative judgement and textual analysis: D- (try harder next time)

Security Dog said...

Dear Anonymous,

Generally, most first-year screenwriting students would tell you that the classic structure of

ordinary person / persons

+ inciting incident leads them into extraordinary circumstance

+ ensuing complication/s

+ extraordinary change in ordinary person /persons

= resolution (not necessarily happy).

I think that when I said that Nick Gill should go make feature lengths, and you patronised me by quoting Screenwriting 101 and proceeded to reel off a number off full-length plays, movies...you kinda proved my point.

For the record. It is a Groundhog Day pastiche. 1.00pm every day, he's in the office, and he's thwarted from moving on with getting on with his life...blah, blah. And then it's one pm again, and the same song is playing...

For the record: unless Dench told us late in the piece, the only give away that his success in banging a woman who could have been his sister was due to Vodafone was one shot of him looking at a mobile as he walked across the street.



But I see your point, as basic as it is..."mobile teachnology"...that made me smile.

And one more thing: when you talk about classic romantic screenplays having happy endings, you maybe should not then go on to example Romeo and Juliet or Gone with the Wind, unless suicide-pact teens and potential spinsterhood is perceived as sentimental in your neck of the woods.

Nor should you really quote 'An Affair to Remember', which is a complete rip-off of 'Love Affair', which was nominated for six Academy Awards and is the total master of 'AATR', which is only remembered for it's over-the-top tear-jerking melodramatics from Kerr and Grant.

Desire - Obstacle - Solution, eh? No wonder everything feels so familiar.

Anonymous said...

Security Dog. Epiron ad is ok. Nicely shot, sweet, mildly amusing and if you can be arsed to stay with it it's got a classic wah wah addy ending. What's so great about it?

Anonymous said...

Lot of anger there, Security Dog

Anonymous said...

At least it makes a good point.
Orange is just a collection of stupid over tweed silly movies. Pure self-wankering.

Anonymous said...

Security Dog,

From Robert McKee 'Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting':

"At the top of the story triangle are the principles that constitute Classical design. These principles are "classical" in the truest sense: timeless and transcultural, fundamental to every earhtly society, reaching back through millenia or oral storytelling into the shadows of time... Classical design means a story built around an active protagonist who struggles against primarily external forces of ANTAGONISM to pursue his or her DESIRE, through continuous time, within a consistent and causally connected fictional reality, to a closed ending of absolute, irreversible CHANGE"

(The capitals are mine).

Desire-Antagonism-Change, eh?
Desire-Obstacle-Solution, eh?
McKee, eh?

I look forward to an equally withering and rigorous deconstruction of McKee's work from you, and an equally convincing argument as to why he too is merely an ignoramus in comparison with your towering intellect.

:))))

Security Dog said...

At least you didn't reach for a Sid Field book to quote from.

I've sat in McKee's class. The tedium of living a whole day of 'Casablanca'....the horror...the horror.

After inspecting him closely, and hearing him chastise and berate truly talented people such as Jane Campion and M. Night Shyamalan; and witnessed his bitter tirades at an industry that had made him peripheral, I ended up realising that although SOME of his words are indesputable truths, most of them would make us tired of the same old dross very quickly.

Thus 'Story' is probably responsible for more half-baked hack jobs than any other tome.

Why would you read McKee when 'Poetics' or 'The Imaginary Signifier' are much wealthier studies?

Getting back to the advert, my wife said that this advert was not about romance: it was anti-romance. Because no-one buys a phone plan from Vodafone to cater for both work and personal use: bosses, companies do that. As she wisely stated, this advert is all about a manager looking at how he can keep his employee on the job when he's...on the job.

I mean...when was the last time you thought to yourself "you know what, I don't get any loving...it's because I'm so busy...I'm going to change my mobile device to make sure I can work AND play...Hi Honey...I'm home...look at my new Vodafone Blackberry....it's gonna fucking SAVE OUR MARRIAGE!!!"

Look, it's nicely shot an edited. The guy looks like a young Daniel Autueil and it's got that metro feel. But like I said, it don't flow in the 'burbs.

Have another pop, son. I can do this all day.

Was that patronising enough to be a 'creative'?

Anonymous said...

Security Dog,

Well done for rising to the bait.

Security Dog said...

You really got me. Give yourself a big hug.

Gordon Comstock said...
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Gordon Comstock said...

Have you ever had dinner with an obsessive blackberry user?

Surely being able to access e-mail from your phone makes it harder to leave work behind, not easier. It's one of those ones where they've ignored the fact that the ad could really mean exactly the opposite of what they want it to mean.

Also, I'm absolutely amazed that there are two people on this site who really believe that there's a book out there that tells you how to write films.

Must be planners.

Anonymous said...

I don't "believe" that there's a book out there on how to write a screenplay.

Whether or not it succeeds in its purpose, the book really DOES exist.

Honest.

You'll find it on Amazon.

Gordon Comstock said...

Yes. Ever wondered why so few people choose to spend time with you?