Monday, November 17, 2008

"They're feral, cruel and ruthless"



Director: Jeff Labbe; Copywriter: Scamp; Art Director: Scowling A.D.; Creative Director: Nick Gill

This piece of film we made for children's charity Barnardo's was released this morning; it's had coverage on BBC Breakfast TV, the Today programme on Radio 4, and others, which I'm delighted about.

I've always been interested in language and use of language, so it was gratifying to get an idea out which is on that theme.

Here's the link to the BBC's online coverage, plus they've opened up a forum on the subject, which has attracted over 900 comments (as at 11.30am). Obviously not everyone will agree with what we're saying, but it's great to see a proper debate about society's changing attitude towards children.

96 comments:

Hill Bicks said...

I bet you'd get an even more interesting script if you used the comments from scamp blog as a basis for dialogue.

nice film though

Anonymous said...

I think if children behaved a bit better then they wouldn't be demonised as much. They will keep stabbing each other though and letting the side down.
A way to do this would be to give all children a fantastic education (both academic and social) regardless of social class. Whether they liked it or not.
All this liberal understanding just leads to the entrenchment of the kind of underclass who think there's nothing wrong in torturing and killing their OWN CHILDREN. See where the bien pensant Guradian reading liberal left have got us.

Anonymous said...

@hill bicks

it would've been just a liniar, thus boring "smart" thesaurus for shite. (probably to be identified in the next comments)

Anonymous said...

what's really frightening is that I'm rooting for the hoody killing dude with the gun

Mike said...

Scamp, this is brilliant.

I genuinely didn't know where we were going, and was starting to dislike the whole thing when the pay-off with the comments came up. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Fantastic. Well done to all involved. And I couldn't agree more with the sentiment.

Anonymous said...

It would have been a pretty good piece of communication if it was just showing some of the public's attitude towards our youth.

As it is, with the use of existing dialogue, I think it's brilliant.

Well done Scamp.

Anonymous said...

brilliant and timely

Anonymous said...

I dont simpathise with the kids unless you tell me WHY they are behaving like little bastards. That's what last year's campaign did, with the "fuck off" commercial.
After watching your ad I dont feel any better about them kids... I dont feel I should help them... It makes me think you've just gone online and taken a few random comments about people being pissed off because some youth gang had stuck fireworks on their mail boxes.
THe direction is good, the film is well done, is the thinking I believe is wrong... maybe we should blame it on the planner that wrote the strategy...

Anonymous said...

- mike, is your tongue still brown?

- Scamp, yes this helps get the argument/subject talked about, but all it does for me (if I am an anti-hoody) is confirm what I think of children, and then encourage me to take action myself

Wal said...

great spot. scamp, did having a blog and dealing with comments daily help coming up with the idea to use comments on kids?

Anca said...

Excellent idea, wonderful Russian style filming, so natural and clean -- thus very impactful. Congratulations to the whole team.

Anonymous said...

"Russian style"? WTF?

besides, demonisation of children is just lame generalization.
you should go to the roots of the problem, not showing the end result.
what do you want us to do? demonize people writing this? shoot 'em? close the sites with these comments?

so this is totally wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.08 - I'm in total agreement.

Nice ad though.

Anonymous said...

Scamp, will you get briefs like that at WCRS?

If This Is A Blog Then What's Christmas said...

Sorry, but some children are feral, cruel and ruthless.

However, what this ad does is get the issue out and the people talking. Not many ads do that these days.

Nice one.

Anca said...

10.58 -- Russian style = no VFX

Anonymous said...

Love it- freshest thing i've seen in ages.

Anonymous said...

Russian style=shit, judging by your ads and movies.

Anonymous said...

I blame the parents
lets go and shoot those fuckers instead

Anonymous said...

Captures the fact that many adults feel they would need to take action nowadays, but as already said, misses out the reasons why. And that's the nub of the problem.

This seems to look at effect, whereas it feels like it should look at cause.

As a viewer I have no empathy with the children in that clip.

Anonymous said...

To encourage you to "join our campaign against the demonisation of children" here's a campaign that's sole achievement is to glamorize the demonisation of children.
Doesn't this just play to the Daily Mail reading audience it tries so hard to satirize?

Adam said...

Good ad, thumbs up. Like the fact it's a script sourced from the web, not some CW sat in an office pulling together hard hitting lines to attempt to shock. I bet there's a lot of people that'd love to bring this to reality. Look forward to seeing the general reaction to it.

Not to sure about 'Russian' styling comments.

Anonymous said...

the visuals feel like a charity/COI film of which there are too many to differentiate between. half of youtube comments are just general abuse so the fact these are all public comments doesn't really shock me. Just shows the older generation have a fair amount of pent up anger in them as well, bit like here. Why don't you start a campaign to actually talk to kids rather than talk about them.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/jun/25/youthjustice.youngpeople

Anonymous said...

Adam, in video production we just use "Russian style" to describe a filming technique that involves very little post-production cosmetic improvement, it has nothing to do with the Russian culture, maybe only with Russia's lack of professional post-production studios. :)

Scamp, hats off.

Anonymous said...

Great work. definitely the most impactful thing I've seen of yours. you gotta be pleased.

Scamp said...

Thanks for all the kind words.

10.59 - I wasn't aware I was going to WCRS. Am I?

11.28 - I'd be horrified if many people think we ARE glamorising this kind of talk. We tried to make the film as unglamorous as possible.

To the people who complain they feel no empathy for the kids in this ad - I don't disagree with you. But you can't achieve everything in one spot. This ad was all about adults, and questioning the way society is starting to talk about children. We have another ad coming out next week that is more about the children/causes of their behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but the film cut before the kids regrouped, stabbed the gunmen to death and ate their still-beating hearts.

That's what we're dealing with!!!

It's a shame I couldn't have watched the film without knowing what it was about, hence the whole twist "OMG they're taking about kids" was lost on me.

oli said...

Brilliant.
Jealous.

Anonymous said...

I get it. I just don't get why it was made.

Anonymous said...

The film is great in getting people talking, so if starting conversations was your brief then well done. However, have a read of the BBC forum- it feels like a village hall full of old people tooled up with spades and cricket stumps. I think you have just made a successful recruitment campaign!

Rachel said...

I saw the ad this morning on the BBC and it was, unfortunately, obvious about what they were discussing. Getting the conversation started is the only thing you can do, as long as it does not end up with the 'something must be done' and 'think of the children' attitude, which generally results in a single action or plan being put in place that never addresses the root cause just attacks one of the symptoms.

Anonymous said...

Just visited the BBC forum. It was like walking into a village hall full of old people tooled up with spades and cricket stumps. It seems starting conversations in the wrong place can have severe consequences! Scamp, it seems you have just written a really good recruitment campaign!!

Anonymous said...

scamp, I'll give you that it's a nice piece of work but have you guys considered cutting this down a bit? this is a bit like a story someone takes waaaaay too long to tell.

Anonymous said...

It's wicked.

But

It would have been better if the sound editor had managed to get rid of that ass-cavity echo from the voice-over woman.

I'd shoot her thrice, just to make sure.

GUN COCK said...

scamp, i hope it doesn't come across as jealousy when i say to you i don't like it much. i really don't. i, too, am interested in dialogue based ideas, and while the idea of "re-positioning" this dialogue is quite nice, it doesn't feel very powerful to me, even if you do have a gun in there - as far as public sector ads go, the one on tv at the moment where the driver is killed by his internal organs being squashed to death is much more potent.
but enjoy the adulation, nonetheless, for i am just a blogless nobody.

gun cock said...

and another thing, i hate to be a cynic but did you write any of the remarks left on the forum to make the idea work? i mean come on, who is going to say "shoot a few and if that doesn't work shoot a few more"?
1 person saying that is not frightening. it's silly. i think you're being blinded by your pseudo-earnestness.
excuse me while i go and watch that hirst/kaye/miller fiasco over on lunar's new blog one more time.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LimitedTimeOffer said...

@11:59AM

Is it wrong that I want to take a shotgun to your nips for using that horrid made-up business word "impactful "?

Scamp said...

Gun cock - given your hatred of cynicism, you will be pleased to hear we did not write any of the comments ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I think the slow motion car crash is a bit on the nose. And why does it matter what actually kills you in a car crash?

gun cock said...

friends then.

gun cock said...

i don't mean let's be friends, by the way. god no.

gun cock said...

2.26
because it tells me just because i'm wearing my seatbelt doesn't mean i can go a bit faster. and it scares me to puncture my lung - there's a post 9pm version which is quite, um, what's the word, IMPACTFUL

Anonymous said...

You can't base a strategy on the neanderthal ramblings of a few right wing rednecks on a comment section. That just gives their pathetic opinions bit of recognition than they should ever deserve.
I think for everyone who sees this and goes 'ooh that's awful reg' i think they'll be just as many that say 'yeah, blow the little cretins away'.
Sad, but probably true.

gun cock said...

2.43.
thank you.

Anonymous said...

But you can go a bit faster with your seatbelt on. Otherwise, what's the point of it? We can all crawl around at 5mph with no consequences.

Anonymous said...

"excuse me while i go and watch that hirst/kaye/miller fiasco over on lunar's new blog one more time." Gun Cock

Then 4 more posts by Gun Cock follow. Should we trust anything coming from Gun Cock? Hmm... I guess not.

gun cock said...

anon 3.01
exactly how long do you think the kaye shitfest is? i could've wathed it 3 or 4 times between those posts. besides i've got an intel processor so i can multi-task.

Anonymous said...

god you're so in love with this blog. That's good.

and finally, gun cock said...

no i was just watching a really boring film while checking various blogs in my usual channel surfer manner. film finished now. don't watch in bruges. bye.

Anonymous said...

am i being thick, i don't really get it.
what's all this demonisation of kids all about???
loud of ad talk to me.
I did like it up until the pay off but maybe that's because i quite like the idea of people hunting little shits.
there's quite a lot going on, i've only seen it once so maybe the second time will help me.

Anonymous said...

Really good. Brilliant in fact as a viral which will open up debate.

The only little problem I have with it is the casting and I don't want to open up a can of worms like. But all the parents are white males and on first glance all the young kids are black. I'm sure there's a reason. I'm not having a go, just curious.

Anonymous said...

The film was gripping to watch and it held your interest. But the ending felt naff almost a joke.

They were just random kids and the email comments felt a world away.

I mean is there really a problem that involves frustrated and desperate towns folk grabbing their pitch folks or guns and givin' um a good lesson?

Maybe it should be saying, if the police and parents don't sort them out, then who will? I think is a great ad to start a debate but not a great ad.

Mr.Gao said...

SHOCKING BUT TRUE, LOVE IT.

richard huntington said...

Bloody hell that's good scamp. Nice one.

Anonymous said...

Not liking it. Good that you're using all the comments. But that last one seems really crowbarred in. Also, it's not really clear it's children until the voiceover comes in. I think people might have thought it was hoodies at first. Also, hunting children? I think as an exaggeration it hasn't been taken far enough. It comes off as too contrived. Either try to make it look real, or exaggerate it totally.

Cat C said...

Awesome. Even better than I thought it would be. I bet the Daily Mail will go bananas. Can't wait to see the rest of the campaign.

Anonymous said...

Guardian reading pansies.

Just carrying on with the stereotyping (see Daily mail comments from unimaginative, smug, pink twats).

Anonymous said...

"it's not really clear it's children until the voiceover comes in. I think people might have thought it was hoodies at first."

Hoodies ARE children. That's the point Scamp is trying to make. They're not feral scum. They're just normal 15 year olds who maybe aren't doing well at school and are bored.

Anonymous said...

Hoodies ARE children. That's the point Scamp is trying to make. They're not feral scum. They're just normal 15 year olds who maybe aren't doing well at school and are bored.
---------------------------------
And go out mugging and kicking the crap out of people. Carrying knives and even guns.

Obviously not all kids. But the fact is, you see a group of kids in hoody tops nowadays and you want to avoid them. Hopefully the rest of the campaign can help get to the reasons why some of the little bastards end up taking life instead of having a life.

Shane said...

"They're feral, cruel and ruthless"...almost sounded like you were talking about British Youth.

Anonymous said...

Kids have been fetishised in this country. They can seemingly do no wrong. When they get no barriers they turn into horrible little cunts. Some of them round my way I would cheerfuly shoot.

Anonymous said...

If you'd filmed it in my area the kids would have returned fire with uzis and mack 10s from stolen cars before running over a Granny.

This is a deep social problem that hug a hoodie TV ad written for awards is going to ever fix.

Anonymous said...

why don't we shoot the horrible cunts, all of the really bad ones.

then the good ones wouldn't have to be called afwul things like 'feral, cruel and ruthless'

knowing little shits these days, they probably take it as a compliment.

Nicoruk said...

outstanding, really.
a fantastic use of the internet no-face-to-face-speech-freedom.

but... is there really such an issue in UK?
i'm italian, here this would be a non sense. they may be brats but they are always innocent (blaming family and society and stuff like that).
no one here would ever say ot type a comment like those!!

children are what we make out of them afterall.

Anonymous said...

All this film tells us is that some children have become feared and demonised. No shit, Sherlock. This kind of stuff is just produced to win awards not to deal with the issues. You, or your account director, must be one hell of a salesperson.

Anonymous said...

Which is exactly what happens when creatives like Mr Veksner write ads purely to win awards...they aren't doing what's best for the client, only what's best for them. Sad eh?

Anonymous said...

"To the people who complain they feel no empathy for the kids in this ad - I don't disagree with you. But you can't achieve everything in one spot. This ad was all about adults, and questioning the way society is starting to talk about children. We have another ad coming out next week that is more about the children/causes of their behaviour." Scamp, some comments ago.

I hope at least now you're all going to read that. And understand it, if not too much to ask. I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't encourage half an hour long TV ads. I still think BBH were right to divide the campaign in steps, first of all introducing the problem and then revealing its origin and suggest solutions. Of course, why wait to see the whole campaign when we can accuse them of being too willing to win awards? (which is such a negative thing that I really think we should bomb all those award winning agencies. Also, clients are so damn stupid to invest in award winners. Efficiency freely and happily streams down anonymous snobbery-proof agency halls without its flow being interrupted by some enormous log-like Black Pencil.)

Scamp said...

2.30 - you accused us of not doing what's best for the client.

The client's brief to us was - 'raise the debate about how the UK is starting to view its children.' The ad has had tons of media coverage. Our client's chief executive has made numerous media appearances in the last 24 hours to debate the issue. There are now over 2,200 comments on the forum the BBC set up to discuss the issue.

Do you still think we haven't done what was best for the client?

Anonymous said...

so what if scamps done this to get himself an award?

isn't that what we all do?

otherwise every ad would be dull n boring innit?

Anonymous said...

2,200 comments? hardly setting the world on fire.

brand and ross got over 30,000, and they raised the debate about swearing on tv (which is much more interesting than this shite)

Anonymous said...

Hence the greater number of comments.


Duh.

Scamp's ad has got 2,200 people (and the ones who didn't comment) talking about a subject they wouldn't otherwise have bothered with, much to Barnardo's delight.

Where are the other ads?

Anonymous said...

all these people that come to scamps defense. it's almost like he's writing them himself anonymously. no, scamp wouldn't do that would he? he's a man of impeccable moral hygiene.

john w. said...

Well done you've captured the 'thinking' of scarily too many. In the immortal words of The Modfather "they smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs and too many right-wing meetings".

Anonymous said...

Less 'raise the debate', as it's already out there in the pages of the Guardian etc. more take the debate into the realm of the Daily Mail reader, where opinion is fairly polarized. My position, as 70's teenager is that violence was commonplace back then for being "different", as in getting a random punch in the face for being a punk. But if it took the form of, say, a dozen drunk fifteen year olds kicking a man in his thirties to death on Waterloo Bridge because he looked gay, or a girl to death because she looked like a Goth, I'd have been shocked then and am shocked now. Is Scamp allowed to have an opinion?

rhayter said...

I hate kids. But I like your film. So now I'm confused. Thanks very much Scamp.

Anonymous said...

the video is no longer available. boo! hoo! what's up with that?

what was it like shooting with the not very tall cajun?

Anonymous said...

Of course Hoodies are children. What I'm saying is, it portrays the then unknown entities as hoodies. It just doesn't register that the ad's about children. You don't see much of them anyway. I remember the hunters more than I do the prey. Maybe that works, maybe that doesn't. I just think that when the line comes in, I felt that it wasn't made clear that it was children visually. I felt I had to play more catch up than I should have to.

Anonymous said...

Scamp,
Brilliant work.
You've hated hateful comments for a long time, one can tell.

Anonymous said...

Scamp, I'm bored talking about your ad now.
Can we move on?

Anonymous said...

Bullshit scamp,

you came up with the idea, then flogged it to the client with a freebie director thrown in.

We all know.

Anonymous said...

yeah, 10.20, actually Scamp has sold his house and car to produce the idea and now, as you can see, he's experiencing tough moments of cruel starvation, after having crawled all the way to the office. I'll improvise a tweaker and go sling him some meatballs right away. Oh god, you're really really bored.

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Anonymous said...

oh by the way, the VO insinuates that the ad is scary. its' not.

Scamp said...

10.20 - we came up with the idea, yes, but to a real brief. A very good brief, I think. If you like ad, planner get credit too.

Anonymous said...

Scamp,

the whole point of a blog is to get around the barriers of not so free speech and open up a forum for discussion, regardless of opinion.

So why oh why do you edit all criticism, constructive or otherwise out of your blog? Let people have their opinions, as ruthless as they may be, and take it with a pinch of salt. If you've got as far as you have as a creative you'll no doubt have have more than a few knocks about your work over the years.

Don't let this place become a brown-nosing fest for yet another praise junkie creative.

It is a nice ad by the way.

Anonymous said...

I come in peace, Scamp. It is a nice ad.

But I can’t help point out that the great Dr B was motivated by his Christian faith…we’re not all bad then…

Anonymous said...

12.41 "the whole point of a blog is to get around the barriers of not so free speech and open up a forum for discussion, regardless of opinion." Wroooong. There are REAL FORUMS (do you know how a forum looks like? You know, that space where ANYONE can set up a new thread and all), you can organise and administer one yourself. A blog is a private space where someone presents ideas and receives feedback IF desired, selectivity rights reserved. As for the freedom of speech part, getting as stupid as some commenters around here do doesn't mean free speech, just stupid speech.

Scamp said...

12.41 - you say I edit out all criticism, constructive or otherwise.

Did you miss the comments from 10.38 on Monday, 10.38 again, 10.58, 11.27, 11.28, 11.32, 12.28, 1.06, 1.55, 2.00, 2.07, 2.43... I could go on...

These all contained criticism, and I left them up. I'm struggling to see the validity to your point.

I'm sorry if I deleted a comment of yours that you felt I shouldn't have, I haven't deleted any comments purely because they are critical. I think the list above proves I can take a few knocks.

I have deleted one or two because they contravened the house rules in some way.

12.41's walking conscience said...

12.41 - "Let people have their opinions" What??? And... freedom of speech??? THEIR opinion? You don't have the guts to reveal your identity and you have an opinion? Now that's nice. Shouting from the bushes doesn't in any way equal having an opinion, dear. And freedom ships with responsibilities, in case you missed the previous news editions.

Anonymous said...

end could be better, bit clunky, a bit polite. not sure it really makes me care

better than most, but that's not saying much these days.

Matthew Watts said...

sadly this debate was corrupted by the initial data...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/19/youngpeople-children

rob and tom said...

Feral, cruel and brand-savvy more like! Check this out:

http://ideasbrothers.net/?p=159