Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two excellent new TV ads today

The John Lewis Christmas ad continues the fine work Lowe London has been doing on this brand.

Clarity, purity, emotion... built on a first-class present-shopping insight.

Top work.

It's also notable for apparently being the first UK advertiser to use a Beatles track.

Secondly, the new Toshiba ad.



A cynic might say there's no idea. There isn't one.

But I think this will still work. The technique is so gobsmackingly amazing that even though I didn't really glean anything from the VO, the association of the word 'Toshiba' with this piece of film has shifted my perception of the brand.

And the fact that it was by Grey makes me feel a bit strange. I might have to go for a lie down.


P.S. There's still time to vanquish God. Click here.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grey are good. Better than predictable old BBH.

Gordon Comstock said...

It's like a modern version of Ariston - which was not by Dave Trott.

George said...

Technically, flawless, and fascinating to watch.
I enjoyed it, but like you say, there's no idea really.

However, your average bod on the street is not always concerned with the idea. They just want to be entertained, and it does that.

Like the John Lewis one too - very simple. Great track. However, if it had been done for Littlewoods, Argos or Debenhams, it would probably be slated. Then again, they would have used Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade.

Anonymous said...

the john lewis banner ad's for this campaign are all over the new now - and i have to say they are pretty cool. Nice interactive ad's that fir so well with the tv spot. congratulations lowe.

Anonymous said...

shite
&
shite

Anonymous said...

Quality
&
Very quality

Just to match 2:46 for wit and insight.

Anonymous said...

@2:46 I think you should start a band for two with this name - Shite&Shite; there are so many of you around here, I'm sure you'll effortlessly find a partner. In case you find too many hearbreaking voices/instrumentalists, don't bother with the casting (would be almost discrimination), just make room for everyone and stick with Fuck&TheDerivatives.

Anonymous said...

Doo dee doo, plinky plonk, look at me singing my kooky little cover version on my nice piano with my dad by my side, fa la la... oh no, who's this, no please mister, don't strangle me with that piano wire, ugh, choke, splutter [dies]

Anonymous said...

God almighty Scamp - which colossal buffoon put you in charge of creative directing? I wouldn't let you look after my goldfish.

Anonymous said...

i normally don't like negativity, but scamp. they are awful.

Scamp said...

3.27 - it was Nick Gill. Nick has 7 pencils, and if he thinks I'm good enough to creative direct, then that's got to be more valid than the opinion of some anonymous goldfish-owner.

There's a bit of negativity surfacing towards these ads, but I stand by my judgement. I would have been delighted if a team presented either of these to me.

In fact it may be time I 'did something' about anonymous negative comments. Is "shite&shite" worth the oxygen?

Anonymous said...

so basically, 2.51 wrote one ad and 2.55 wrote the other.

Anonymous said...

amusing criticism or constructive criticsim, but no pointless, mindless criticism?

Scamp said...

Those were my thoughts exactly.

What does everyone else think?

The Station Master said...

yes to binning the mindless criticism.

no to the Toshiba ad - its not so much a modern version of the Ariston ad as he same ad; only the Ariston ad made a relevant product point (Ariston goes on and on and on...) whereas the Toshiba ad...makes an irrelevant one.

That 30 odd years later anyone can think the technique is amazing rather underlines how really amazing the Ariston ad was

Anca said...

I found the constructive side of anonymous comments questionable from the very first visit on this blog. Sorry, I've been educated to care about my identity and even make sure I experience enough self-esteem to trust my signature. Then I found out that around here things work a little bit differently and revealing your identity means shifting the spotlight from the actual subject and I thought I'd be selfish to get so much attention and have Simon collect so many off-topic comments. At some point some anonymous was saying about some identity holder that he had surely gave up looking for a job in London and that was why he didn't need to post anonymously. Well... then... it must be damn hard to be a London based employer. You never know what 5234523465-faced dissembler you hire.

Oh, and "goldfish" might stand for some Black Pencil equivalent in some underground advertising competition.

And sorry for that 2:55 anonymous post -- forgot to change Blogger's default identity choice.

Anonymous said...

Keep all the comments, apart from the ones that are directly offensive to an individual (that would mean deleting the one from Goldfish twat about your creative direction). And calling him "Goldfish twat" is allowed 'cos he's anonymous...

George said...

Toshiba's clever jiggery pokery enables forgiveness for the lacking idea.

Anonymous said...

There is a solution to all this.
Just don't respond when someone posts a moronic comment like 'shite & shite'.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the director of the Toshiba ad had the idea for the technique and pitched it to the agency.

Anonymous said...

who's the long haired freak?

man? woman?

Anonymous said...

i find the first ad very old fashioned, a bit like that dudes hair cut at 4.14

Anonymous said...

I wasn't too fussed with the John Lewis ad. To me, the concept seems a tad obvious – matching different people to their different ideal gift. Sure, it works, but without the Beatles cover track, it would be oh-so-average.

The Toshiba ad gets my two thumbs up. It certainly appealed to my inner techno-geek.

I don't really get how it doesn't have a central idea, though.

Surely the V.O. 'When what we watch constantly redefines itself...' ties in with what we can see the people doing?

It may not be the strapline to finish it all off, but how different is this link from lots of bright bouncy balls matching 'Colour like no other'?

Rob Mortimer said...

The first thing that movement with that sound did was make me think of Hello Tosh...

I love the execution. I love the music. I'm thinking to myself that the idea is lacking, but my eyes and ears were so taken by it that it didn't matter. Tv ad appealling to the eyes and ears...? great.

Anonymous said...

Toshiba one is a bit like the new Stella ad in that it's main focus is to shift perception of the brand. The difference is the new Stella ad has an even worse/lack of an idea than the Toshiba one. Really Like the John Lewis and the Boots Secret Santa.

I'm not the Long Haired dude.

PS. Stella ad is shite

Anonymous said...

I like the Toshiba ad, even if it is sans idea. But as one comment noted, does it really matter? I wanted to watch it again straight away, in the same way I did with 'Balls' when I first saw it.

But what I like even more is the way you keep sticking your neck out Scamp. Please keep doing it, because too many creatives (and creative directors) seem too self-conscious (or maybe scared?) to do so. Hearing a well reasoned opinion is always a good way to start a debate, and is healthy.

As for anon. destructive commentors, they should be given as much time as they put into their comments.

Penny said...

The JL spot feels like a very good print campaign put to film but the endline is excellent. It should run twenty years. Next year's campaign will be better, I'd wager.

The Toshiba spot is sweet. A bit like the old american Gap Khaki ads. Interesting things are afoot over there at Grey.

Ann Onymous said...

Hands up who fancies a beer with Anca.

Nobody?

Thought not.

Anonymous said...

John Lewis, emotional and warm, just the right side of Christmas sentimentality without turning into a big bowl of fondue.
Also very good for a brand quite often seen as cold and austere...like it.

Toshiba. I neither like or understand it. I just don't get what I'm supposed to feel...so I end up feeling nothing.

Hill Bicks said...

Good, we're back to slagging off ads, surely the only reason this blog exists; for people who never get asked to judge ads to judge ads.

John Lewis is a lovely little idea for Christmas and it will run and run.

The other one Toshiba. Confusing not entertaining. plus they nicked the idea from the Thorntons ad from last year and that was cack too. Grey. Bag o'shite

Anonymous said...

Watching the Toshiba ad I thought exactly what the Station Master said.

And the John Lewis is simple, yes. Old fashioned, yes. I could accept that. But predictable too. C'mon, rain = brolly.... baby = teddy... sigh...

Love the track though. See, always leave on a positive. Maybe that should be a rule scamp?

Anonymous said...

John Lewis. Dull. Certainly not good enough to save Morris's bacon on my opinion. Toshiba? Tosh. You can't get away with having no idea. That's bollocks

Anonymous said...

>>>Hands up who fancies a beer with Anca.>>>

I'm in! Anca?

Funny Emil said...

What's the idea behind cotton candy?!

People enjoy stuff that they enjoy. While in front of their TV they couldn't care less about concepts, strategic platforms and shit like that.

People listen to music that makes them feel good, read stories that take them in wonderful places, stare for minutes at sculptures that they don't try to understand.

Toshiba is nice. I guess "the idea" was to make me like it. Good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Ariston and twenty years on.

And I'd sooner eat a tramp's cock than listen to that awful version of From Me To You.

Anonymous said...

Toshiba is great. It grabs you in a semi-relevant way, if you listen to the VO, and you can't help but pay attention - job done, you're engaged in the brand.

JL. It's okay. As one post earlier said it's a bit obvious (rain-brolley and so-on) so it shouldn't even get a sniff from the award shows (though it will, purely because of the people behind it). But I do like its restraint and for a Christmas ad, that makes it a cut above.

Negative posts. Well, that's probably what this blog is mostly about nowadays and it just shows the UK creative community for what it is - generally filled with bitter, vicious little scumbags.

But Scamp still tries to provoke honest debate and that's why I stick with it - because occasionally, despite the rancid bile, there's still some honest opinions.

Anonymous said...

As a general rule, I try and be positive around here (it's the teenage rebellion in me) but that John Lewis ad really is quite tedious. And all the products look like tat. And Halifax used 'Help!' in the campaign they did just before they all went mental and started singing.

Quite like the Toshiba spot, although in the time it's taken me to come through to the comments page, I'd almost forgotten who it was for. It's basically an interesting visual way of trying to get your product to stand out in a sector that's defined by uniformity, where one product is essentially the same as the next. It's Bravia, but with people tossing around on chairs instead of bouncing balls (and a less good track). But I like it. So up yours, haters.

Charles Frith said...

Both great ads. Not to be pompous but I get the Toshiba one completely. Control is not that hard to deconstruct. Well done Grey particularly.

dangermain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dangermain said...

I like the John Lewis ad. I think it does the job it's supposed to do, which is help shift stuff at Christmas. Toshiba - all I can see are lots of people sitting in an edit suite playing with knobs (no pun intended). Great craft but no great idea, at least in my opinion.

As for the abusive comments that are becoming a feature of your excellent blog Scamp, they make me visit less often, which is sad. Mainly because you know what you're going to get - comments about eating a tramp's cock, or taking the piss out of someone's hair, etc - I find I don't learn much from opinions that are expressed thus.

Maybe I'm getting a bit sensitive in my old age.

Anonymous said...

Toshiba was done by Mitch Stretten who, I was told, approached Grey with the idea, who then approached Toshiba.

It's now the second best ad on his reel. http://www.hungryman.com/#spot/799

Wal said...

I do like them both, the Toshiba one looks great, and the John Lewis one feels great. Looks like John Lewis could become the new Stella for Lowe.

Anonymous said...

Wal - there's a large 'D' missing from your hat

Anonymous said...

anca said...

WTF?

this is a joke right? this guy is a fictional character, penned by some copywriter trying to get a book on the go? isn't it? say it is....please say he isn't real.

snowman said...

I really love the Toshiba ad! Slick and cool.
Not all ads need a 'big idea', that term is becoming very tiring of late.
maybe Jon Williams is turning things around at Grey.
Working in a digital agency we are often accused of focusing on style over substance but why not, if it works.

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

Do people outside the industry really have "perceptions of a brand" in any meaningful sense or is that just a research construct?

HN said...

The John Lewis ad is beautiful - and very rare for the fact that they use real, non-model, people you'd find in the street people.

Hurrah to Lowe.

Anonymous said...

Wal, I bet you like that new Stella ad too...

Are there any ads you don't like?

Anonymous said...

sleepy guy = coffee machine
nerd looking kid = science lab
lonely girl = candelabra
grandparents = satnav
little boy = little helicopter
hairy dog = blow dryer
girl in the rain = umbrella
dumb looking guy = brain training
baby = teddy

clarity? purity? last time i checked those were called stereotypes. and they were supposed to be bad. really bad, actually.

and what does a girl in the rain has anything to do with knowing the person? if you know her you know she doesn't have an umbrella and always get caught out in the rain?

why do you think this ad is excellent? please explain.

Integral said...

The John Lewis ad is just lovely. A nice. Simple. Idea. Makes you feel all warm inside. As it says in 'Hey Whipple', keep the idea simple and spend your cash on keeping the production values high.

Toshiba ad is cool, but the VO made my brain hurt. The words were simple enough, but I didn't get what they meant, nor how they related to the lovely images I'd just seen.

But then. I am EXTREMELY stupid.

(One of these days I might end a post without a self-deprecating remark. Is it 'deprecating' or 'depreciating' that I mean? I'm such a twat.)

Anca said...

To all the UFOs romantically identified with... moments in time (i.e. 2.10, 2.46, 3.27 etc -- pretty small numbers..., I wonder if they also measure something else besides time):

Criticising everything and everyone means you're either a genius or an idiot. I was just trying to prevent some of you from making the choice extra-easy and disadvantageous for you.

Also, thank you for the high traffic you've lately produced on my blogs (most of you from never-heard-of locations in the UK, which explains the frustration of not having managed to get a job in London -- really sorry about that; might have something to do with spending too much time on delivering negative comments instead of working on your portfolios. Still, I bet you have wonderful fields of barley there, so there's no need to panic like this.)

(Simon, with such impressive traffic statistics we could start an online business.:))

Anonymous said...

There is indeed a thin line between genius and idiot anca. Your not sitting near that line unfortunately. Your very far from it and we all know which side your on.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i mean they're only playing his music, anyone would think he was going to be teaching the syllabus.

Whoops sorry wrong forum

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

11:26

In advertising, is it better to be an extreme idiot or an extreme genius?

Dis gus, i demand it!

Anonymous said...

I like the tramp's cock type comments. They remind me of a laugh in a pub as opposed to [rest of comment censored because it was mean about someone I like. Oh, the power!]

Anonymous said...

So Nick has 7 pencils? Who cares?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
i shot the deputy said...

"A cynic might say there's no idea in there". of course there's a fucking idea in there - visual ideas and techniques are evolving due to technology, so why doesn't what we watch it on evolve. only thing is, i enjoyed it on my crappy old mac, so a cynic would say that there is an idea, but it doesn't hold any fucking water.

Anonymous said...

both ads lack story. but UK advertising can't/doesn't do story anymore it would appear.

Anonymous said...

Anca, are you a male of female or bit of both?

Anonymous said...

Moaning motherfuckers.

Where's the idea? Shite&Shite Old fashioned... etc.. etc...

Let's face it. The Toshiba ad is fascinating to watch. How the hell they did it i don't know, but i'm guessing a shit load of post work. Well done, it's engaging, people will watch it and enjoy.

John Lewis has just used one of the best songs from probably the greatest band ever. And not only that they've done a cover that actually warrents merit. I'm still singing it. Blatently all the money went on the music and they saved a little for the visuals, but hey, there's a bit of wit in there, a wry smile or two, and the best use of music i've heard in ages. Well done. Love it.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually close to tears here. Do people seriously think that John Lewis soundtrack is good? It's fucking horrible. Horrible. I'm really not trying to be negative. I'm standing up for some basic level of human decency. That's a postive thing. And it's not because it's a cover version or because I particularly like the original. Cover versions are cool. It's that kid. Aargh! And that family! Aargh! And their cutesy kooky nicey nicey hey we just casually sang this even though it took about fifty nine takes in some Soho studio to get that level of fuax naivete just right. It's dreadful. You must all surely recognise that? Stop winding me up.

Anonymous said...

JL - simple stood out on TV last night and the beatles track is 'nice'. my mum would like it anyway.

Saw the Toshiba ad on youtube yesterday and it is great. Love the art direction and the fact it is lo-fo but with incredible effects. The VO makes sense to me but does seems a bit of an after thought.

Who cares though, if we can use techniques like this and break records in advertising then it gives us all something to work towards. and anyway its the most watched thing on youtube today and shot on 200 of Toshiba own cameras...now theres a statement for the brand.

there's a making of on youtube also interesting.

Bentos said...

The main designer guy here said the Toshiba ad was 'Total backwards conceptualisation. The shoehorn effect in its full glory.'

And I agree

Anonymous said...

3:29

The problem is you are looking at the ad with your advertisers head on. In reality the public won't know where it was shot or how much of it lyes on the cutting room floor.

That's not to say that it is any good.

Wal said...

nope, not too keen on the new stella one. it's far from away from the old work. although the art direction on the print is nice, even there is zero idea.

Anonymous said...

That made minimal sense, but to be fair, it is four per-cent.

Also i can see why stella want to get away from the old ads. they need to re-define themselves in the market place.

Anonymous said...

St Wayne had no idea in it. It wss a fat ugly bloke with a St. George's cross painted on his bloated body. Didn't stop anyone jizzing all over it did it.
Cue boring twats bleating "It has got an idea. It has I tell you. It HAS!"
It hasn't.

m denton esq said...

It's interesting reading all the passionate comments regarding idea vs no idea. I was on the D&AD graphic design jury last year which was a hoot.

Being an advertising type I didn't know any of the other graphics jurors. Most of them seemed to disagree with my opinion on the work in general.

At one stage I spoke up and said- "sorry I don't understand the idea". I was speedily put in my place when a lady juror proclaimed- " this is graphic design, it doesn't have to have an idea".

m denton esq said...

.....oh and I like the St Wayne poster, but I can't explain the idea. Actually, I can't explain the ideas behind a lot of my fave ads and a lot of ads I've voted for in the past.

Does it matter?

Anonymous said...

All I know is when I watched the Toshiba ad, I watched it again after. then again.

Hang on I'm sounding like the Ariston ad...

Anonymous said...

Well funny you should say that Monsieur Dent (Mister tooth en France). For I am previous vitriolic anon.
I too liked the St. Wayne ad despite it's lack of idea. It's a great poster.
Allow me to elucidate why I am so vitriolic about it.
I was on a jury last year where the Stella posters came in for a bit of a shooing because a lot of the jurors decided that they had no idea in them. I argued that they made great posters and that is what we should be judging. I was pooh poohed. And no one likes that.
What really got my goat was that these same jurors the proceeded to bang on and on about how St. Wayne was a brilliant poster. When I pointed out that it had no idea in it, they then bleated that it did. Challenged to tell me what it was they came up with some crap about patriotism and it looks like blood.
It just got me to wondering about the sheep like performance of juries an lack of intelligence of the people thereon.

m denton esq said...

I'm with you. I liked the Stella posters too.

Anonymous said...

scamp - interesting your comment about Grey, and with McCanns winning at the Big Awards too.

Is it worth starting a thread on agency perceptions? Around the fact that no matter what great work some agencies do - under a good regime say – they are still regarded as crap. And how this may affect what they win in the awards schemes. Let's face it preconceptions must affect how ads are judged....

I don't work at Grey or McCanns by the way.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of censorship at any time and will gladly be the voice for not deleting any opinion, no matter how critical and nonconstructive. allowing for dissent in all its forms is what makes a society vibrant.

a way to consider however is to ban anonymous comments in general. registering with google/blogger, openid or name/url is easy and can be faked, yet the kneejerk two-seconds of thought comment is prevented.

I shouldn't be spending my time like this but there seems to be next to no freelance out there right now. I haven't worked in two months. anyone wanna see my book? leave an email address.

Anonymous said...

looks like someone from grey borrowed the idea from some st martins students

http://peepshowcollective.blogspot.com/2008/08/central-st-martins.html

Will said...

I like both ads. One was done by my agency, and i'm very proud to have been around when it was made.

Anonymous said...

Scamp. Nick Gill didn't make you Creative Director, John O'Keefe did. And he got fired......

Scamp said...

True about Nick. Not true about John.

Anonymous said...

Who did hire you then?

Scamp said...

J O'K hired us. He also put us onto CD'ing a couple of things. Nick Gill hasn't taken those responsibilities away so I guess he must think we're up to it. Not correct that J O'K was fired.

Anonymous said...

John Lewis is awful. Clearly done by a stills photographer. Bland and unsurprising. Feels like an a tacky Argos or littlewoods ad from the 90's.