Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Smirnoff Epic Really Delivers


I'll say that again. Wow.

The new Smirnoff ad from JWT London is nothing short of a tour de force.

It's easily my favourite ad of the year so far. And a dead cert for a pencil / Gold Lion. No question.

The idea of the sea 'rejecting' man's pollution gives the ad a political angle that adds a satisfying depth to the special-effects bonanza. But it's not heavy-handed. Did you catch the shot of the guy filling up his 4x4? The addition of the Greek statues and 'epic' soundtrack make it timeless.

And this ad will sell vodka, there is absolutely no doubt about that. What young guy doesn't love second world war aeroplanes? The sight of them rising from the depths of the ocean is simply awesome, there's no other word for it. And is that a dead pilot I see at the controls of a commercial airliner? Daring. This ad has balls and a social conscience.

Plus, the logic is impeccably tied up at the end.

I don't mean to sound like some kind of groupie, but it's ads like this I come to work for.


Anonymous said...

I heard about this at script stage and you'd be amazed at who turned it down. Come on Frank, you haven't shot a good ad in years and this was an obvious cracker.

Nice one Danny. King of the things-jumping-out-of-the-sea ads.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see Robert Maxwell come flying back out of the sea at any point.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Nice one Scamp. I hope Smirnoff have thought through the tremendous opportunity for branded utility ideas that could really differentiate this brand. Cleaning up the environment is the only way to go for a label that wants to own purity.

Anonymous said...

If anonymous 10.29 is talking about Frank Budgen I should imagine his response would be that he's quite busy in New York with a whole shitload of Play Doh for the next Bravia ad.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. Just what JWT's creative department needs, too.

Anonymous said...

a load of special effects. not at all involving or moving. stuff comes out of the sea. that's all.

or am i missing something.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Nick Bell got fird by that knob from Oz. How dare his dept produce epic stuff like this when they should be making a web site

Anonymous said...

vodka + environmental protection = po-faced booze ad. sorry guys, but this is transmitting on the wrong wavelength to sell an intoxicant.

Anonymous said...

Great ad ... however I can't help but smile that some people think the ad/brand is expressing some sort of 'semi-political agenda'.

Call me a cynic ... but I don't believe this was part of Smirnoff's agenda at all.

Infact the only people who deserve credit for this are the creatives who wrote it and the team that sold it.

Lets look at some points ...

1. The whole pollution aspect is a take on Smirnoff's 100% pure campaign - which has been running for years and is actually a product attribute rather than a brand value.

2. The subliminal [or not so, in this case] message of don't fuck up what's natural is all well and good but then they spend millions in [a] POS [b] experential [c] packaging which sort of undermines their integrity.

3. I am willing to bet that they won't extend this 'cause' into anything other than ads - and in the rare event they do, it'll be a token gesture like Banks do with giving money to charities.

Don't get me wrong ... this is a great thing for a brand to do and I am over-the-moon an ad agency was seemingly behind it, but don't try and tell me Smirnoff are the good guys in this because if they take it any further, it's more because of social and cultural blackmail than any great desire to help put the planet back in order.

Great ad ... but still just an ad.

Anonymous said...

agree with rob. actions better than words/films.

hey said...

We have amazing info about the story behind this ad stay tuned


Anonymous said...

i think this is very emblematic of what's wrong with UK advertising. here you are, a top creative at bbh, touting what's clearly a soul-less, over-thought, piece of tripe. and being backed up, what a shock, by over-thinking planners.

vodka is for getting drunk on. hello!

it's very obviously cobblers but you're so in love with FILM with a capital F, you can't get past that. and it's sad. and it'll kill you.

let me spell it out for you. this isn't very interesting at all. you know what is interesting? 1500 filipino prisoners recreating the "thriller" video in a prison. that was interesting. is this meant to compete with that? if so, it's not working.

Anonymous said...

And I can't wait to read the post-rationalised, re-created truth from Smirnoff [and possibly the odd corporate-toady account service / planning person] who claims the 'semi-political agenda' of the ad was intended from the beginning.

As I said ... great ad, but just an ad.

[PS: I do think Anonymous is being particulary harsh but it's fun to read ... abit like when Scamp goes on Russell's blog, ha!]

Scamp said...

Well, 4.32am anonymous, there's really no way to debate which of two pieces of film is the more interesting. That's purely subjective.

I personally find the Smirnoff ad more interesting because I think it's more visually arresting, has a timely and profound message, and features a Lancaster bomber. But that's just me.

Scamp said...

To everyone who says "this is bullshit unless Smirnoff now becomes an environmentally campaigning brand" I say "bullshit" right back to you.

Should One2One have become an anti-racist campaigner after they did one ad featuring Ian Wright and Martin Luther King?

It's incumbent upon every individual and every company to change their behaviour in order to combat climate change.

But that doesn't mean Smirnoff now becomes an environmental campaigner. Their message is about purity, and that's what it should remain.

They happen to have done an execution that urges us not to pollute the sea, and that's a good thing, which we should give them credit for, not slag them off.

Anonymous said...

Well Scamp ... that's why Smirnoff and One2One [and Benneton for that matter] are seen as brands that exploit opportunities for their own gain rather that stand for something that people can really believe in.

You're a top guy ... a top creative ... and as I once said on Russell's site, a man who could start an argument in an empty house ... but you've been drinking too much of the Kool Aid [or Smirnoff] if you really that ad is going to stop people dumping stuff in the sea.

It's a great ad - but that's all it is.

Scamp said...

1. It's the best ad of the year
2. It will sell shitloads of vodka
3. It might persuade one or two people not to throw things in the sea.

What was your problem again?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm convinced.

I will never chuck my Spitfire in the sea again, and I promise to take my Viking ship to the recycling centre and put it in the proper bin.

Then I will sit down and have a nice cold glass of Absolut. No, wait...

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2:31: Yeah, he's only messing around with the play-doh because Jonze and Gondry turned it down. Third-choice Frank they'll be calling him...

Let's hope it's better than the Reebok and SOS pieces of shit.

Anonymous said...

Your faith in the power of advertising is admirable ... so how come hardly any agency bases their fee on sales success?

Anonymous said...

Oi Scamp, go here [please]


It'll help get your rage-levels up, they've been far too low lately

Anonymous said...

10:41 AM, Anonymous
It's to be good. It's a script from the best agency in town, the most hyped campaign in years and man who has saved UK's dignity twice at cannes.

Budgen or not budgen, you just can't argue with that.

David and Phoebe said...

coming at this a bit late. But i much prefer this one.
Probably cost a few bob less too.

Anonymous said...

Should One2One have become an anti-racist campaigner after they did one ad featuring Ian Wright and Martin Luther King?


then they wouldn't simply have been hijacking a very important issue just because it would make great tv and the MLK estate was willing to sell them the rights. Ian Wright was told by the agency that MLK was his hero. he probably wanted to have a one-to-one with naomi campbell.

doing something would have had some real meaning. and it's not like they would have been going out on a controversial limb.

it's as easy to some good as it is to pretend to.

Anonymous said...

it's as easy to DO some good as it is to pretend to.


George Parker said...

I'm with you. It's a great ad. Just posted about it on AdScam. When I was at JWT New York, unlike London, the Smirnoff work was shit... 'Cos the two CD's who worked on it were wankers.

Anonymous said...

leave frank alone
he's a bit fragile
and he shot a great stella ad not so long ago

Anonymous said...

David and Phoebe. 2 things - are you one person? and are you joking about that other smirnoff ad? yes of course you must be

MacBore Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MacBore Matt said...

That's not a corpse, it's the pilot of a helicopter flying through the debris. There does seem to be a couple of dead scuba divers though.

Anonymous said...

alright, i bitched earlier. i don't care for filmed things that lack humanity. which this does. but enough people i respect like this one for me to eat some of my earlier words.

Anonymous said...

If this thread proves anything it proves that you can't please everyone. (Clients - take note.)

Anonymous said...

previous anon.

actually you can please everyone all the time. it's called a work of genius. tricky to do.

Anonymous said...

To previous anon. Actually you can't please everyone all the time. Someone will always not like your ad. For example. I didn't like, nor get Sony Balls. Everyone else did and the word genius was bandied about.
Am I "wrong"?
Ads are subjective. For one ad to please every last person on earth, every last person on earth would have to think the same way. They clearly do not as George Bush so brilliantly demonstrates.

Anonymous said...

Is this thread an internal monologue one person is having with themselves?

Or a genuine discussion between different people?

Why does your blog seem to attract so many anons, Scamp?

Anonymous said...

previous anon,

as you know, being anonymous allows people to speak unfettered by societal bullshit. your personal "brand" is not at stake. it's freeing. only planners give their real name. and that's just to publicize their blogs ;-)

1:37 anon,
Sony balls was a work of genius. you were in a tiny minority. it pleased everyone but you. you were the exception that proved the rule.

Anonymous said...

im not convinced about this one scamp.

i do quite like the script, but not the execution.

old kleinmans gone a bit CGI crazy. it feels like a really cheesy bruckenheimer hollywood film.

whereas the last ad, shot by fredrick bond, oozed cool and made smirnoff feel like a premium spirit, this effort feels like a cheap special effects showcase.

and what a confusing set of titles at the end...what was that i counted...four endlines?

Scamp said...

You're quite right. Bit of an endline bonanza there. All they really needed to say was 'Extraordinary purification', then have the pack.

Anonymous said...

It's a very well made ad; the issue I have with it is this, how many young vodka drinkers, at which this ad is aimed, really give a damn and blast about how pure vodka is? I would assume that they expect a decent brand like Smirnoff to be of a certian quality anyway. So the ad fails because it's taken something that won't interest the audience, or really differentiate Smirnoff and then wrapped it up in lots of fancy pants special effects.