Friday, March 07, 2008

Let's Talk About Some Ads

VW Polo 'singing dog' by DDB London.

Transport for London 'optical illusion' by M&C Saatchi

Mars 'Monks' by AMV

The singing dog totally rules. I've worked on that brief so I know it ain't easy; big props to the team. And just check the YouTube comments for proof of how much the public loves this ad.

The optical illusions one hits a completely different bone. Very clever. Very thought-provoking. I love the fact that they show a car crash without showing a car crash.

P.S. Now that we're seeing everything first on YouTube and not TV, an interesting test of an ad is "after watching it, do you immediately watch it again?"

I went 'yes yes no' on these 3. What about you?


Anonymous said...

What's the right answer? Ever since I incorrectly didn't like Sony Balls I won't make any decisions on whether I like an ad or not until I know what the correct answer is.

Scamp said...

I told you. Yes yes no.

Anonymous said...

singing dog passes the acid test of whether you feel a surge of creative jealously and inadequacy immediately after viewing - the others don't.

Anonymous said...

I love the singing dog, so much that I wish I'd thought of it (and that's an increasingly rare feeling). I saw it on TV last night and it really made me laugh (it made my wife cry – the dog reminded her of her Mother's, which recently died. The Dog, not the Mother.)

I'm not so sure about the optical illusions. I don't dislike it, but it does feel a little slow even after repeated viewings. And that final stat feels a bit spurious even though it's obviously the insight on which the creative was built.

Mars. Don't mind it. Not the most original idea (feels like old CDP Heineken, which surely isn't a bad thing) but there's a lot worse out there.

Don't be frightened, Zimbar. You're opinion isn't wrong just 'cos it's different.

Anonymous said...

please scamp.
please get your head out of the collective ddb arse for two seconds and see the light.
singing dogs?
they're on page one of the book of oldest tricks.
it's not even that long since smirnoff had one sitting at a piano.
it's an insult to the vw heritage.

Anonymous said...

No, No, No, hmm, i don't really like the dog, it feels quite drumming gorilla, but less sophisticated as it has an actual idea :D

Anonymous said...

Yep the dog is cool. i bet it took a while to get the right dog though!

also, a lot of these successful virals we are talking about, really rely on the soundtrack i think.

phil collins to jose gonzales. the music often makes it.

who chooses the music for the ads? is this something the creatives would do themselves or would someone else be designated the task?

Mr Orange said...

Yes, Yes, No

and there is never a right answer

George said...

Easy Anon 10:25! It's a good ad - doesn't matter if it has a talking dog. Look at hundreds of other ads out there, ultimately, many of them are regurgitating old ideas aren't they? The Smirnoff singing dog was a very different ad for a very different client.

I think the Mars ad is pretty poor, and as a scooter rider, the TFL one hits the right notes. I was driving my car just last night and remembered as I turned right and a bike approached that I should probably wait until I gauged his speed - and you know what - I genuinely think that if I hadn't waited for him to pass, he could have launched himself over the bonnet of my car - so job done on that one!
But it was a Yes, No, No with the repeat viewings.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Yes, Yes, No

Singing Dogs rocks. I'd have shot it down in a meeting though. Can't visually anything other than penguins in ad narratives.

Anonymous said...


animals that speak are just funny..

'it's an insult to the vw heritage' ....sounds like someone else has their head up their arse.

the tfl is complicated, you miss bits so you watch it twice.

the mars ad is just very plain and normal...

Anonymous said...

Is that dog wearing a seatbelt? How did they get that one past animal rights?

Anonymous said...

No. The idea is rubbish so they're falling back on a nice bit of execution that you could apply to a million things (and the bit where the dog it cold or about to do a shit?)

Yes. Very different way to do a brief like that.

No. Embarrassing. Jump Around? Yes AMV creative dept, it is 1995.

Anonymous said...

Here's an oddity.
On Losers BBDO blog the other day, under the 'could the tipping point be codswallop' post, they referred to the VW dog ad as 'poo', a comment which has since disapeared.
They'll be on here before you know it, bigging it up.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me? I think the singing dog looks like a ad straight from Saatchi's New Zealand. Poo-er post production and the idea's a bit flimsy which is a shame because i think you can do quite a lot with 'confidence'.
Don't let personal relationships cloud your judgement

Anonymous said...

yes i noticed that comment as well. and it's sinced been removed. so losers bbdo what do you think of the ad now scamp likes singing dogs.

Anonymous said...

Not a big fan of the dog I have to say, but at least it's trying something different for a car ad. Although if there's any more animals doing human/ musical things in ads campaign will have to do a poorly written article imaginatively titled 'all roads lead to a monkey on drums playing along to Phil Collins'.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11AM

Loony BBDO made the schoolboy error of having an opinion before they knew what the advertising community had decided was the "right" one.

Silly sausages.

Anonymous said...

'Yes', 'Yes', 'Give me my 30 seconds back' is how it went for me. Bouncy balls was shit though, Zimba, don't worry.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are ads that aren't stolen from youtube or heavily inspired just a bit poo.
Balls, cog, gorilla, that VW ad written by Dylan Thomas and art directed by Noam Murro - great. The rest are all just a bit meh.

Scamp said...

I do like the team who did the ad. But I also like dogs. People like dogs - fact. If they're singing, so much the better. That's why it's a good ad, not because I like the team.

Anonymous said...

what does toad think about the granularity of the VW brand?

Anonymous said...

Singing dog is awful. Plain and simple. It's such a lame idea I honestly expected a Vauxhall logo to pop up at the end. When a VW bade appeared a part of me died inside.

Lunar BBDO said...

Cut a long story short, I wiped the post accidentally but as it was saved in a draft I could retrieve it but not the comments.

So to reiterate to an a readership that exceeds my own by about 1000, we/I said (much like the Oracle of Truth) that I like the singing dog (who doesn't?) but don't think much of the idea.

But then I said the same thing about the Gorilla when it first appeared.

Losers BBDO! Ha Ha Ha. That's very good, though.

Anonymous said...

so you like it but you don't?

Anonymous said...

'I wiped the post accidentally'.
When you were at school, did your dog used to eat your homework?

Lunar BBDO said...

If you're talking to me, I like the executional thing (I'd happily watch a well-posted singing dog) but being a stickler for the entertaining bit having a relevance to the product that my tiny brain can understand, I don't think it works. I've honestly watched it 10-15 times, now, so I guess it passes that part of Scamp's test but I suppose that means I like it up to the bit where the logo appears. And what's the German endline all about? I thought only one car company was allowed to do that.

joereach said...

No (cliche)yes (it's cool) no (it's stupid)

Anonymous said...

No. No. No.

I can't decide which is worse; singing dogs or monks bouncing around to house of pain.

three pieces of shit for three shit brands.

Anonymous said...

The Mars ad is unspeakably bad. The dog's alright, but not exceptional. It did make me remember the phrase 'shaking like a shitting dog' though, which was a bonus. Speaking of ads Scamp, there's a massive - and I mean massive - billboardy type thing featuring one of your Levi's ads in the main square here in Copenhagen. I took a pic if you want it.

Anonymous said...

ever heard the term sycophant?

Anonymous said...

After hearing the all the other dog comments i was ready for something really good. I liked it but it didn't live up to my expectations.

I blame all you lot for spoiling it for me.

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

Yes & No: really liked the idea but thought the execution could have been better. Catchy tune though.

Yes: Good because it’s different.

No: Shit. Really shit. Who are the team?

Anonymous said...

Mike Sutherland/Anthony Nelson.

They have a Cannes Grand Prix, doncherknow?

To be fair, I wouldn't imagine they're very big fans of it either. Looks like a grotty Masterfoods clusterfuck.

LimitedTimeOffer said...

no - Sure singing dog is funny, but I simply don't buy the strategy. "Confidence"? Really?

yes - Visually brilliant, lulls you into a calm demonstration and then sells a very unpleasant reality (without as you say, actually showing the crash).

no - Nothing new here at all, I'll go as far to say as hackneyed in every respect.

Anonymous said...

Agree, have a feeling the client may have tinkered with the Mars ad, it's rather bad.

I was expecting the bell ringers to start playing a tune, like the Weetabix ad from a few years back when they play the A-team theme.

Anonymous said...

dog: it does the job. agree with singing animal theory.

illusion: it's clever, but i think it will be wallpaper. not really going to grab anyones attention

monks: this is the kind of ad that the simpsons produces to take the piss out of us. i like this monk ad tho:

faris said...

scamp my man i'd forgotten how much fun it is here in your commments - reimnds me of the popbitch messageboard years ago ;)

Music - crucial. Completely crucial. BBH worked this out a while ago.

Singing dogs are funny. I think we should insist that all ads from now contain musical animals.

Cats that play Independent Woman in the manner of northeners for example.

I like that dude from withnail.

jump around makes me cringe a bit, mainly due to memories of, well, jumping around to it.

Unknown said...

sí. no. no.

why the reductionism? "the singing dog idea" was done back in..." etc.

when i saw the idea unfolding i was wondering how they were going to pull it off, thinking brand strategy here.

"polo confidence" is what made me smile. ideas are nothing with out a comms strategy. safety. small but tough, etc. i mean the job´s well done. the shriveled dog is fucking great!

and i think people see into this. if it´s a great idea but it doesn´t have closure, it ends up having a "bad aftertaste" (bad metaph.).

it doesn´t build on anything. it´s just a good idea from an overly-excited-look-at-me-please-creative-kid.

tying these things up is the hardest part of writing.

a bit on the other post for this. i´m all for creative freedom, but doesn´t and ECD have everything to do with doing great strategic comms for their client´s brands!?

Anonymous said...

YouTube comments are 'proof how much the public love this ad' Scamp?
Comments such as 'lol'
Or ;)
And even 'I love the dawg! what a cute little murfton and soooooo hilarious!!'
If VW's target market is 9 year old American girls, then fair play.

Scamp said...

I very much doubt that all the YouTube commenters are 9 year old American girls, I'm sure many are old enough to buy a Polo... though it is a little worrying that they talk that way.

Alan Wolk said...

I'm with you Scamp.

Love the singing dog (watched it twice, because first time my American-trained brain assumed the dog was in the driver's seat)

TFL is great - the sort of spot they'd think was "too clever" to run in the US, but makes me happy to be in advertising.

Mars- not awful, but we've all seen wacky clerical types before.

Anonymous said...

The VW one stink. And the team behind it has a Cannes Grand Prix too. Same as scamp's actually.
Like the tfl. Won't even mention the

George Parker said...

Wow... What the fuck is wrong with you people? Yeah, there's been singing dogs and drum playing gorillas... But the point i=of this ad is the dog is a fucking shivering wimp... 'til it gets in the VW, then it becomes a fucking rock star... Funny as shit. Singing dogs, babys, vampire bats, whatever, this canine fucker is transformed by on of the world's wankiest cars. Graphic Motor bike shit OK... Mars bar stuff sucks. OK, Im done.

Steve H said...

Dog - fucking brilliant, made me laugh, made me happy for a moment in my shit day.

The other two. Well, I know people worked hard on them but they didn't make me care.

Anonymous said...

i like the fearg and dy one the best too.

Anonymous said...

No, Yes, No.

Having seen the teletext cat ads I am seeing pets in an entirely new light. The singing dog is old news.

Anonymous said...

Dog is good. Not great but certainly not bad. TFL fells too smug to make any impact. Mars was produced in 1987 and has just been unearthed right?

Anonymous said...

Loosers BBDO. I hear a few AMV people were a bit embarrased by your drunken booing and heckling of some ads at Creative Circle the other night. Can't you handle the vino?

Anonymous said...

I'm a yes, yes, no.

Interesting for a car; interesting for a COI thing and uninteresting even for the actors and director involved.

Anonymous said...

I read in Private Eye that the Mars line has been shortened because it 'conveys a more contemporary message, reflecting the very modern interest in achieving a balanced lifestyle and approaching every aspect of our lives with a 'can do' attitude'.

I approach 'play' with a can do attitude all the time.

can i spend the afternoon stoned playing halo three in my underwear? Yes! Yes I can!

thank you, mars.

Anonymous said...

Saw the VW spot last night on TV, stood out a mile. Pretty cool animation on the Dog.
Not sure about the TFL one, but quite like the Mars spot, nice to see that endline back.
Are we going to see more companys bringing back endlines they should not have scrapped in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Big Yawn.

The dog is just another ad.
The cartoon is something different entirely. Well done those boys or girls.
The bell ringer is ridiculously dated. It's like a substandard CDP ad from the 80s.

Anonymous said...

It says here that BBH is one of the top 100 places to work.

So why is it nicknamed GBH?

Is it nice, Scamp? Or a little bit scary?

Anonymous said...

You guys are spoiled. these in my country these would all be great.
We love the singy dog.and the strange cartton.
The bellringing though is offensive.
Christ is sacred.

Anonymous said...

the fact that someone described the mars ad as 'wacky' in another comment is just proof of how shit that advert is

Anonymous said...

I'd rather someone jacked me off with a cheesegrater than made me watch any of those three again.

singing dogs for fucks sake

the tfl one is completely forgettable

mars makes me want to kill myself but not before i've pinched everyone involved reallyt hard on the inner thigh.

caow said...

I'm going to be completely honest - the Mars one made me smile first time I watched it. Though I realise it's not too popular on here. The dog one... if it was a man, it wouldn't be remotely interesting - It seems like they maybe thought up the scenario in terms of people but needed some extra pizazz so used a dog instead - bit stuck on? But everyone seems to like that one so I guess it works.

Anonymous said...

Good point.

I think that must expose VW as a shit idea with a singing dog stuck on. Then Mars is a shit idea with a bunch of bellringers stuck on.

at least tfl is original

Anonymous said...

Having read these answers, the verdict seems to be

mainly yes with a slice of no

i bet the public is more of a

I'm too thick to understand

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain the idea in the VW ad, thank you.
I thought everyone feel confident to sing in their own car (where no one can hear you), but not standing in line in the bank. So what is this Polo Confidence? Wouldn't the dog have been singing if it was driving a Ford?
Maybe I'm totally mistaken. Maybe there is no idea at all. The commercial is just meant to put a smile on your face because you see a dog singing....

]-[appy Thought said...

no, no, yes. And that's not just to be annoying, if it's answering the question "would you re-watch it" then that's how I did it. OK, I only rewatched the Mars one because it was so bad I had to check I hadn't missed something. The others, especially the dog (due to it's very catchy song) I wouldn't mind if I saw it again e.g. on the TV during several ad breaks over a week, but I wouldn't consciously seek them out. I'm not saying the first 2 ads are bad, far from it, but they belong on TV, not on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

If you like that optical illusion ad, you'll love this one-

Anonymous said...

I've just seen the 'watch out for cyclists' execution with the moon walking bear and it kicks the arse of all of these.
I actually laughed out loud in my own home at something in an ad break.

Anonymous said...

What's with all the transport/driving ads? Are you Brits really as horrible at driving as you are at staying sober?

Anonymous said...

No, we're good drivers just shit at staying sober. Might explain the reason why most people like the Dog ad. I just think it's really lazy thinking. ''Let's stick a singing animal in the ad, they'll love it!''
Doesn't make it good does it? Surely we can do better than that.

And for the record, I love dogs.

Liked the second, may go over most peoples heads tho.

No comment on 3

Cycling awareness one is absolutely amazing. My fave ad for a a while.

Anonymous said...

after reading comments here I'm really surprised how some of so-called professionals don't have a clue of what general public will like.

dog is fucking hillarous, optical illusions are boring, monks are forced.