Friday, May 09, 2008

Is It Time To Re-Appraise CHI?

So we've discussed how much they pay. But are they any good?

Actually, I think maybe they are now.

Here's the new spot for Drench mineral water.

Puppets are funny. Fact.

Okay so it drags a tiny bit - the 60 is probably better than the 90 - but the sight of Brains grabbing his crown jewels is not one I'll forget in a hurry. Even logic-fans will be thrilled, because all that lovely entertainment is fully justified with an endline about Brains performing best when hydrated.

Exhibit B, this ad, with the remote-controlled plane. A funny idea, with great casting and great performances. What more do you want? Toyota is carving out quite a nice little VW-esque tone of voice for itself.

And let's not forget the awesome 'Tide' spot for Big Yellow Storage.

Even their print is getting better.

I saw a cracking tube card the other day for the Prius. It was just a picture of the car, and the words "The bandwagon. By Toyota."

CHI have always had some good Creatives - like Charles Inge, Mickey Tudor and Brian Turner. But the work was inconsistent. I thought the Telegraph 'Bestseller' campaign wasn't bad, and the Tango spoof was okay. But nearly everything else was abysmal. Especially British Gas.

So why the improvement?

Two words. Ewan Paterson.

Since he joined, the graph has moved in only one direction.

I like that. I like the fact that they have the same Suits and the same Planners, but a great new CD makes a great difference.

I know Ewan from DDB days, so I'll probably get accused of arse-licking.

It won't change the fact that he's doing a pretty nice job over there.


Anonymous said...

fancy a job there Scamp?

Anonymous said...

Brains is fun alright and I liked it but shouldn't he have been crap at dancing BEFORE he took a drink and then marvellous afterwards? Or am I a catchpenny douchebag?
On another note I should like to make it known that I really don't like Macs in fact I'd go as far as to say Macs are catchpenny douchebags.
Your application has unexpectedly quit. No fucking shit Sherlock MacTwat.

Anonymous said...

OMG you fancy Ewan

Carb Free Creativity said...

i bet the 60 second version is spot on!

The sound track reminds me of Night at the Roxberry where they danced quite like brains!

Quality stuff.

Anonymous said...

Love this new Drench work and Big Yellow Storage was great too.

Toyota ad you posted is crap.

But there's no doubt CHI do some crackin' work. And if you don't want the job there Scamp, I'll have it.

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Anonymous said...

i think the brains film is mint.
even at 90 secs i don't tire of the gag.
toyota's alright.
and yellow storage is chip shop.
but fair play to the ew-meister.
may he spread his creative spunk far and wide.

Anonymous said...

i heard he didn't get along too well with mr crgn (i can't write his name here, can i)

Anonymous said...

They once snogged in Cannes at the DDB party. I think it was in front of the Budweiser client to try and get him to move his account to London. Maybe they hated each other but snogged anyway. Ewan did seem to enjoy telling Jez that he didn't have any pencils or cannes golds like him. But it all seemed in good humour. They're both a good laugh anyway. I'd happily work for either of them and I don't work for anyone.

Anonymous said...

tide good

toyota average

drench crap


average chi. again

Anonymous said...

the tide spot is brilliant. the others are kind of meh for me. but CHI are clearly a new biz missile. and hiring senor paterson was a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Ewan does the work and Inge gets the millions. Nice to see Ewan pushing CHI in the right direction. Such a pity that Inge wasted years just being C&H's puppet. Overall Big Yellow is very nice. Toyota is ok but too similar in tone to Saatchi's old work for the brand (key party?) and VW to be breakthrough. Scamp's right that Drench is too long as a 90. I'd have liked to see an old Brains (with strings attached) personally. but good on ya Ewan. Shame on ya Charles

Anonymous said...

Drench is a great piece of unashamed fun that we don't see enough of anymore, I searched it out online to see again and found it's backed up by a great website too. Looks like they could clean up at the digital awards again next year too.

Anonymous said...

Is it CHI are underrated or that other places are very overrated?

Haven't seen anything really great from places like BBH since some of Ed & Dave's work years ago and look where they are now.

Anonymous said...

On a rather sour note, after I saw the brains ad I went and got myself a pint of water as it's good for my brains. I didn't get a bottle of drench.
It is great to look at but it tells me to hydrate my brain, not drink Drench. What's Drench got that water hasn't? It's just a pun on "brains."
There, that's that bonfire pissed on.

Anonymous said...

Brief arrives on desk.

Water helps Brain performance.

Brain. Hmm. Brains from Thunderbirds!!!

But how can he perform better. Hmm.

Well. He's a puppet. Puppets move a bit awkwardly...I KNOW...and wait, 'cos this is bloody gen-i-us. Here it comes...



Anonymous said...

The music doesn't seem to work on the Brains ad. I like the idea personally, but didn't really laugh at it or feel like I want to watch it again. Different choice of music would totally change it I reckon.

PH said...

Anon 9.13.
I know what you mean about the concept. But it's not aimed at Economist readers. It's low common demoninator stuff, but crafted really well. And it's funny, which is often half the battle eh.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:57–
Spunk bubble! Excellent. Haven't heard that in years.

Toyota ad is still shite though.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14

Don't knock simplicity.

My only qualm is that brains has already pimped his arse for the economist. He's the puppet equivalent of Carol Vorderman.

Anonymous said...

and specsavers. Quite recently.

And anon 9.10. What did Dave and Ed do at BBH? Audi? Nice direction from Jonny Green. And some shit levi's ads. Scamp's levis is the best thing out of BBH in ages but then dangerous liaisons has just won a One Show silver to go with it's Cannes Gold and D&AD whatever.

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Anonymous said...

Brains - Great, but agree with Scamp - a 60 would probably be stronger.
Toyota - Ok - good performance is where it's rescued I think. The idea is borderline.
Big Yellow - Amazing.

Tango spoof was ok, but I think it really misses a Welsh voiceover to tell us 'that's the hit of the whole fruit'.

The Telegraph, best seller campaign was fucking inspired! Love it.

Anonymous said...

Ewan is a top chap. As well a smashing creative. Although he's been at CHI for a while now, so this is hardly news is it, Scamp?

Anonymous said...

I think it's more to do with the fact it's a fucking sweatshop.

Anonymous said...

i think chi got in the book about 9 times this year. it must be on the up. and if it wasn't a sweatshop mr orange it would probably have been zero in the book. a bit like you.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard CHI being called a sweat shop before.

I've heard of Shop being called a Junk shop thou.

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Anonymous said...

Off Topic (just slightly as he's a former DDBer as well):

Do you think Tucker will join Justin in Retreat Road?

Anonymous said...

He should, he definately should!

Anonymous said...

IM so fucking drunk.
And no one has noticed in the office yet.

Anonymous said...

I just love that ad for water.

What was the brand again?

Anonymous said...

I think brains should have whipped the old feller out and gone hammer and tongs with Joe 90. That would have been refreshing and have him 'working better'.

Anonymous said...


a shop employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions

Sounds pretty spot on if you ask me.

Mr Orange said...

anon 10.43

Thank you for backing up my point: That the reason it is doing so well... is because it's a fucking sweatshop.

Good insult too. I must remember that one.

14 is more accurate. 6 converted

Anonymous said...

Nice photo in Campaign Scamp, my old man wears tops like that when he plays golf.

Martin said...

That Prius ad - I think it is one of the worst I've ever seen. Let's say you own a Prius - you are doing something different, you're taking a positive step, you're changing the world. You feel good.

At least you do until the company that makes the fucking car tells you that you're only jumping on a bandwagon.

And if you're considering buying one, you're already too late to jump on the bandwagon. Stick to ordering tap water in restaurants.


Anonymous said...

From what i understood, they were saying the prius IS the bandwagon.

which is pretty cool and kind of true

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Martin said...

Agree that's what they're saying, and agree it is true.

But there are no positive associations with the word bandwagon. "Oh, I see you've jumped on the environmental bandwagon - well done!"

That's not a compliment.

It reminds of that Dudley Moore film where he does the Volvo ad that says "They're boxy, but they're good"

Maybe that's where the strategy came from. In which case, fair play, I withdraw my criticism. I think it worked in the film.

Anonymous said...

i understood the Bandwagon to be what other car companies are finally jumping on as Toyota have been doing it for years?

Anyway as media placement goes I read it on the tube which has got to be a more eco-mode of transport than those ugly milk floats buzzing all around town.

Anonymous said...

Surely the reason there is a bit of a negative feeling towards Johnny Hornby and his merry men is that all of us have spent sleepless night downing triple expressos as we toil to convert a pitch only to have their machine roll in and bag yet another wins from under our noses?

And this is what they shout about, another pitch win and they sky write it in the clouds and the suited stern faced photos fill the pages of campaign but we rarely hear anything about their creative work.

Maybe the question is more are CHI finally re-appraising what's more important?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what 'anonymous' said at 9:13 AM.

Its not about creativity is about how much cash you can throw behind the idea.
How proud CHI must be to use Thunderbirds alongside Specsavers...

Anonymous said...

The BY is just a generic ad for the business. You can store your junk there. The reel will probably fit there nicely.

Prius - says to me that you need to be a obsessive nutter to drive one

Drench - too long - and reminds me of Heineken

Anonymous said...

....the Toyota ad's nice enough though.

Anonymous said...

That Prius ad is shit. It says buy one and be a conformist wagon-hopper. Where's the win? Answer, there isn't one from the consumer's POV.

I know for a fact that it only exists because toyota is hacked off that other car brands like VW and Honda have stolen their "green" mantle. I mean it REALLY cheeses them off. This ad is a sop to the marketing department at Epsom, no one else.

Anonymous said...


advertising is a business. winning awards is not a business. getting good work out is a bonus.
winning business gets you a bigger bonus.
so from what i can see chi a doing great on both fronts.

Anonymous said...

One word: stand-out.

Anonymous said...

or two words?

Anonymous said...

ad is fairly averaqge if you ask me - mildly amusing but hardly rocket science. The real credit has to go to whoever is seeding it online, Its fucking everywhere.

Anonymous said...

drawn please tell us you're not a copywriter.
or an accountant.

Anonymous said...

the spec savers ad (also using a thunderbirds character) is better than CHI's latest drench work.

Nick said...

It's like a cross between VW Singing in the Rain with Cadbury's Glass and Half Full of Nostalgic feelgood pop track. It's never gonna feel that fresh to me but I bet people (outside of ads) will love it.

Love Big Yellow

Thought Prius was Saatchi anyway

And Toyota is annoying after the second watch.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sorry about that. Friday afternoon beers getting in the way of the old 'one, two'. And I'm a designer, not the other three careers you mentioned.

The Specsavers ads often seem like an exercise in (bad) creative indulgence. This Drench one has a sense of humour, it keeps you entertained throughout and rewards you at the end with a relevant/ironic catchphrase. That's more than most give you.

Anonymous said...

How wrong I was - I just saw the 60 sec Drench ad on air, and it's clunky and never really gets going. It's a bit cack really.

Anonymous said...

that brains puppet is so lame it's not funny. the dancing is crap and the song is such a pathetically knowing choice. and how many ads has brains appeared in, probably a billion. when i read the grovelling psychophancy it's garnering i feel even more embarassed for the people who work in advertising. as the great man said, why don't you all kill yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I love Drench. I think I'm in love with an ad. I think I need to spend more time on