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My pick of 2012: Guardian, Samsung, Directv, Carlton…. and Grey!

“I wish I’d done it” is the subjective test for a great ad. Which of this year’s crop of TV ads makes my list? Chipotle? Not really. The Guardian’s ‘Three Little Pigs’? Maybe, but I still prefer Webster’s ‘Points of View’ for BMP (a very different brief, I know).

(Editor’s note: Giles didn’t feel able to make a judgement about best agency and person of the year because he didn’t think he had enough information. Such scruples. He’ll never make it as a journalist..)

This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad is not bad but not as good as last year’s. Canal Plus’ ‘The Bear’? A lovely lateral idea but perhaps a little long-winded. Carlton beer’s ‘The Chase’ – wonderfully silly with an anti-endline that works. The best demo and testimonial award goes to Samsung Galaxy’s attack on Apple. Finally Directv. Although the Charlie Sheen ad is a great use of celeb as calamity, this is a campaign. It could have been a straight message about benefits and price – thankfully, the message is conveyed in an idea.

The latter is an example of how good advertising adds something that can work beyond the ad itself. My only gripe comes from looking at the credits. Not that Grey can’t produce good work, but that there doesn’t seem to have been a copywriter or art director on this work – they are all creative directors of one rank or another. Does this mean they actually didn’t have the idea, like the list of agency names attached to Aardman’s great Creature Comforts campaign of the 90s?

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I’m reminded of the bit in Luke Sullivan’s book ‘Hey Whipple, squeeze this’ when a newly promoted creative executive vice-president gets an extra bit of panelling hammered into his cubicle by the mail boy. “Congratulations” he says as he walks away. If I’d had more time I would have tried to find some great print work. Happy Christmas everyone and a creative New Year.

Update 18/12/12

I must add a brilliant ad that I think may actually have worked – Staying Alive for The British Heart Foundation. An entertaining instructive ad that must have had an effect (I’d like to see the data). And Grey again. There must be something in the water….

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About Giles Keeble

Giles Keeble started as a rep (account man) at JWT before moving to BMP. There Stanley Pollitt told him that JWT’s Stephen King had wanted him to become a planner. John Webster encouraged him to become a writer but after a number of years Giles moved to French Gold Abbott and, for a while, did become a planner of sorts. Returning to writing he went to David Abbott’s new agency AMV followed by WCRS and was then ECD of Leo Burnett for six years. He then returned to AMV before moving to Publicis and then Lowe in Hong Kong at the inception of the ‘World’s Local Bank’ campaign for HSBC. He now works as a writer and strategist as well as running advertising courses for senior clients.
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