Specsavers, Samsung, South Western Railway and more

Specsavers, Samsung, South Western Railway and more

This week’s commercials under review are: South Western Railway “Spread your wings” by St. Luke’s; Lloyds Bank “Drumbeat” by Adam & Eve/DDB; Specsavers “Should’ve 2.0” by The Agency; Samsung “Night Mode” by Mother London; Vagina Museum “Neighbors” by TheOr London; and Banda’s “#StandwithUkraine”.

George Bryant, Founder and Global Creative Director, The Brooklyn Brothers

Advertising can be some pretty amazing things.

Advertising can be information. Charming us to change our behavior. South Western Railway’s “Spread your wings” makes us rethink a utility we once despised, as a source of newfound post-pandemic joy. An information-heavy brief turned into a well-crafted film with relatable warmth.

Advertising can be an emotion. Stallions and Banks have never been the most obvious partners, but through consistency and genuine emotional resonance over time, Lloyds’ work never fails to connect beyond the rational. Simplicity is often the most difficult quality to keep alive throughout the creative process, I admire a team that can sell and buy work with this singularity.

Advertising can be pure entertainment. Let’s not criticize the past of advertising. Let’s show that, when done right, 1970s-style commercials have never been so much fun. Specsavers’ long-running campaign feels like the natural protege of beer brands that have been refreshing plays. A brand that laughs shamelessly at the smell of its own farts. That rare thing, a mainstream campaign that doesn’t belittle us. A campaign that is allowed to play and improve over time.

And as Samsung shows, advertising can still be performance. Unstaged events captured on video. But beautiful, evocative and original performance pieces. Effortlessly demonstrate the key benefit of the product. What could have been a tame and predictable experience in the hands of a less talented and ambitious team, becomes a defining moment on our screens. One of the best directors I know recently lamented that there are times when he feels the industry has stopped trying, chasing the same techniques and credentials (thanks Euphoria). “Night mode” mutes and elevates any commercial break it decides to sit in. A breath of fresh air.

But the best publicity can and should matter more.

Advertising can be an art. Like all the bravest art, the best advertising changes perceptions, challenges taboo and opens up new conversations. I love the work of the Vagina Museum. An intervention disguised as advertising. Work in the literal sense. A conversation that smiles in the face of an outdated narrative and invites everyone. Advertising so good it’s worth paying for. Sign me up.

But in the most extreme case, advertising turns out to be something more. In the hands of the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people, advertising is a tool for democracy. A window on an unimaginable reality, which plays out in the palm of our hands. Ukraine Is Now is a film that should never have existed. It leaves me speechless, like the war itself. My thoughts are with the filmmakers, subjects and the wider community. There won’t be a bigger announcement made this decade.

Please show your support for Ukraine It’s Now by reposting the video and #standwithukraine.

Nicola Wood, Creative Director, Ogilvy UK

My son is constantly moaning to me “you’re still on your laptop” which is quite ironic coming from the kid who spends most of his non-school hours playing with his friends in the metaverse – they’d rather go eat pizza in Roblox that IRL – I don’t know how I feel about this, but that’s a conversation for another day. So when he showed real interest in what I was looking at, I jumped at the chance to spend 10 minutes talking to him about something other than MM2’s legendary knives (if you know you know). So please find additional comments from 10 ¾ aged Ollie Wood.

What caught his ear was the Charli XCX track on the Samsung movie. I have to admit, it’s cool (I’m going to crop after swearing in the presence of a child) and it really adds to the otherworldly dreamy quality of the movie. I love it. Although I’m afraid it’s probably not meant for me as I’m very far from cool and generally like to be in bed around 10pm these days. I can see it appealing to fashionistas and hip guys in Shoreditch. Oh and the 10 year old boys; Ols particularly liked the boots. Top marks for a beautifully written ending line. See the night in a new light. Quality writing.

Next, Specsavers. The movie made both of us smile, but I kind of knew where it was going from the start. What I like is the idea of ​​switching scripts between programs, but on the wrong channel. This media partnership with Channel 4 and ITV is super smart.

Stand with Ukraine. So heartbreaking. Every shot was considered. From the extremely powerful opening image of a young mother breastfeeding in a shelter, who gave me a lump in my throat, to the very last shot of the guy crying and apologizing for being Russian. It is difficult to understand what is really going on, but it is, and we stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Ollie had nothing to say about it. His silence said it all. He’s a kid who literally can’t stop talking. Never. I wonder if he will talk about it later?

It’s hard to follow something so moving with something so cheerfully flippant, but you gotta love the work of the Vagina Museum. The ‘Open soon’ campaign is a very hard act to follow and I’m not sure this work is that strong, it looks a bit busy, but the style of the flying posters suits East London. I like the details in the writing like “Mind the WAP”. What does Ollie think? You lost it in the vagina. And I lost it in the metaverse.

Black horses running somewhere in Britain. Definitely Lloyds Bank. But I definitely feel like I’ve seen it before. Sorry, I hate to say this, but they get confused a little bit. There’s no denying the level of craftsmanship that goes into it – Lloyds’ films are always impeccably crafted and set on a magnificent track – but just as the lovely Imelda Staunton tells us that Lloyds is always on our side, I have l impression that his advertisements are always the same. Needs more teeth or a different hook.

Finally, we have a lovely, lively pigeon and seagull trying to encourage us to get back on the trains. It kinda sounds like a client checklist with all the reasons why we should go back in the big smoke. I bet there were some great scriptures that were cut from the script to fit in. I’m a commuter, so I have no choice but to pay the extortionate fares and spread my wings, but I’m not sure this campaign will quite win over the masses.

When Ollie resurfaced, he said very seriously, “I thought of one of these, mum…where can I find these boots?” I promise you – I’m trying to teach him empathy.