Dove (US) - Men Care
Other than a common language, if there's one thing that separates the Brits from the Americans, it's advertising. Take this spot for Dove Men Care; you just know it's an American ad before you even hear the first 'Daddy!'. In the UK we get very uncomfortable about too much sentimentality (we'd rather some pithy wit), so on a British screen this work would be met with curled toes and awkward laughter. But the US market laps this stuff up like Cherry Coke. Even though the 'real men being lovely to kids' thing is about 30 years old, somehow, I think Dove are onto a cute winner here.
Australian Made - Sausages
Staying with our colonial cousins for a minute, here's some work for an Aussie meat company selling bangers to the Brits. Or is it a British firm selling snags to Australians? Could be either really. The animation is pretty snappy and I love the 'melt-in-your-mouth' voiceover, but there's not enough in here about the food itself. What does it taste like? Why is it better? I do buy into the whole tradition and history part, but the selling points somehow fail to sizzle.
Deichmann - We Love Shoes
I once went into a Deichmann store and it smelled of warm plastic, which made me feel a bit queasy. Which is interesting, because this ad has a similar effect. Again, this would play well in the US, only this spot is running in the UK. Suggesting your footwear will transform your customers into glowing American teens is all very well, but whether that has any traction in a soggy shopping centre in Solihull is another matter. It's good to know Deichmann love shoes (after all, that's all they sell), but I worry that consumers who feel the same way will choose an outlet that smells a bit better, and produces more convincing commercials.
Robinsons - They Grow Up Fast
Wow! I love to see a high-concept campaign, now and again. And this falls very much into that category. There's a solid proposition too: 'Robinsons' juice is a big part of childhood, and should be a big part of adulthood'. Great! The editing and effects also impress. BUT it's really, really creepy. This might just be me, but I spent the entire 60 seconds mostly terrified. Then I realised they were using Chairman of the Board's 'Give Me Just A Little More Time', a song about teenage sexual relationships, and things went from bad to worse. I'd happily give this clip a high mark for adventurous thinking, but the execution makes me want to hide behind the sofa and scrub myself with wire wool.
Compare The Market - Hollywood
There isn't much left to be said about the meerkats - it's clearly now the campaign by which all others are measured, and deservedly so. I'd just add that this iteration has a genuinely funny moment when Alexander steals Sergei's idea as it's leaving his mouth. Oh, and the animated animals are much better actors than Arnold.
Magnus Shaw is a blogger and copywriter