Jackpot Joy - Bus Stop
There's so much to baffle me here (which leads me to suspect these people are not really addressing me). Does Barbara Windsor really need money so badly that she's forced to appear in online bingo ads? Can't Eastenders give her another gig? Who's the blokey with the 'tache? Other than the same fellow who does those takeaway food app spots on Dave? What does any of this have to do with winning cash on the internet? As I say, baffling. And very noisy, too.
Not On The High Street - Valentine
Allow me to apologise to NOTH. It seems I reviewed one of their out-of-date clips the other week, in error. So here's their new, very topical spot (yes guys, you really need to be focused very hard on Saturday), which I rather like. Mostly because it features a mix-tape - and I managed to get my wife to show an interest in me with a mix-tape. So, if they're after people of my vintage, they've done a very good job. I'm also keen on the way the spotlight a single product to flag up their diverse range. Good work here, and sorry about the blooper.
Skoda - Stealing Attention
Automotive has such a painfully poor track record, as an advertising genre - and I can see the creative team has really tried with this, so it's a shame it falls so flat. The parrot doing some beatboxing isn't particularly funny or well executed, and the driver giving fist-bumps is just awkward. 'I'll be back' is an ancient catchphrase, and probably lost on many viewers, even if it raised a laugh. The whole piece smells of a 'one-size-fits-all' clip, to be used in as many territories as possible - and that approach rarely produces creative quality. Through some clever marketing Skoda has shed its poor reputation in recent years, but sadly this doesn't take the brand anywhere in a hurry.
Kleenex - Kiss
Remember 'Blade Runner', and all those video screens showing ads that talk to the passers-by? It seems we're one step closer to that reality, with this new campaign for Kleenex (assuming they actually carried out the ambient work this ad suggests). Obviously this is going to attract a lot of attention because of the mix of technology and real people, but it just misses its target. The messages are a bit mawkish and predictable, and one doesn't really send a kiss in a tissue - so I can't quite marry the concept with the execution. What's more, when the product drops, it obviously isn't the one that has been kissed. So a brave attempt, but too disjointed to be as smart as it might have been.
Post Office - Make Money Easier
I like Robert Webb, he's a genuinely funny guy (particularly in the peerless 'Peep Show'); I just don't like him in this. It's hard to tell who the character is supposed to be spoofing - did they just say 'Hey Robert! Do a crazy guy, while we write out the cheque'? And as he's being so daft, we can't actually take the information seriously, which I guess we're supposed to. What most people know about the Post Office is that it was recently give away to the private sector for a handful of beans, and loads of them have closed. It'll take more than a comic in blue tartan suit to rescue the brand, I'm afraid.
Magnus Shaw is a copywriter and blogger.