We are almost a year on from the first lockdown, I suppose I can’t really say anything about the last year that hasn’t been posted, tweeted or scrawled on the side of a building. However, it strikes me that we have all experienced it as collective consciousness, whilst paradoxically also being very isolated as individuals. Each of us has been affected in a different way. For me, my sense of passing time has been altered, a week can feel like a year or a day can pass in the blink of an eye, it is somewhat disorientating.
As more things begin to open up along the ‘route out of this’, I’ve seen and heard things that have made me laugh. For instance I was on a Zoom call with my friends when one of them (who is having daily LFT) piped up with the immortal line ‘I’ve not had this many things shoved up my nose since the crayons in nursery’. I’ve also seen a literal beer countdown, my father posted it in our family group chat, visions of Boozy Father Christmas swerving around the skies over Lapland abound.
Speaking of beer, the first advert this week is set Down Under (sorry Aussies, that was a terrible segue) as Publicis Poke presents a professional wildlife botherer in ‘Koala Academy’ for Cushelle. The lighthearted theme continues in ‘Popchips Start Something Good’ by St Lukes. Barnados introduce a serious message in their advert by the Good Agency and Owen Farrell invokes his inner Rocky on behalf of Castore for Pitch. Finally I’m left dreaming of days future past, after watching ‘Wave’ by Mamapool.
1. Cushelle – “Koala Academy” by Publicis Poke
Publicis Poke have created a milieu of boganism in their Cushelle Academy series. I’m sure Paul Hogan and the ghost of Steve Irwin are watching in quiet consternation as the flaming galah with the megaphone aggravates various members of the local indiginous population. I’m also sure that certain WASPy Sydneysiders are muttering into their low fat, organic, decaf no foam cappuccinos, but sorry guys, this really is the way the world views Australians. Fair dinkum mate!
2. Castore – “ Better Never Stops” by Pitch
When I showed my other half ‘Better Never Stops’ he laughed and said something about Owen Farrell never passing, I’ve no idea what he means, but I’m not sure that is what Pitch was going for. I suppose that is the inherent danger in using sports stars in your adverts, unless they are Usain Bolt, they are bound to lose sometimes.
Was it me? Or did he or did the video have a bit of an Ivan Drago montage feel to it? I’ve tried to avoid saying ‘If he trys, he tries’, but I just can’t resist it, I’ll get my coat.
3. Popchips “Start Something Good” by St. Lukes
Flights of fancy inspired by crisps are few and far between, but that is what St Lukes are proposing in ‘Popchips Starts Something Good’. The crunchy little story arc sees a boss won over after she was offered a baked crisp. I offered somebody in a position of power a crisp once, he was Charlie McEwan the school yard bully. He punched me in the shoulder because they were pickled onion flavoured. My story may not have the gravitas of a boss turned friend, but it has helped make me what I am today, dammit!
4. Hitachi “Wave” by Mamapool
When I first started watching ‘Wave’ by Mamapool I thought I had accidentally clicked on a Flaming Lips video. The wailing vocals of the soundtrack and the general weirdness of the characters were very reminiscent of a Wayne Coyne creation.
Alternatively, I think this may be a premonition of the future necrosis of British travellers. I can see myself at Charles de Gualle in a year or so, standing in the ‘other’ line daydreaming about what clearing immigration used to look like, this video is going to haunt me. That Irish robot, German David Bowie rip off and 1940s Italian pilot are going to be checked into their hotels before I even reach the front of the queue.
5. Barnardos – “How I felt Good” by Good
I always get a sinking feeling when I hear a story that begins in the past tense, a feeling that was sadly vindicated during the course of ‘How I Felt Good’. Personalisation is always an important element in adverts of this nature, it is far too easy to become desensitised to the plight of others. The Good Agency attempts to circumvent this by subtly introducing small relatable elements that are just jarring or sentimental enough to keep the viewer’s attention, without resorting to overt pathos. The advert has an important message, one which you feel will become ever more vital in the coming years.