It’s St Patrick Day again and everybody who has ever even heard a song of the Emerald Isle gets together to swap stories of Joyce, Beckett and Wilde whilst discussing the myths and legends of the land. Only kidding, they adopt awful accents, shove ridiculous hats on their head and drink Guinness for the first and only time this year.
Closer to home, and in a much more sober turn of events, the treatment of women came in to focus once again. This is because the Met took tone deaf to a new level this week, as they approached a peaceful vigil, with billy clubs. It’s hard to imagine a worse response to a protest against violence than seeing the police kettle women and then forcibly remove them. On the plus side Piers Morgan broke the record for complaints made to OFCOM, so it hasn’t all been a disaster.
The adverts I’ve noticed recently have been a somewhat eclectic mix, from DIY love involving Dick and Angel Strawbridge in Atomic London’s advert for Homebase to Darkhorse’s antithetical ad for Vanarama. Transportation is somewhat of a strong theme with Ardmore’s advert for Network Rail and Antidote’s attempts to get older people ‘on their bikes’. Finally, there is a vibrant (if somewhat creepy) advert for the NHS by Manning Gottlieb.
1. Homebase – “Give it a go” by Atomic London
Atomic London are using the eccentric pairing of Dick and Angel Strawbridge to create an advert for Homebase. I suppose they are amongst the most famous DIY’ers around at the moment, let’s face it they look on what probably amounts to the Everest of home improvements when they bought Chateau de la Motte-Husson in Martigne-sur-Mayenne (trying say that after a few glasses of vin rouge!). They kind of make my feeble attempt to paint the garden shed seem embarrassing, especially after I ran out of paint and had to use a slightly different shade to finish it (true story).
Agency: Atomic London
2. NHS – “ World Kidney Day” by Manning Gottlieb
Manning Gottlieb seems to be channeling their inner Robert Smith, because their series of graphics for the NHS looks like a storyboard for a Cure video. The juxtaposition of playful images, interesting biological facts and the picture of a young woman combine to create a thought provoking (if creepy) set of pictures. The visual representation created through the overlaying of the organs on the young woman’s picture provides a focus to the message that might be in danger of being lost if they were not present.
Agency: Manning Gottlieb
3 – Vanarama- “Find your new lease of life” by Darkhorse
Darkhorse create a switch of expectations in their advert for Vanarama ‘find your new lease of Life’.
Sort of like the plain Jane trope in a coming-of-age film, where they put glasses on a stunning girl and pretend she is the ‘nerd’, before the big reveal at the end of the movie. The lady in this advert betrays her ‘uptight’ image after she delves behind the third wall via her tablet. If I could do that, I’m not sure I’d place myself in an advertisement, but to each their own!
4. Brompton bicycles “Im getting on” by Antidote
Ever been annoyed at being stuck behind an older driver? Well now you can get stuck behind an older cyclist! I’m sure that you will be tolerant of the senior road users, be sure to thank Antidote and Brompton Bicycle. Obviously, I’m joking, anything that gets people active and reduces traffic gets a thumbs up from me. The images showing older people dressed normally is important because it demonstrates that you do not have to be a lycra clad road warrior to access the cycle lanes, which I guess is half the battle.
5. Network Rail – “There is always hope” by Ardmore
Ardmore seems to have made an idealised version of the train station for Network Rail. Trains running on time, fellow travellers being considerate, no crying children or pigeon poo. This doesn’t tally up with my experiences dammit! Where is the obligatory drunk, who inevitably wants to chat? Where are the suitcases that are sure to be placed on the seat that you reserved months ago? They have captured some aspects that seem sentimentally familiar though, the anticipation of meeting the return of a loved one or the sting of the farewell. It turns out that train stations are more interesting than they first seem.
Client: Network Rail