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12May/106

Carlsberg World Cup ad treads a familiar and depressing route

I enjoyed the first two thirds or so of this. Yes, it slots into every box-ticking FUCKING FOOTY IS FUCKING BRILLIANT AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING! category imaginable these days.

Yes there's the usual dodgy jingoism about it all, and, yes it's the usual footy+lager/MacDonalds/chocolate meme we get every world cup (see also: Venables, Redknapp and Wright disaster confluence).

I like Jackie Charlton's appearance - it's a link back to football was a nobler, less commodified pursuit - and I like some of the voiceover; it's almost as if it's a reminder to overpaid, spoilt Premiership stars to buck their bloody ideas up and remember they're not just playing for themselves.

The appearance of some of England's foremost sportspeople is an important reminder than we're a little country capable of great things, before it goes all foreigner-baiting with the quite astonishing "You'll make them regret the day they took on England!'.

Worse than that, though, is the use of the images of Bobby Moore and, especially Bobby Robson. Using Robson's image, particularly, to sell shit lager seems like the height of bad taste to me. Yes, as a Newcastle United fan, but also as a human being. The guy died less than a year ago. Jesus.

And then all hell breaks loose. Kasabian - a band I associate mainly with binge-drinking, Saturday night city-centre violence and shit gangster films - and eye-rolling ENGERLAND! bollocks and Botham twatting about in chainmail. And Aslan.

Promising start. Feeble, predictable, depressing end. Can you guess where I'm going with this?

9May/101

Place your bets on how long Paddy Power’s new ad will be on screens

So, how long will this one last? Ads that feature anything that even suggests animal cruelty is on thin ice, and liable to get banned in the end, just ask Ford - who actually decapitated a moggy in ads for the SportKa a few years ago.

Of course, the ad doesn't have the courage of its convictions. Despite telling us that there's nothing that can be done for Tiddles, we get a shot of the cat at the end of the ad that shows it to be fine. Curiously, I've not noticed this in the ads that have shown on TV though.

Either way, there'll be complaints, there'll be apologies and there'll be more media interest. Given that this ad is pretty irrelevant and generally uninspired - its enough to make you wonder why they went this this ad in the first place.

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4May/100

Labour Party keeps it simple

Perhaps Labour is putting the KISS mantra into place with its viral ads in the 2010 General Election; perhaps they think that everyday TV faces recognised by millions will win over floating voters, or at least get the core vote out.

Or perhaps they're totally skint. Either way, these ads from Labour featuring Ross Kemp (dig at the missus?), Sean Pertwee and Eddie Izzard are startling in their simplicity - and appear to feature the celebrities speaking for themselves on voting in the election.

The Road Ahead has a bit more to it, with Pertwee hiking across the British countryside, but the Izzard and Kemp spots have a plain background, little in the way of graphics or soundtrack and two men putting over a very simple message.

I think they're good, in that they're communicating a simple message clearly, though whether that's come about as a result of Labour being strapped is unclear.

I often wonder why government agencies don't ape this simple approach when attempting to communicate the likes of tax credits, digital switchovers and getting on the electoral role.

The ads generally trotted out are so convoluted as to be indistinguishable from the diaspora of modern advertising - does anyone really remember that daft digital one with the little robot and ugly man? - but what do I know?

Doing simple things well is rarely fashionable, and who's going to pay for all of those second homes for ad execs if every ad features Michael Parkinson talking his sodding pension?

But I'd stake my collection of digital PR newsletters that it would work. Keep It Simple, Stupid is a mantra we'd do well to observe in most walks of life.

60 seconds - Ross Kemp

 

Brilliant Britain - Eddie Izzard

 

The Road Ahead - Sean Pertwee

 

Change - Bill Bailey

 

They'll be voting Labour

 

Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Liz Dawn, Leonard Fenton, Prunella Scales, Tony Robinson, Peter Guinness and Roberta Taylor explain why they'll be voting Labour on Thursday.