I’ve finally got round to having a proper read of the Campaign Annual 2008
As usual it seems to be broadly accurate but with several entries of slightly questionable merit that might have hinged more on the hospitality provided by the companies in question than the quality of their advertising.
Three lunches for Journalist X? Three spots higher on the top photographer’s chart.
Four hour lunch for Journailst Y? Four ads in the top ten regional print list.
There obviously a fair bit of room for interpretation, and this year that was most visible in the list of top directors:
Number 2, Danny Kleinman: ‘This year’s output is just as prestigious as last, with big budget numbers on Specsavers and Orange…’ Eh? Last year Danny did the brilliant Smirnoff ‘Sea’, PG Tips ‘The Return’, and ‘Neon Girl’. I have no idea what this Specsavers ad is, but it wasn’t in Campaign’s top ten TV ads, and Orange was, um, not in that list either. As long as Danny’s working he’ll always be one of the top directors but that paragraph was just a smidge too bullshitty for comfort.
Number 6, Noam Murro: he may be the sixth best director, but Campaign still has to mention that his Orange ‘I Am’ ad was ‘one of his less impressive efforts’. And VW Dog is ‘easily one of the top ten ads of the year’. Agreed, so why does it squeak into the list at number 10?
Number 7, Nicolai Fugslig: the seventh best director of UK ads in the world has been ‘a little less busy in the UK’ this year. So much so that we can only name Ford ‘Blank Canvas’ to his credit. And it was crap. Congratulations to the hospitality team at MJZ.
Number 9, Shane Meadows: an odd choice of position. One ‘pay the bills’ ad for Asda’s back to school kids range and a slightly odd campaign for acting on CO2 are apparently the results of demand of ‘epic proportions’ and justifies his number 9 ranking. I’d have put him in the top three for Somers Town alone.
I know it’s not been a vintage year, but what about (my friend) Jeff Labbe? Barnados campaign (Campaign’s number 4 ad of the year), Levi’s ‘Secrets and Lies’, BBC HD ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and the VW ‘Driving Test’ ad. And I’d have given a nod to Guy Ritchie for ‘Take It To The Next Level’, the closest to a dead cert for a 2009 pencil that I can think of.
Dear Campaign, you don’t have to do a list of the ten best directors if there aren’t ten who had a good year. Do a list of something else. An obvious gap was scandals: CHI’s salaries email, the dothetest theft row, the Ipint theft row, the Cannes bullshit entries and then six others that involved media companies or planners or some other things that might have annoyed some people who took you to lunch.
Hang on, who am I kidding? We’re not exactly talking about the NY Times. A few trips to the Wolsley for a place on one of these somewhat arbitrary lists?
Job done, apparently.