Good Ad Bad Ad: Robert Bean

In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. Robert Bean, chairman of Bean Andrews Norways Cramphorn, finds emotive ads win hands down over complicated design



There a few executions in this campaign, but the one I particularly like - it strikes a nerve in all of us who are in this business and still married - is this story of a young couple. They're walking towards us, clearly going home, and the man is carrying take-away food. They look in a restaurant window to see another couple having a romantic, candlelit meal, and the woman, in particular, is very upset.

We then get five or six different vignettes, each with a different kind of take-away food, with a different couple in the restaurant. In the last scene, the guy is walking home on his own with his take-away, and looking into the restaurant to see his girlfriend having dinner with another bloke.

It sounds predictable, but on the first viewing you're not quite sure what's going to happen, so you stay with it. And at the end you've got this killer line: "Don't put it off - put it on", a brilliant injunction to spend, spend, spend.

The casting and direction are good, it's witty, and it gets the message across clearly. And, with its "you only live once" message, there's real depth to it. But it's done in a charming way - especially for a financial services institution. The holy grail for them is to find a human and emotive way to advertise, and this agency has pulled it off. Long may it run.


Wolff Olins

This ad is also a series of vignettes. We see what I think is a builder, who suddenly stops what he's doing and says: "I need a ...", before it cuts to a nurse. She's running around, then she stops and says: "I need a ..." I think what this ad is trying to say is, "Whatever you need, call us." But who are "us"? Scoot is a new name for what was Freepages, but if you don't know that, there's absolutely no clue as to what Scoot is. That's a pretty important failing.

Also, the acting and direction are dreadfully wooden. And the vignettes are badly cast; the guy playing the builder, for instance, looks nothing like a builder.

This ad is done by Wolff Olins, and I think it screams design company, because it looks as if it should be on paper. The backgrounds to the sets are thin, and the whole thing is one-dimensional. There's no texture, no subtlety, in the scriptwriting and film-making. Given the fact that it's a design agency, that's perhaps unsurprising; they might be more comfortable on a flat canvas than in TV.

Finally, they spend a huge, disproportionate amount of time at the end on a complicated sequence of stripes and squiggles that end up making up the logo, as though that is in any way entertaining or necessary. Wolff Olins is a fantastic design group, but they really ought to stick to what they're good at it.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk