Beale's Best In Show: Oxfam (Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R)
Monday 28 April 2008
I'm not entirely sure that I like this week's Best in Show. But I suspect that's actually the point.
It's for Oxfam, and it's by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. Advertising wisdom holds that you're not supposed to like charity ads. They're supposed to shock you, make you feel uncomfortable, make you want to act.
The trouble is that since most charity ads set out to shock, it's easy for us to turn off. The Oxfam ad has the virtue of being different, of shocking but also surprising.
It uses unusual animation techniques to blistering effect. We see a barrage of depressing news, about poverty, about floods, about injustice – the sort of stories we are so used to seeing in the media that we have become utterly fatigued by them.
We see a little old lady surrounded by this doom and gloom. But instead of ignoring it all, she screams out. And it's actually quite a bizarre, disturbing image: this little old lady vomiting forth like that posh old dear from Little Britain, who spews with disgust at the sight of poor people or foreigners. Oxfam's little old lady spews at injustice.
"Be aware, be moved, be involved. Be humankind." It's a little too generic for me, a little too unspecific about what I should be taking action against. But I can't remember the last time I really felt intrigued about a charity commercial, the last time I wanted to watch a charity commercial over and over and work out what it's all about. For sheer interest and intrigue, Oxfam's commercial steers through the charity advertising clutter.
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