Good Ad Bad Ad

In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. This week, Paul Cardwell, creative director at Doner Cardwell Hawkins, on television commercials high and low


Lowe Howard-Spink

This is a beautiful piece of work. It has a lot of drive and energy and you just feel that it's right. I hated the poster executions when they came out - I thought they looked really static and stiff - but I saw them while travelling in Africa and Europe and realised that they worked internationally. But I really started to like them when I saw this film.

There's a girl in a room, and a guy gets thrown in the door by some hooded criminal types. She fires a pistol, and the bullet stops in mid-air, as it's coming towards your face. Then we're into a whole set of chase scenes - on an express train, which converts into a vehicle, which is being chased and shot at by a Doom-game spacecraft. That all changes into a rainy Manhattan street, where we see the hooded criminals kick a door open - and we're back where we started. It's like a great track on an album that you want to put straight back to the start when it ends; you want to watch it all over again.

It's not a USP ad, and that's good, because a USP ad would look terribly old-fashioned. Advertising now is about "joining". It's saying: "Be a part of this scene - if you're not then you're missing out." Smirnoff is entirely about "joiners".

If you want to be an old fart about it, you could say that this ad could be for any big youth brand, but the fact is that it gives Smirnoff a great position. If you look at it against Absolut, which is very cool and severe, Smirnoff has a high-energy position. This is what counts in this sector - if you taste the brands side by side, there is no perceptible product difference.

Boston Beer

Lowe Howard-Spink

Here is a drinks ad that has gone badly astray. There are two executions, each featuring Elliott Gould behind a bar - one in which he's pouring himself a beer, and one in which he's serving a middle-aged couple.

The whole thing has an Eastbourne quality: it feels like it's for pensioners. Elliott Gould has grown old gracefully, which I think is the worst thing you could possibly do in this life. Someone like Dennis Hopper, though, would have been great - unrepentant old Dennis, still with every bad habit he started out with. You'd buy a beer off that man. But you wouldn't want a beer with Elliott Gould. What would you say to him? "What have you done since Barbra, Elliott?" And he'd say: "Well, nothing, really, but my putting's better."

The ad's dull, he's dull and the whole thing has no energy. There is no urgency, whereas the Smirnoff ad tells you you've got to go and try some. And the ad with the couple - I don't understand why they're there.

I have no recollection of the dialogue. You're waiting for Elliott Gould to say something famous, but then you realise that the challenge is to name a famous Elliott Gould line. He has a great face, but he hasn't got the necessary iconic status. He hasn't reinvented himself, either as an unrepentant bad pensioner or a cleaned-up good guy. They're trying the "Hey, you groovy kids, Elliott Gould is cool again" trick - but Elliott Gould is stone cold. They must have paid a fortune for him, but they've done nothing with him.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Senior Web Developer - C# / ASP.NET - London - £55K

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Web Deve...

SThree: Internal Recruitment Consultant (In-House)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Are you an ambitious, money moti...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Manager / Account Director – DSP / Ad tech / RTB

£50,000- £70,000 + commission : Sphere Digital Recruitment: This DSP is an onl...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower