Staff Reporters
Aug 23, 2016

Private view: Nappy claims don't hold water, pre-approval for coming out, more

Paul Catmur and Ng Heok Seong give their opinions on charismatic pork slices, shallow motorbike storytelling and more.

L-R: Ng Heok Seong, Paul Catmur
L-R: Ng Heok Seong, Paul Catmur

In Private View, we ask two creative leaders to comment on recent work from around the region.

This month's participants: 

  • Paul Catmur, managing partner and executive creative director, Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu
  • Ng Heok Seong, chief creative officer, McCann Malaysia

1. 'Hello Angel'

Catmur: I reckon we have enough of a perception problem around the integrity of our industry without claims that we’ve solved postnatal depression by making singing nappies. My washing machine plays a tune every time it finishes so I now associate that noise with having to stop whatever I’m doing and hang up the washing. Consequently, I hate it. Now mothers have a tune which indicates that it’s time to clean up somebody else’s bodily fluids. I remain unconvinced that this is cause to celebrate.

Ng: Postpartum depression is a serious affliction, and its effects can range from ‘just having the blues’ all the way to suicide. Such a weighty subject should be tackled with sensitivity and empathy to the psychological nuances, and certainly not with a wet diaper and a cheery ‘yay for mom!’ note. This work demonstrates a distasteful understanding of the problem at hand—proving the award show critics right yet again.

Bonus Campaign Asia-Pacific take: Diaper brand claims messages on wet nappies prevent postpartum depression

2. Ariel/Dynamo

Catmur: Maybe if I had kids, I might like this.

Ng: This is a sweet film playing off the emotions of a young boy and his hard-working mother who’s rarely present. However, is there territory beyond appreciating mums for the laundry, food and help with homework? Perhaps someday we’ll find out.

Bonus Campaign Asia-Pacific take: Love notes: Ariel SEA mum's-day story is sweet, but also limited

3. Mahindra Mojo

Catmur: I like motorbikes; I like India; and I was once a young person. However, that is sadly not enough for me to recommend this film, which acutely demonstrates the difference between a collection of quite-nice shots and nice storytelling.

Ng: While shot interestingly, and enough of a tease for anyone interested in bikes, open roads and biker girls, it’s hard to see how this slick film built credibility for the brand. Unless I missed it, there’s a much better ‘ad’ hidden in the interview article—a maker’s trail, a journey from Pune to Pithampur, a 600km ride with the media—that would have made perfect, gritty, mud-splattered biker content.

Bonus Campaign India coverage: Mahindra Mojo woos those #BornForTheRoad

4. Cotton Collection

Catmur: My ignorance of ancient text unfortunately prevents me from fully appreciating any cultural significance inherent in these shopping bags. That being said, they look quite sturdy and would probably hold several bottles of red without problems.

Ng: Preserving cultures around the world must be one of the most important jobs anyone can have, cleverly applied in this case. I hope there was communication around what the symbols were and meant; otherwise it would just be design that ‘looks good’. And that would be a great injustice.

5. Minus 18

Catmur: I know it may be hard to believe, but many years ago I went to school. Unless school kids have since changed into far nicer, more public-spirited people than we ever were, this will be a tough job. I hope I am wrong. Kids learn racism and sexual intolerance from their parents and it would be great to break that cycle.

Ng: This threw me off for a while — how would you know if a friend would accept you coming out if it’s anonymous? Taking a quick survey of your circle of friends might be of some use, but how they react when they find out that it’s you might be an entirely different matter.

6. Chabuton

Catmur: I’ve always been a fan of using pre-formed slices of pork roll to re-enact Hollywood movies, but sadly Chabuton have beaten me to it.

Ng: This ad seems fun on the surface, but it’s not even about ramen, just the slice of pork that’s the ‘star’. At best, it’s a dubious claim.

Bonus pork-slice re-enactments:


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