In episode four of Campaign's long-running 'Private View' feature in its new 'reaction video' format, we asked a pair of industry experts to record themselves reacting to three recent ads:
- Fahad Bombaywala, creative director, Adcom Leo Burnett
- Stephen Chung, creative partner, Secret Tour Hong Kong
The ads we asked our participants to watch made for a rather theatrical series, with Skoda, the New Zealand Police, and Singtel pushing the boat out on large and loud spectacle. According to our lab rats, this level of bombasity had the desired effect.
“After watching the commercials, I can say that the execution for all three was awesome," Chung said.
The first advert was an offbeat choice for several reasons. A nonsensical musical number promoting the overall Skoda brand produced in collaboration with production outfit Handsome Dancer.
Handsome Dancer's 2017 viral hit project "Coincidance", took in in millions of online views online and gained enough acclaim for New Director's Showcase screening at the 2017 Cannes Lions. In a move that isn't too shocking (in that it's capitalizing on a trendy piece of content) but still bizarre (since the entire Coincidance concept is extremely silly), the original viral vid about shoulder shaking dancers has been reappropriated to a Taipei setting with an automotive theme.
Chung was very receptive to the collaboration's oddness saying, "You always need to grab attention because there are simply so many things happening, both in the real world and on social media. Skoda’s commercial easily grabs that attention by the eyeballs within the first two to three seconds."
The mismatch of the hook to the product didn't go unnoticed however, with Chung adding, "My only gripe from the viewed works is that the Skoda advert could have been even better if it somehow embraced local culture, perhaps incorporate the dancing into more Taiwanese scenarios and settings than just random groups.”
Next on the docket was an action-comedy experiment of a recruitment video by Ogilvy & Mather for the New Zealand Police. Titled 'Freeze! NZ Police’s most entertaining recruitment video, yet!' it's a mixture of cinematic chases and information dumps for potential candidates, but most noticeably a wealth of distinctly Kiwi brand comedy. Bodybuilders, crosswalk dancers, and a handbag stealing dog appear, for instance.
Commenting on the kooky approach to a normally stiff and traditional genre, Chung noted how it took some guts saying, "It is much harder to make a funny recruitment video than to create an ad for a normal commercial brand."
The final entry comes from BBH Singapore for local internet provider Singtel. The advert is a delightfully cringeworthy tribute to that relic of the 80's best-forgotten power ballads.
Featuring a technician who turns into a big-haired Bryan Adams/Bon Jovi hybrid, extolling the benefits of Singtel service like 10GB broadband, it is in a word, bonkers.
Chung was able to get onboard with the rocking daftness of the ad but thought Skoda's musical number stole the show by going all out. He said, "Singtel’s entry also plays with music and song but I think Skoda’s advert is superior for pushing those elements to the limit. I believe that the Skoda “Coincidance” advert is the best of them as I find it exciting."