The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Do Fallon Think People Are Too Basic?
November 6, 2007, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Comment

This is Fallon’s new ad for Orange in the UK.

Like many of the commercials they’ve done for SONY, I can’t help but feel they’ve executed [albeit wonderfully] a lowest-common-denominator idea that ultimately could be for any brand.

Infact with this Orange spot, it could easily be another ad for SONY Bravia – which begs the question, am I missing the point or being a pedantic twat?  [Great website though]

[Having thought about this for a second – I can imagine they were given a VERY tight brief so the answer to the question is most likely to be B: Pedantic Twat]


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Speaking of the lowest common denominator.. I have a rant going up soon on my blog…

Its as if they have a creative raffle, and then mould it to the brand. That said, they do all work…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

This is most definitely an ad rejected by Sony (“Colour like no other…except the TV you’re watching this on!”) which they’ve decided to recycle for another client.

Fallon UK is nothing but an ad agency that’s evolved out of a Rep agency for good ad Film directors.

Comment by Hari

You’re right Rob.M, like most ‘great’ agencies their work is targetted to the Lowest Common Denominator – PWWAs (People Who Work in Advertising)

Comment by Hari

I do feel abit of a shit questioning Fallon because I really like them, have friends there and think they’re doing loads of great creative [with their online being especially good]

I just have started to feel I’ve seen all their campaigns before. I don’t mean literally- I mean in the sense that regardless of the brand / product, they all seem quite similar whereas with someone like Crispin’s, you always sense there is a fundamental shift in ‘mood and attitude’ across all their work.

It’s starting to feel like ‘AOR advertising’ … and I don’t mean AOR in the advertising sense of the word, but the musical one!

Going home now before I upset anyone else, ha!

Comment by Rob

Film Directors will be putting a load of ad agencies out of business within the next 5 years, mark my words.

Saying that, they seem to have more imagination than alot of ad agencies so that’s not necassarilly a bad thing.

Looking forward to reading your rant Rob M and Hari, when are you going to start posting again?

Comment by Rob

I do agree there, its a bit harsh to criticise Fallon as they are producing interesting work rather than boring by the numbers stuff.

But there is that question that used to be asked of W+K London, when are they going to expand from running one campaign for several brands.

WK have managed to widen their style, and I hope Fallon can too; as their creative talents mixed with better targeting/planning could produce some amazing work.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I do agree there, its a bit harsh to criticise Fallon as they are producing interesting work rather than boring by the numbers stuff.

But there is that question that used to be asked of W+K London, when are they going to expand from running one campaign for several brands.

WK have managed to widen their style, and I hope Fallon can too; as their creative talents mixed with better targeting/planning could produce some amazing work.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I think you’re being rather harsh on Fallon Robert. I understand what you’re saying with this commercial (and the Walkman one you wrote about a while back) but they are still producing some of the best television at the moment, even if the premise is potentially overly simplistic or generic.

Comment by George

We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. Our obligation is to make money.”
“To make money, it may be important to win the Academy Award, for it might mean another ten million dollars at the box office.”
DON SIMPSON

Comment by niko

Nice quote Niko… not sure how much I agree with it though!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Don Simpson the drug snorting, whore abusing, S&M film producer?
He might be a role model for my life but I don’t know whether I’d trust his business judgement.
“Days of Thunder” anyone?

Comment by Bazza

It’s tricky isn’t it? Because it is actually a rather smashing 30 seconds of television. It’s clever, funny and beautifully made but at the same time – the same as all the other really good stuff they’re doing. Which disappoints us.

But that disappointing the ad industry isn’t really what this business is about is it? At least, it shouldn’t be.

Comment by Marcus

Days of Thunder worldwide theatrical box office $165 million.

Comment by John

DID I HEAR YOU SAY TOP GUN, BAD BOYS??

ROB CAMPBELL, THIS IS WHAT I MEANT WHEN I SAID THE STUFF ABOUT NOT BEING CARL ROVE ENOUGH..

Comment by niko

Days of Thunder (aka Top Gun 2)

Its fine to have one Don Simpson, but god help us if thats all we have.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Titantic worldwide theatrical box office $1 billion. What’s your point? People like shit flicks?

Comment by Bazza

I don’t have to be nice to fallon and have already been nasty to them once in a few weeks, so i’m not going to hold back:
i don’t see anything in this ad that relates it to what orange is about. even if it’s about generating orange as the ‘colour of communication’ – there’s nothing that really heads this in that direction. it’s a fun film, that looks fantastic, but it does seem to be a bravia reject and if i was at orange, i would have a few questions of my agency. however, if i worked at the bbc, or for hopscotch films, i’d be asking to have lunch with the creative team, that’s for sure.

Comment by lauren

yes mr Bazza, that is exactly my point…what is wrong with a shit flick if the guys who are paying our bills are happy. agencies are really more b to b then b to c businesses..

but then again I like the whisper song by the ying yang twins, so my taste/point of view is probably more superficial then average..

and I live in holland, home of the best team never to win a world cup (’74) and bordering a country that has won it more then once (germany)..so I know that in the end germany does always win the match..

Comment by niko

Watching it again, it really could end with “Colour. Like No Other.”

Which is a shame, as the “good things should never end” idea has plenty of possibilities.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Coining this ad as a “Bravia reject” is a little too easy for my liking. It also assumes that Fallon have turned into a bunch of arses who are not aware of the impact their work is having. Which is nonsense.

Comment by Marcus

Bazza – was just responding to your suggestion that the otherwise appalling Don Simpson was not someone who had good business judgement. Hated the film too.

Comment by John

oi bazza, stop being argumentative, im the bully on this blog. fucking great comment lauren, its a highly polished, engaging bit of film that has fuck all to do with orange.
but hang on a minute, people will watch the ad because its interesting and sweet and because of that they will hear the message the client wants which means its an effective spot even if it is a bravia reject and doesnt build the orange brand.
it would of been a fucking bitch of a brief so i think theyve done a great job and far better than most poxy agencies would have managed. give them a fucking break, i get what many of you are saying but as rob loves to say, anything is easy for the person who doesnt have to fucking do it.

Comment by andy@cynic

mr bazza? fucking gold. bazza a mr, class.
i dont know who you are mr niko, but youre a fucking mad bastard so youre alright by me.

Comment by andy@cynic

oh look, Andy’s awake.

Comment by Marcus

Marcus: I dont think its literally a Bravia reject. But its clearly very very similar in style. Suggesting that is a Fallon style rather than a problem specific campaign solution.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I get what you’re saying Niko (thanks for the Mr title too 🙂 ) but just because you have a happy client doesn’t mean you are doing your job as effectively as you could/should anymore than equating big profits with consumer adoration.
Is Starbucks successful because people truly love the brand or because of its distribution model and pricing structure? I’d say the latter which means you are not building a solid brand, just a short term profit machine.

Comment by Bazza

Agreed Bazza. One of the biggest problems (it seems) with ad agencies is that they make the client happy at the expense of producing as good a work as they should.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

youre right marcus, calling this spot a bravia reject is fucking harsh. id fucking hate it if someone ever said that about any of my work so i stand corrected.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s not Fallon’s fault, it’s the marketing departments.

A while ago I overheard someone who worked in the marketing side of what I took to be one of the big accounting firms bemoaning the fact that the partners were most exercised by the debate over whether they needed to make their personal brochures glossy as had always been the case. I wonder if ads like this have become the equivalent of glossy brochures – i.e we all have to have one or we’ll look inferior to the competition.

Of course, if you all have glossy brochures, you all look exactly the same.

And if you want to promote the endless idea (though to me that’s not very far from competing on price alone) then wouldn’t it be better to make an endless ad i.e have ten second spots scattered through every ad break one night?

Being a pedant, I also noticed the “fair use rules apply” and wondered how soon before we saw a report about someone falling foul of them albiet for ridiculous overusage.

Comment by John

i buy that argument mortimer, it does feel more a fallon uk style than a bravia cast off. and yes im awake, wish i fucking wasnt but someone has to make some money around here.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bloody hell Andy. You on Prozac today??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I understand what you’re saying John but I think an “idea” is inherently important in building meaningful brands, it helps people build emotional connection rather than just relying on rational attributes. The problem is too many people use the quest for an “advertising idea” as an excuse for lazy marketing when in terms of impact, good marketing will generally piss on good advertising which is why the boys push us to blur the lines between the two.
Talking of the boys, they’re up so I’d better go and get ready or they’ll get in a mood.

Comment by Bazza

i dont do legally approved drugs mortimer 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

Fair enough…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

mr Bazza…I get what you are saying..if I was Schultz I would be asking myself what the f@ck am I paying an agency for if it not the brand that makes me money…

Rob M= it is not about pleasing clients, but about pleasing yourself (??)…make more money for them and you will make more money, so that one day you will not have to make anybody any money anymore… as for the commercial, who cares where the insiration came from. think C.R.E.A.M Mr M(Cash rules everything around me, Wu tang clan).

I mean bling bling got in the dictionary…bling bling!!…that’s human nature for you, that’s who the customers are…bling effing bling…

Comment by niko

I should point out that I’ve just had some bad news. And I’m really fucked off and dangerous.

Comment by Marcus

Sorry Marcus. I’ll get my armour.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

the sheds got woodworm or someone has been a narrow minded cockmuncher towards you marcus?

eitherway kill marcus, kill, well support you.

Comment by andy@cynic

i’m happy with using ‘bravia reject’. i’m casting aspersions low and wide.

Comment by lauren

Just because a company is creating great work for other brands, doesn’t mean they can’t be criticised when they create a crap ad, which, in my opinion, this is. Course, it’s the client’s fault too.

This ad has sweet f.a. to do with Orange.

Comment by Angus

But then again, what the fuck do I know?

Comment by Marcus

Lots!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

more than most brown.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rant posted, though its more inquisitive than charged..!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I wonder why the ‘hot’ agencies alwaus manage to get the ‘hot’ brands work they do talked about, yet avoid conversation on some of the more mundane getto’s of their agencies where much of the bills get paid.
No one ever seems to talk about Fallon’s Asda work – which I still can’t decide on, but on balance probably sells like there’s no tomorrow.
Or WK’s very solid, hardwroking Pizza Hut work. It won’t win any gongs, but the way they’re able to make Pizza Hut for families while talking through the product is great in my book. And sells.
What about this kind of stuff?

Comment by NP

Pizza Hut was exactly what I was referencing when I talked about W+K succeeding in adapting their abilities to different ideas rather than the one style fits all approach they were slated for previously.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Right, so in summary, this ad disappoints us becuase:

1. Fallon UK must have had a tough brief from a tough client
2. Fallon UK has to do this kind of work sometimes because agencies have to do it pay the bills
3. Fallon UK has to do a mix of the good stuff and the bad stuff
4. Fallon UK has some good people and we shouldn’t judge it completely by this ad alone.

…and exactly how is that different from what JWT, UK or Ogilvy, UK or any other ‘non-hotshop’ agency?

The point I am making here is that based on a few ads (very few, compared to the likes of CDP) and some good history we’re quick to label entire agencies (as opposed to individuals/teams) ‘Great’ and put them on a pedestal at which “may he who has not sinned be the first to throw a stone…”.

This quick deifying of things, people, ideas and executions is at the heart of the ad industry strutting around in a more and more self important feeling, while reality slowly slips past.

Don’t get me wrong I am all for celebrating great work and agencies that do it, but one can’t put a stop to criticising DDB, just because they did great work when Bernbach and Abbot were around.

If Fallon wants to be truly great, they’ld pull the awards out of their ears, listen and sincerely do something about it, or they can continue to think they’re great and celebrate with their groupies, until they’re consigned to the rubbish heap of great agencies…witness HHCL; CDP; St.Lukes; Weiner & Gossage…

Comment by Hari

I should point out that I’m not particulary disappointed by the ad because it’s just and ad. It’s an ad on youtube and now on this blog. I don’t live in the UK, I live in Gemany and as far as I know we don’t even have Orange here – and if we do I’ve never seen them. I don’t know whatelse Orange do in the UK, I don’t know what they have planned and maybe it all fits together – and maybe it doesn’t.

Maybe it took well over a year to get this ad made and maybe and unbeknown to the UK team the US were working on Bravia. Unlikely, but maybe.

Maybe this ad is rubbish. Maybe it says nothing about the brand. But then again what the fuck does an ape have to say about chocolate?

Some accounts are just nightmares to work on Hari. And I think your comment above is extreemely harsh. Rob has posted on Sony work on this blog which is also for a difficult client. They look but dosn’t ring my bell (and I said so). If I started ranting that rob should take awards out of his arse you’d all be down on me like a tonne of bricks.

No, I think critiscm is fair enough but when we start picking the meat of the good stuff as if it were the carcass of some rotting Viagra commercial then something is going seriously wrong.

Comment by Marcus

And before anyone asks; no I’m not going for a job at Fallon. I don’t give a bugger about Fallon but we’ve all worked in network/global agencies for really hard clients and we’ve all produced work that we knew could be better – much better and I just think this thread is incredibly unfair to the team that probably bust a gut to get the ad as good as it is.

Comment by Marcus Brown

marcus, while i see where you’re coming from and taking into consideration all the difficulties of a brief is important, especially because these are real people doing real work and there are always ‘factors’. but great work will never be created if there are constantly ‘yeah, but’ type noises kicking around. it will always be allowed to float just beneath the surface.

i’ve created work that isn’t great. and when people tell me it is i smile sweetly and appreciate the compliment. but when someone kicks my hiney about it and tells me exactly what is right and wrong with it, it gives me the incentive to right those wrongs and make work that is a.maz.ing. a drive for greatness.

i am criticising a great agency. i know they want to create great work – because they do great work. the greatest disservice i can do is to start accepting their mediocre work, which will keep them at that level, by starting to bring excuses into play.

Comment by lauren

this is fucking me off.

every agency has shop window clients and others who keep people in salaries each month. for every virgin we also have a tabasco thats just how it is. if you dont have that, you dont have a business and thats the same for hhcl, st lukes or crispins.

for me the test of a great agency is whether you can do something interesting with a tough/boring client, something other agencies have consistently failed to do.

wk do it, crispins do it, we do it and fallon do it and thats very fucking different to the jwt, ogilvy and ddb that hari mentions.

if you watch the the orange ad you know exactly what it is trying to promote so in that sense it achieves the exact fucking job the client wanted. whether you sign up for the scheme is another thing altogether but if they are the only company offering it in the uk, i am sure itll be picked up, especially as uk teens are now sending more sms per month than they did in the whole on 1999.

i find it funny rob (campbell) talks about fallon now developing “a style” when from day one he has said that should be cynics goal. to be fair he was talking about the attitude and values in our work rather than execution itself but so fucking what, its better than being some bland fucking wallpaper like everyone else and the work is good whatever way you look at it.

and hari, fallon might have a shorter history than some of the other agencies you mention, but you cant deny they are a great company because they have done great work for great clients and interesting work for boring clients.

is the orange ad the best theyve ever done? of fucking course not but is it better than most agencies would of come up with? too fucking right.

i fucking hate when people start throwing the “only interested in awards” at creatives. yeah we fucking love them so fucking what? awards keep us hungry and striving to better work, isnt that a good thing hari? and dont throw the scam bullshit at me, i know its wrong and i dont support it but in some markets (like your dear asia) it was/is a neccesity because the market is so fucking new to the industry.

the happiest i ever saw rob was when he was winning loads of shit with tango so dont make out its just a “dumb creative” focus, everyone wants to win awards but that wasnt why fallon came up with this ad but if they get one for it, good luck to them.

i know fallon wont be sitting there thinking the orange ad is the peak of their creative talents but theyll be thinking this is better than the stuff orange have done in the past and better than what the competition are doing in the present so next time the client wants something, theyll give them more freedom till every fucker on this blog accepts theyre doing great work.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t agree with all of your comment there Andy, but it is great to read and shows you’re not all about being a rude, obnoxious shit.

I know I’ll sound like George here – but you really should let more of this side show on this blog, you’re a very smart man but I don’t know if too many people would realise that with your “blog persona”.

And Hari – while I’m not the biggest fan of this Orange ad, it’s still miles better than the shite being peddaled by DDB so I don’t know if your analogy quite works 🙂

Comment by Rob

rude and obnoxious? stop flirting with me.

Comment by andy@cynic

he never says that to me Andy. Consider yourself lucky.

Comment by Marcus

I’ll say it again, Andy needs his own blog.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I thought this was Andy’s blog.

Comment by John




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