CR Annual: the winners

The May issue of Creative Review (above) features 100 pages of work selected for this year’s Annual. The very best of those make up our Best In Book section: details of the winners here…

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The May issue of Creative Review (above) features 100 pages of work selected for this year’s Annual. The very best of those make up our Best In Book section: details of the winners here…

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This year’s Best In Books are:

Mini Clubman interactive ads by Glue London
Glue London was behind the online launch of the classic Mini Clubman, creating a series of interactive spots that highlighted the car’s elongated shape, its handling and the quirkiness particular to the Clubman brand (check them out here. “To show it off in the best possible light, we did a bespoke one-day shoot for the rich media formats,” says Glue. “High production values are always important to us, whatever format we’re working in and especially with a product like this. We also concentrated on getting the right level of interaction so we could engage people without asking them to do too much. Superglue, our interactive film team, did a great job of bringing it all to life in a very tight timeframe.” The interactive work plays on the idea that ‘things aren’t always what they seem’ and, in one example featuring a scrolling 360º view of the new model, the chunky rear of the car breaks through the actual frame of the ad. In another spot the preconceptions of the Mini’s size are dispelled as what seems to be a model of the car approaches a tiny, looping race track, only for it to be demolished under the full size wheels of the real thing.

Cadbury’s Gorilla by Fallon London/Blink Productions
Undoubtedly the most talked/blogged about commercial of last year, Gorilla hardly needs any further words of explanation. But, for any readers that haven’t experienced the spot, it was a 90-second number for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk that employed the surprising combination of Phil Collins, a drum kit and a talented gorilla. Was it actually Phil in a gorilla outfit? Was it a real gorilla playing drums? These and many other questions abounded after this well-observed spot aired, whilst In the Air Tonight was suddenly reborn in the collective memory (along with the opportunity to shout “Woah Lord” and pump a fist in pleasure). And that’s what the joyous spot was all about – raising a smile.

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Things I have learned in my life so far, Sagmeister inc.
Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far is a monograph of work that has been made by the designer since his “experimental year” in 2000, when he took time out from creating commercial projects. During that year, Sagmeister devised a list of maxims (such as ‘Everything I do comes back to me’ and ‘Worrying solves nothing’), which, despite their personal and philosophical nature, quickly became incorporated into work for clients when his office reopened. The book details 20 of these projects in a collection of separate booklets, all housed in a die-cut slipcase. Readers can create alternate outer covers by shuffling the booklets. The work produced from the maxims appears in wildly varying forms, and has been published all over the world in spaces normally reserved for advertising or promotions; on billboards, magazine spreads, and even on the cover of an annual report. “They are all made for different clients and different countries, yet form a coherent series and it made sense to make a book about them,” says Sagmeister. Alongside the artwork, Sagmeister explains the story behind each maxim in the book, offering an insight into his personal experiences and the way that he works, as well as how the maxim came to be used for an individual client.

Chocolate Man by Vegaolmosponce
Quite why Lynx has created a deodourising body spray that smells like chocolate may well be completely beyond the comprehension of many of our readers. But create such a product Lynx has and this spot, Chocolate Man, created by Buenos Aires-based agency Vegaolmosponce, promotes it memorably in time-honoured Lynx tradition. In the ad, a young man sprays himself with the stuff one morning and promptly transforms into a man made entirely of chocolate. At Creative Review we’ve never seen young women pout and rub themselves suggestively in the presence of chocolate, but as this is Lynx, Chocolate Man is irresistible to any ladies (and there are many) in his path. One by one they helplessly succumb to the protagonist’s chocolatey charms, biting his bum on the tube, nibbling his face in the cinema, laughing flirtatiously at the notion of eating his fingers. A particularly brazen group of chocolate-crazed women even break off one of his arms in a drive-by scenario as he cheerily waves to a gym full of wanton chocolate-loving hussies. “I’m not sure you could have had as much fun or been as risqué if the man had not been made out of chocolate,” notes Annual jury member Paul Cohen of AMV BBDO. “The chocolate man is a great place to get to in the context of what the product has come to stand for.”

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Fabric posters by Village Green
“Fabric tends to like its visuals to lean towards the darker end of the spectrum,” says design studio Village Green’s Tom Darracott, the designer behind this range of striking posters for the London-based nightclub. “My intention was to create a series of characters rather than a series of images of people wearing masks,” says Darracott. “I wanted these characters to seem ‘believable’ even though the masks they’re wearing are entirely fantastical.” All of the masks were handmade at Village Green with only minor retouching done in post-production. Darracott created one mask that touched on pagan ancestry (the Green Man) and a vibrant red creation that was based on Oskar Schlemmer’s costumes for Bauhaus theatre productions. For the final mask in the series, Darracott wanted to reference the plague doctors who tended to the victims of the 17th century disease that swept through London. “The long snout would have been stuffed with aromatic herbs and flowers in the belief that the pungent fragrance would protect the wearer from the disease,” says Darracott. “I’d read that the Smithfield area of London, where Fabric is located, was heavily hit by the outbreak and was also home to a number of plague burial sites or ‘plague pits’, so it’s a bit of a historical tribute to the area.”

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Orange Unlimited website by Poke
Poke was briefed by mobile communications company Orange to design something to promote its Unlimited range of products, which use the tagline, ‘Good things should never end’. Poke’s solution was to create what it claims is the world’s first infinite website. “We hoped that the idea of a never-ending web page would intrigue people,” says Poke’s Iain Tait, “and that once people arrived at the site, we’d manage to keep them engaged by throwing loads of quirky and playful bits and bobs at them. It seemed to work.” A host of blobby cartoon characters inhabit the site and there are games, puzzles and chat facilities to play with along the way. But scroll as you might, the path down the descending rainbow never ends and the layout of the page is never the same twice (see the site here).

Procrastination by Johnny Kelly
Director Johnny Kelly, now signed to London-based production company Nexus, created his animated film Procrastination while still an MA student at the Royal College of Art. Procrastination is, in Kelly’s own words, “a hands-on, gloves-off study into the practice of putting things off”, and is as visually engaging as it is universally topical. We’re all familiar with the fine art of doing something else other than that which is most pressing and Kelly’s film sees him employ a variety of animation techniques as it works through a list of the various forms that procrastination can take, each announced to superb comic effect by voiceover artist Bryan Quinn. “We were asked to produce a film on a topic of our choice and given a year to do it – so Procrastination came out of the struggles I was having with such an open brief,” explains Kelly of his choice of subject. “Eventually I stopped floundering around with worthy concepts and overworking ideas and just started making sequences based on my own personal experience.”

Skoda Cake by Fallon London
Hugely popular, Fallon’s Cake ad for Skoda depicts a group of white-coated home economists busily making a full-size car – out of cake. Real cake. Yes, over a ton of ingredients (1,238.5 kilograms to be precise) were used – along with 180 eggs – to create the cake car for real. To make the ad, Fallon pulled together an impressive team that included one of the best production designers in the film industry, six home economists, three sugar chefs, a machine operator/baker, two prop masters and four SFX modelmakers – all of whom make an appearance in the finished ad. But what happened to the cake-car afterwards? Despite plans to cut the cake up and distribute it to local charities, schools and hospitals, production designer Brian Morris explained to us why none of it was eaten: “Unfortunately, as the car had been under hot studio lights for several days, it would have posed a health and safety risk if eaten. Some parts were preserved though, such as the marzipan wing-mirrors and chocolate speedometer. The rest of the car, I hear, was composted and will be used by the residents of Clapton, East London, to fertilise their gardens and allotments.”

zzz is playing: grip music video by Roel Wouters
Roel Wouters’ video for the band zZz was the first made by the Amsterdam-based designer-artist-filmmaker, yet it quickly wowed Nexus Productions in London, who signed Wouters for representation at the end of last year, as well as us at Creative Review. Wouters became one of our Creative Futures this year largely on the strength of this video, alongside his other film and design projects. Part of the appeal of the video is the fact that it was recorded live, in one take. It was filmed as part of the opening of the exhibition Nederclips at the Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch SMS in The Netherlands, and sees trampo­lining gymnasts simulating typical video editing effects, shot from above. “The important criteria were that the audience at the opening would be able to witness the whole shoot, and that the video clip would be added to the exhibition immediately after the shoot,” Wouters explains. “This meant that we had no option to reshoot or edit if something went wrong, which made the whole crew so focused that we performed even better than any of us imagined.” Among the effects that are simulated in the video are the loading bar at the bottom of an Mpeg, created by someone painting a line on the floor, as well as the all-too-familiar Apple spinning wheel. Technology has rarely looked as charming. See more of Wouters’ work here .

Tide Interview by Saatchi & Saatchi New York
This ad isn’t a big blockbuster of a commercial, but the Annual jury was really taken with it. The ad shows a rather stern-looking gentleman seated behind a desk interviewing a job applicant. As soon as said applicant responds to the questions posed by his potential employer, his voice is drowned out by a stream of vocal yabbering, rendering his reply totally incomprehensible. When he stops talking, so does the annoying chitter-chatter. Another question is posed and, once again, the young hopeful’s response is accompanied by senseless jibber-jabber – to which he seems completely oblivious. Only now the viewer can see that a rather unsightly stain on the interviewee’s shirt is the source of the extra noise and is even animated to look as if it has a talking mouth. Then comes the strapline: ‘Silence the stain’. Wonderfully shot and brilliantly cast, this is engaging and funny stuff for a distinctly unglamorous product.

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