The first Ri Fiver of 2010 goes to …

What with post-Christmas blues, the harsh weather, and gloom-laden economy, it was perhaps unsurprising that judges Martin Flavin (Five by Five People) and Matthew Sinclair (SMRS) were not swamped with entries for the January Ri Fiver. Here is their verdict:

"How critical you should be as an Ri Fiver judge has always been the subject of hot debate. We want to be inspired, uplifted and burning with jealousy. But it just didn't happen this month. So, sincere apologies for hurt feelings in advance, but you have the right to reply. If you think we're talking through our collective arses, just don't get it, or are being spiteful for the hell of it, comment below. We'll answer criticism from anyone who uses their real name.

Greatest. Brief. Ever. Find the meaning of life; answer the Universe's biggest questions; give Dan Brown another theme
for his latest Scooby Doo blockbuster. So why is this ad so ordinary? Yes, the thing sells itself and it is on brief, but still.
The two sentence headline and uninspired art direction make something truly earth-shattering feel average. Also, the core
idea of scientists having Eureka moments over coffee and then nipping off to make a black hole does seem a bit simplistic.

Workmanlike art direction, laborious copy and a central conceit that has Iceman, Maverick and Viper dodging missiles at
mach 3 over hostile territory saying "Do you know who I really admire?" make this another missed opportunity. Although the line ‘but even when our technology is flying at supersonic
speed, there will be a little bit of you in it,' did make us giggle.

Wiltshire CC
This ad's a bit of a hidden gem in itself. It's admirable that it
isn't trying to drink from Make a Difference Creek and there is a broader social networking part to this campaign that's trying
to do something genuinely different. But we have to judge
this ad on its individual merits, and it's, well, fine. Not amazing. Not revolutionary. Just OK. Copy's packed full of selling
points; art direction won't set the world on fire. It's a Volvo. 

This is a bit more OK than the Wiltshire ad (and it bloody well should be considering the brand and the budget.). It's slick and pretty. But the whole thing has a ‘You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps!' bumper sticker feel to it. It should feel effortless, it doesn't. It should feel authentic, it doesn't. But it's sparkly, well put together and easy to navigate. In a slow month, it's our winner.


Our thanks go to Martin and Matthew for judging, and our congratulations to Penna TCS and Orange, who win the Ri Fiver for January. Commiserations and thanks to everyone else who entered.

The closing date for the February competition is 1st March, 2010, at midnight. Entries please (free-of-charge) to Our judges will be Tsz Wu, Manj Azizul and Nic Scott - aka Pink Squid. There are a few simple rules - please click here for details.

Be an Ri Fiver partner: we are looking for new partners to help support and promote the Ri Fivers, the only monthly awards for creative excellence in recruitment communication. Please contact Kevin Turner ( to discuss the possibilities.



Sunday, 31 January 2010

Share this article

Any questions? Any comments?

Your instant reactions to this article can be posted here. Use your own name or a nom de plume.

(Showing 1 - 3 of 3)

Noel Thomas Date: Feb 24, 2010

Think the Cern advert reeks of client intervention. I'm sure the creative team involved have been crying into their pads since it was chosen over more worthy offerings I'm sure.

Peter O'Hanraha'hanrahan Date: Feb 26, 2010

"...the whole thing has a ‘You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps!' bumper sticker feel to it." Rarely has an agency been summed up so well in so few words. Good work chaps.

Martin Flavin Date: Mar 1, 2010

Agree with that Noel. Maybe Rifivers should take a more 'Chip Shop Award' approach where you can put forward the work that should have run or just a great idea. A lot of amazing work never actually goes anyway. Peter, that comment was referring to the work only, not the agency.

Please log in to make a comment

Already registered?

Haven't registered?

Register for FREE - it only takes a couple of minutes

Not registered? Click here.