The March Ri Fiver: a new name on the roll of honour

Judges Mark Blaylock of Highpoint and Oscar Armelles of Tribal give their verdict on the March entry:

"Great advertising is about combinations. Art directors with copywriters. Strategic insights with creative flair. Businesses' needs and the agencies' desires. Style with content.

So it was great to hear that my fellow judge was not only an Art Director (I'm a copywriter), but that he was Spanish. His passion the perfect foil for my reserved English nature. Combinations you see, it's all about combinations.

So here are our combined thoughts on this month's work:

Oscar: OK, where's the rest of the work to judge?

Mark: Must have gone straight to my Junk E-mail folder. Nope. Nothing there. You only got three pieces as well?

Oscar: Looks like it.

Mark: Oh well, better get on with it. But I'm definitely sending work in next month as the odds are looking good.

Oscar: You won't win. I've just put a great campaign to bed.

Mark: Whatever. Any way, to the work at hand. First up is G4S.

Oscar: This is a brief to die for.

Mark: Certainly could be. Especially if you've got bullion in the back.

Oscar: No, what a great challenge. To get housewives interested in security.

Mark: Well, do you reckon G4S pull it off then?

Oscar: The visual doesn't add anything to the headline and they're trying way too hard with the art direction. What's with the body copy at an angle and the torn strip under the headline?

Mark: And the headlines? You could apply them to virtually any recruitment ad and as for the strapline - no wait a minute, they didn't put one in.

Oscar: So, two out of five for art direction.

Mark: For interesting cropping of the images. And how about one out of five for strategic thinking?

Oscar: That's fair and it gives G4S a combined score of three out of ten.

Mark: Ok, what have we got here then? Crumbs. Nurses looking after terminally ill children. Pretty strong stuff.

Oscar: Yes. Which is why I really want to say that Chase have done a great job, but they haven't.

Mark: The idea's a good one. That nurses will do ‘whatever' it takes to make a child's last few months bearable, but for some reason that's as far as the thinking and care and attention has gone. The headline needs work and the art direction's lazy; they haven't even sorted out the line-breaks.

Oscar: And the headline is visually imbalanced.

Mark: But they have tried to be positive by using a picture of a donkey instead of a sick looking child.

Oscar: Then why the depressing copy if they're being so optimistic?

Mark: Two out of five for strategic thinking.

Oscar: And two out of five for art direction.

Mark: That's total of four for the donkey. And I thought you Spaniards liked donkeys.

Oscar: Careful what you say next my friend.

Mark: Bricks.

Oscar: Pardon.

Mark: Bricks. It's what the hoodie is going to throw.

Oscar: Got you. I didn't realise I had to scroll over it.

Mark: Me neither. But to be honest the headline didn't really make me want to.

Oscar: Ahh, but when you do, what a result.

Mark: Yeah, but I've seen the cracked screen idea before.

Oscar: Must have cost them as well to get that space.

Mark: So what do you think?

Oscar: Two out of five for strategic thinking.

Mark: Three out of five for visual impact. Get it?

Oscar: And this is the famous English humour I've heard so much about?

That gives Herts Police and their Special Constables a grand total of five out of ten and the glory of being the winners.

Mark: Seems like the right choice to me.

Oscar: Me too.

Mark: Don't think we were too harsh do you?

Oscar: No. But if anyone wants to discuss it further, they can send their thoughts to marksblaylock@yahoo.co.uk

Mark: Thanks mate.

Oscar: No worries."

Ri5 thanks all who entered and congratulates the Bernard Hodes Group and its client, the Herts Constabulary, who win the Ri Fiver for March 2008. Commiserations to Versutus and WJP Floyd. And finally, thanks to Mark Blaylock and Oscar Armelles for judging.

The Ri Fivers are sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), one of the world's leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. The IET publishes two key offline recruitment titles - Engineering & Technology and IET Student & Young Professional Magazine - and the website Engineering & Technology Jobs (www.theiet.org/jobs ).

Closing date for entries for the April Ri Fiver will be Wednesday, 30th April at midnight.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

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