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Doritos "Penalties" by JJ Keith

"Penalties. The nation's achilles heel..."

This summer's festival of football is nearly upon us so it's probably best to talk about England's penalty misery now rather then when the inevitable happens at the World Cup in just under two month's time. 

To spare our blushes, JJ's new one with Doritos sees their now famous mariachi band enlisted to give us a few tips on how to successfully navigate the perfect penalty shoot-out. The magnificent Mexicans use some pretty fancy and utterly convincing (*ahem*) football skills to outfox a group of lads (and, somewhat ominously, England goalkeeper Joe Hart) down the park all in aid of Doritos' competition to win an amazing football holiday of a lifetime. 

We're a big fan of this guy's work. 

Liz Murphy's brilliant Grief Encounter spot has been gathering further acclaim, this time from Campaign magazine's Private View feature. 

After being made Ad of the Day on the magazine's website, two industry figures were invited to pass comment on Liz's charity film in a round-up of the week's best work across all advertising mediums, with both columnists heaping praise on the emotionally-charged film.

Gemma Butler, creative director at MRY, remarked on how successfully the film connects with its audience on an emotional level, with Indy Saha, director of strategy at Google Creative Lab, calling the spot "an awesome ad".

Read more about what they had to say about Liz's fine film here.

Grief Encounter on LBBO

Since it debuted earlier this week, Liz Murphy's heart-breaking new film for Grief Encounter has been widely acclaimed. Little Black Book Online for their 'Your Shot' feature talked to Liz about how she made her emotional and poignant new spot. 

Grief Encounter 'Where's Mum?'
by Liz Murphy

Every 30 minutes in Britain a child loses a parent. Liz Murphy's new spot for bereavement charity Grief Encounter shows the immense effect the loss of a loved one can have on a young boy.

As he goes about his everyday life around the home, we begin to sense that something is missing. As he fends for himself, he is accompanied only by his toy bear. We leave the boy clutching a photo of a missing loved one. He gazes out the window and lets out a sigh that hints at something troubling and more profound - the heartbreaking and saddening question of 'where's Mum?'.

It's a deeply moving film that powerfully gets its message across without the use of any dialogue. Liz Murphy coaxes a performance from the young chap that is as mature as it is vulnerable as he negotiates a life now with his bear and the definite sense that someone is missing. The spot was printed onto film in post-production, lending to the feature film feeling.

The TV commercial spot is accompanied by a short documentary Liz also directed that increases the awareness of the important work Grief Encounter does with helping families and young people deal with bereavement. People who have directly benefitted from the charity's support give heartbreaking testimonies about their losses and explain how much the counselling and help Grief Encounter has provided them come to terms with life when a loved one is no longer here. The variety of stories from the people the charity has helped at first-hand are as poignant as they are inspiring - the film ending at an event organised by Grief Encounter that symbolises the newly-found hope the bereaved has found through the help and guidance the charity has given them.

"Persistant Faces"
The Drawings of William Steig

Covering a diverse array of styles, the illustrations of William Steig are charismatic and extremely memorable. He was a prolific artist, creating the illustrations and writing stories for over 50 books ("Persistant Faces" included), most famous of which, Shrek, went on to become the computer generated, multiplex-bothering behemoth we know today.

His original version of the famous green ogre is very much different to the film series, and more in line with the rest of his body of work: on the surface, seemingly simple and child-like, yet beneath offering an intriguing complexity and charm.

Steig created 121 covers for the New Yorker magazine and contributed hundreds of cartoons to the publication.

Entitled "Family Structure"

The fact that there's a dog playing violin and that isn't the most interesting thing about this illustration is hilarious.

Grilstad "The Lucky Pig"
by Jesper Ericstam

Jesper's does it again in this lovely little rasher of Swedish weirdness. 

A little girl gets a pot-bellied pig for her birthday. In a pink roll-neck wooly jumper. What could possibly go wrong?

This new one from Jesper sees a daughter's birthday treat turn into a father's worst nightmare. The fallout (aka droppings) of adopting a pig into family life takes his toll on our doting dad, with the climax of the film seeing him at his wits' end, standing over a frying pan filled with gently sizzling bacon...

It's another slice of what Jesper does best: a charming glimpse into an odd chapter of family life, with a hint of the bizarre making it endearingly unforgettable. 

Radiotjanst "The Whispering Game"
by Jesper Ericstam

A new one from Jesper, saying 'Tack' paying your TV licence in a very Jesper way.

The film follows in the footsteps of Jesper's previous little spot of brilliance for Nettbuss. This time though, a host of people over land, sea and snow (and their neighbour's fences) work together to deliver an important message of thank you. How very Nordic. 

As the message is passed around from person-to-person, Chinese Whispers-style, the film takes in an amazing array of Swedish backdrops, so it's no surprise Creativity Online described it as beautifully shot. And when coupled with Jesper's usual selection of quirky characters, it all makes for a pretty charming spot. 

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