This book centres around ambient media: the stunts the ad industry pulls to take their message off the billboards and TV, and plonk it on the street for all to see. Although, the reality is hardly anyone does ever get to see these executions, except in books like this. The cynically-minded would suggest these ideas are created less for public, and more for awards jury consumption.
That said, there's some engaging work here, mainly either using comic or shock value to see the message home. For example, one particularly compelling execution is an ashtray, moulded into the shape of a heart (the organ, not the icon), into which the smoker literally stubs their cigarette's ash. Another, promoting The Invisible Man, is a dog, walking the streets with a stiffened lead which makes it look like it's being walked by, well, The Invisible Man. Job done.
There's plenty more good work, but there's also a fair amount of ill-judged work here too.
For instance, the yellow skip used to advertise an IKEA store opening, somehow exacerbates IKEA's own image of cheap throwaway furniture. Then there's the team of pyjama-clad individuals 'sleeping' on London's pavements and Underground platforms, apparently raising awareness of British Airways' sleeper service. They just look like they're sleeping rough, and that's surely not the image BA wanted to create.
Some material is clunky, such as a headline by TBWA\Stockholm for loan company SBAB which goes 'If only SBAB made ads we've noticed, we'd have gone to them and saved SEK 470 a month'. What was that? Other pieces don't appear to be saying anything, like a flag planted in a dog pooh by The American Legacy Foundation, which reads 'Cigarettes contain amonia. So does dog poop'. So what?
It's easy to make the assumption that because well-shot work appears in a compendium like this, that it will be automatically brilliant. I wouldn't say don't buy this book, but I would say don't make that assumption.