As it turned out, Coleman lost, with 34 percent of the vote, but Zechman, who these days works on a project basis out of a consultancy called Zechman Creative, won big time. The campaign got plenty of national attention and the spots will be choice plums on the Zechman reel. Though he'd never done political advertising before and he insists he doesn't want to do it again, Zechman is looking to attract other business. But how does he feel about opening a potential Pandora's Box of political advertising as entertainment? "Sounds good to me," he laughs. "When we started, Coleman was an extreme underdog - nobody had ever heard of him. We treated him as any product coming into a crowded marketplace and we broke every rule that politicians make about advertising. The spots weren't designed to elect him; they were designed to give him awareness. Now he's a household word around here. I think we're on the side of the angels. We're not making him a fool - we're gently lampooning the political process."
Assuming you buy this take on the story, it has a familiar moral: "To do great work, you need a damn smart client," says Zechman. "I told Coleman what we wanted to do - it's never been done before, it's high risk, high reward. He went for it right away. And he laughed harder at the spots than anybody."