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Reindeer meet Volvo horsepower

This'll sleigh Santa: Volvo rented 800 reindeer in Norway for a new global commercial backing the all-wheel-drive Cross Country wagon. Bob Austin, mktg. communications dir. at Ford-owned Volvo Cars of North America, joined New York agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG on the shoot. Reindeer, he says, are quite mellow. Michael Lee, managing dir.-CD on Volvo at the agency, didn't make the trip, saying he had his fill of the cold after doing a 1999 Volvo spot at Sweden's Ice Hotel. In the new :30, a woman drives, while hubby sleeps, near a glacier and stops to let a herd of reindeer thunder across the road. After waking, he asks in Swedish, "How was the traffic?" She responds: "The usual." English subtitles are provided. Copywriter was Paul Wolfe and art director, Sean Robertson. The ad is part of Volvo's $25 million, first-quarter media buy that includes a national :30 for the all-new S60 sedan, launched exclusively online in October.

Nissan building image of truck

Meanwhile at other auto-matons, Nissan North America is all wrapped up in a new ad for the 2001 SuperCharged Frontier. Nissan is jogging awake gridlocked L.A. freeway commuters by covering most of its Gardena, Calif., national headquarters with the image of a grille of the new compact truck, along with the message, "Please obey all speed limits." The 171-foot-wide banner, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, is targeting the about 270,000 daily drivers of the 405 and 110 freeways, which merge in front of Nissan's HQ. "It's a natural attention-getter in a place where people don't expect to see an advertising message," says Nissan PR Dir. Kurt von Zumwalt. Earlier in 2000, Chrysler Group installed a 200-foot-tall "building wrap" of the Chrysler PT Cruiser on its Auburn Hills, Mich., HQ.

WorldCom calls on its own gen d'ers

Imagine a casting call for 67,000-good thing it was digital. WorldCom gave all its employees a shot at starring in its "generation d" branding campaign. The telco e-mailed its staffers, asking those interested to send a digital photo and explain what makes them "generation d"-as in "digital." About 1,000 responded, and from that group WorldCom and agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/ Euro RSCG, New York, will select the winners from 40 finalists, who traveled to Hong Kong and Paris for photo shoots. The latest domestic "generation d" advertising breaks Jan. 22, and its first global ads debut next month. The casting call winners will pop up in later ad work.

Is holidays' gain January's loss?

The new year brings the traditional glut of diet ads, but who wants to start trimming tonnage until the last candy cane is sucked into oblivion? January has been either the lowest or next to lowest dieting month of the year in eight of the past 10 years, says researcher NPD Group. New Year's weight-losing has been on the wane for the past decade. NPD's DietTrak found dieting is less popular in January among virtually everyone, with the only age group dieting more in January than other months being 35-to-44-year-olds. But the total is still tantalizing: Nearly 42 million adults, 22% of all U.S. adults, are expected to hoist themselves on the weight-loss bandwagon this month.

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