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A chicken at the end of its rope

Minneapolis agency Periscope has plucked the chicken from the depths of advertising ignominy. Long the victim of cruel and demeaning portrayals in advertising -- who can forget the chicken carcass running over a hurdle in an ad for eYada.com (Adages, May 8)? -- the fowl has its revenge in a new print and POP campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. Headline on the ad: "Jerk chicken." The campaign supports new jerk items on the menu at the 19-state restaurant chain. So far, the ad hasn't hatched any complaints from PETA . . . or AARP. Agency CD Charlie Callahan, copywriter on the ad, assures Adages they used a trained chicken, named Gladys, and the elderly woman who appears in the ad "got a kick out of it." CD Brien Spanier was art director.

Fast-food for thought on vote

Bush and Gore weren't the only two stuffed animals deadlocked in Indecision 2000 last week. Lefty the Donkey and Righty the Elephant in McDonald's Corp.'s Teeny Beanies election promo were selling neck and neck, while Libearty bear was outpacing both. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut poked fun at the election with a new TV spot created in 24 hours by BBDO Worldwide, New York. The ad takes place in the future where a grandfather is talking with his grandkids about how he was there when the last president was decided. The screen cuts to the map of Florida changing colors to show Gore-no Bush-no Gore and so on. One kid asks who was elected, and Gramps quips, "Who knows? They're still counting the votes." The upshot is what he remembers is the Insider pizza he was eating at the time.

Maserati eyes return trip to U.S.

Word on the street is that Maserati is looking for an agency to handle the Italian lux carmaker's return to the U.S. after a decade-long absence. Jeff Ehoodin, spokesman for the brand, which was fully acquired by Fiat's Ferrari last year, denies a review is in progress, but did say an undisclosed shop was on retainer to develop some dealer materials. He says any drive down the agency review road by prior top management is kaput. Stuart Robinson was installed as new Ferrari North America chief in July, succeeding Gian Luigi Buitoni. In coming years, Maserati wants to sell 5,000 cars annually in the U.S. Debuting late next year is the all-new, $75,000 3200 GT coupe.

Weeks in film . . . new ad idea gels

Robin Weeks has a brood of thespians. Rolo Weeks, son of the EVP-chief creative officer of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., stars in New Line Cinema's "The Little Vampire," which opened last month. Daughters Honeysuckle and Perdita are also in show biz. . . . WongDoody, Los Angeles, has won the challenge of handling advertising for Falcon Waterfree Technologies, which makes water-free urinals for airports, stadiums and other large facilities. WongDoody is first agency on the $3 million to $4 million account. The urinals contain a gel cartridge, and agency Managing Partner Ben Wiener suggests the cartridges also might be useful as an ad medium since men using the system will be looking down on the cartridge. "You could sell ads on them," Wiener says. "Just kidding."

Got an Adage? Tell Dan by phone, (312) 280-3109; fax, (312) 649-5331; or e-mail, dlippe@crain.com.

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