Goodbye, Rocky; Hello, Dali

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SALVADOR DALI'S VISAGE ON THE STEPS of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps Sylvester Stallone's Rocky made famous, is hard to miss. Created to promote the museum's retrospective of the surrealist artist's works, the steps feature a stylized image of the mustachioed Dali that will remain in place through at least mid-May. Sponsored by small-business credit card issuer Advanta, the image is the brainchild of StareWays, a company that has created the newly patented adStep system of affixing vinyl to staircases. StareWays works directly with advertisers, as well as outdoor advertising media giants Viacom and Clear Channel and agencies including J. Walter Thompson USA and Mullen. Reed Exhibitions' Interphex 2005 Conference & Expo, a pharmaceutical manufacturing conference that took place April 26-28 in New York, featured StareWays' work. Created for Invensys, a pharmaceutical automation and process solutions provider, the ads appeared on stairways in the Jacob Javits Convention Center. StareWays CEO Barry Roberts said the steps are a popular choice for advertisers because they are hard to avoid. "It's TiVo-proof," Roberts said. "We achieve impact because people walk towards the staircases. They walk right into the ad. They can't avoid it." Other projects in the works include HSBC advertising on the steps leading from Pennsylvania Station to Seventh Avenue in New York as part of a larger marketing campaign by the bank slated for June.

SIEGEL & GALE, A NEW YORK-BASED brand consulting agency, has created a new position to reflect the agency's commitment to helping clients simplify their businesses. Last month, Denis Riney joined the agency as executive director-simplification. "The simplification practice is focused on helping companies simplify every point of interaction with their customers," Riney said, pointing to legal contracts, pricing plans, instruction manuals and employee training. "We want to turn these into simple, clear and positive customer experiences." Riney returns to Siegel & Gale after working there in the early 1990s. Most recently, he was a partner at Prophet, a marketing strategy firm, where he worked on accounts such as IBM Global Services and GE.

THEY HAD A MOVIE MADE ABOUT THEM starring Tom Hanks as astronaut Jim Lovell, but the NASA engineers who were the heroes of the Apollo 13 mission had never been specifically honored for their efforts. GlobalSpec, an online engineering search engine, has rectified that, giving the engineers the first annual Great Moments in Engineering Award last month. The engineers received the award for improvising a number of ingenious and jerry-rigged solutions to bring the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely to earth in 1970. The award ceremony was held at Space Center Houston, near the Johnson Space Center. Robert E. "Ed" Smylie, retired chief of the Crew Systems Division, accepted the award on behalf of his fellow employees. "This award and the event it recognizes epitomize the Crew Systems Division's history of rising to challenges," he said. Also on hand at the ceremony were Fred Haise Jr., Apollo 13's lunar module pilot; T.K. Mattingly, an astronaut who did not fly on the mission but tested the Crew System Division's rescue solutions back in Houston; and GlobalSpec President John Schneiter. GlobalSpec plans to honor a great engineering feat every year.

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