Showcase: Automotive Advertising

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The third in a series of themed showcases, we present a wildly varied assortment of work in the sheet metal category-a genre rarely acclaimed for its creative excellence, and justifiably so. But there is plenty of good work on the road, and, anyway, rubbernecking is one of America's national pastimes.

Whiptastic Print

At this point, all that need be asked about Mini marketing, via Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is what great idea did they do today? Well, among recent print brainstorms are Krispy Kreme coupons for a dozen free donuts; a mini assemble-yourself milk carton themed "Let's run out of milk"; a rundown of Mini features disguised as Cliffs Notes; and a "shiny, simulated metal sticker" that reads "Whiptastic handling" to stick on the back of your Mini. Sorry, you put it on the boot. Let's be British.

Client: Mini Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky/Miami ECD: Alex Bogusky CD: Andrew Keller CWs: Ronny Northrop, Rob Reilly, Scott Linnen, Dustin Ballard ADs: Kat Morris, Geordie Stephens, Tiffany Kosel, Jason Ambrose, Rudi Anggono Art Producer: Sebastian Gray Production Manager: Julieana Stechschulte Illustrator: Timmy Kucynda

Kanga Rude

As depraved as pop culture is in the States these days, we're still lagging behind Australia. Down Under, they're doing things like showing two terrified children strapped into the back of a minivan while their parents make out up front like panting porn stars. VO: "The new, sexier Honda Odyssey. It doesn't feel like a family car." No, it feels more like a bordello on wheels. Does it come with a condom holder in the armrest?

Client: Honda (Australia) Agency: FCB/Melbourne Creatives: Mark Ringer, Scott Lambert Agency Producer: Mandi Wight Director: Rey Carlson/Revolver Films Editor: Seth Lockwood/MRPPP Music: Prolific Music Sound Design: Risk Sound

Hummer is Actually Hummin'

We hate to like anything associated with the Hummer, possibly the most obnoxious consumer vehicle in the entire history of the Internal Combustion Era, but these very cool "Jungle" and "Scanner" spots are for Hummer's new, slightly less repellent sport utility truck, so we'll let 'em slide. They're consummately artsy in that no VO, no road footage manner, featuring music video-style shots and music video-style music, too. In fact, the "Scanner" track is LFO's "Freak," while the "Jungle" track is "Enter Space Bar," by Trebant.

Client: Hummer Agency: Modernista CD/CWs: Gary Koepke, Shane Hutton CD/ADs Lance Jensen, Will Uronis Agency Producer: Charles Wolford Director: Arni & Kinski/HSI Editor: Adam Pertofsky/Rock Paper Scissors Effects: Simon Scott/A52

An Ad That Smells Funny

If this has never been done before, it should've been. A new-car ad in the style of a perfume ad, with a scent strip that really does smell like a new car. Or an old shoe. Well, it smells like something. The copy on the "perfume" side: "The invigorating new fragrance from Volvo. For men. And women." All the car features/specs stuff is on the back of the page, along with the beauty shot. It's nicely schizoid. It may even double as a car air freshener.

Client: Volvo Agency: Euro RSCG Worldwide/New York ECD/CD: Kevin Roddy AD: Jason MacBeth CW: Eric Bertuccio Photographer: Peter Keil Print Production: Katy McCarthy

Less Than Zero to V50 In . . .

No less a talent than Stephen Frears is on hand to direct no less a talent than Robert Downey Jr., playing multiple roles, in this 12-minute web film and :45 Europe/South Africa cinema spot. To quote from the promotional lit, it "tells the story of a journey of a man looking for a place called Confidence on the Route V50. It is not a normal road made of asphalt and miles. Rather it's an emotional road that takes you where no other road can. Part surreal trip and part real adventure, it is a personal journey of a man battling with his mind and emotions as he struggles to move on in life." Insert drug joke here. Insert prison joke here. OK, that should do.

Client: Volvo Agency: MVBMS Fuel Europe CD: Lorenzo De Rita AD: Bertrand Fleuret CW: Lorenzo De Rita Agency Producer: Andrew Linsk Director: Stephen Frears/Tomboy Films Editor: John Smith/Whitehouse

Cumulus vs. Cirrus

This never-ending Brit cinema spot reaches for the sky quite literally, as a hunk, driving in his convertible Merc for some reason across an endless expanse of desert, frantically speeds and swerves to avoid . . . the lethal shadows? . . . created by a battle of what are described in a press release as "cloud gods" high above. This could be the final showdown between Al Roker and Willard Scott, we're not sure. Fabulously cheesy-pompous music that sounds like a bad Bond theme, from, amazingly, Rammstein, the German industrial shock rockers, accompanies the epic clash. The elaborate effects, created by The Mill in what was no doubt agonizing months of post work, do indeed have some wonderful moments that might've worked nicely on, say, an episode of Xena. What end do they serve here? The point seems to be that yet another class of Merc, this one called the SLK, offers some kind of steering innovation. Oh. We thought maybe every car came with a free umbrella. See story on p. 60 for more.

Client: Mercedes-Benz Agency: Campbell Doyle Dye, London CD: Walter Campbell Agency Producer: Natalie Bright Director: Nicolai Fugslig/MJZ Editor: Joakim Pietras/Speade Effects: The Mill, London

A Merc Photo Album

Well, as visual testimonials go, it's hard to beat, as the agency puts it, "actual photographs of car owners from the past and present proudly posing alongside their Mercedes-Benz automobiles." According to a Merkley spokesman, "The advertising was assembled from a tremendous amount of resource material under a very compressed timeframe. The agency sifted through several thousand photographs received from all over the country thanks to a newspaper invitational ad. In addition to those photographic submissions, we also used pictures from the Mercedes-Benz historical archives, car enthusiast clubs, magazines, employee submissions, internet sites and countless other outlets. The objective is to demonstrate the devotion, passion and genuine love that Mercedes owners feel for their cars. It's intended to strip away the artifice of current car advertising and present Mercedes in a more authentic, approachable and personable manner." OK, but don't, like, rule out cloud gods.

Client: Mercedes-Benz Agency: Merkley & Partners ECDs: Andy Hirsch, Randy Saitta, AD: Philip Squier ACD/CW: Chris Landi

The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Kia doesn't sound like the name of a car company, it sounds like the name of a supermodel. In fact, the guy in this "Car Cover" spot treats his blah-looking Spectra, which, at 30 grand, is billed as "A car you can afford to love," as if it were a supermodel. Thanks to the effects wizards at Method, he has a sort of slipcover for his beloved Spectra, which makes it look like a junker, allowing him to safely leave it in the street. When he comes back to his beauty, he carefully peels off the cover, puts it in the trunk and practically kisses his door handle. Cute idea, nicely executed.

Client: Kia Agency: David & Goliath CCO: David Angelo CD/CW: Tony Stern AD: John Figone Agency Producer: Maryellen Duggan Director: Victor Garcia/MJZ Editor: J.D. Smyth/Rock Paper Scissors Effects: Method

The Anti-Beige

Among the many facets of the "urban trendsetter"-targeted brand campaign that Attik is waging on behalf of Toyota's Scion is this "Beat Up on Beige" outsert that's bundled with magazines like URB, Juxtapoz and DUB. The outsert features polyvinyl overlays atop straight beauty shots that depict various Scion models as they'd be customized by a rebel, an astronomer and a goth. Another pair of nicely enhanced shots sans overlay present the car as interpreted by a narcissist and a projectionist. The concept manages to combine equal measures of irony and eye candy, which we suspect is really all that matters anymore, at least among urban trendsetters.

Client: Toyota Scion Design: Attik, S.F. Global CD: Simon Needham Print Manager/Art Buyer David Murphy Executive Producer: Patrick McFarlane Designers: Stan Zienka, Alex McCracken Photographer: Jeff Li

Dumb and Polar

How do you demonstrate the value of heated seats to an Xtreme potential Jeep buyer? With what is surely one of the most bizarre commercials scripts of the year: There's this polar bear, see, with its tongue stuck to the back of the vehicle, and a clever dude who puts some snow in a tin cup, heats it on the passenger seat, then gingerly gets out of the Jeep, pours it on the bear's tongue, freeing the poor creature, before he drives away. Are we supposed to believe this? He doesn't even make any attempt to ride the bear. It's helpless; like, jump on its back, dude, and play bronco!

Client: Jeep Agency: BBDO/Detroit CCO: Bill Morden CD: Robin Chrumka, Mike Stocker, Michael Corbeille CW: Matt Sicko AD: Dan Councilor Agency Producers: Mary Kondrat, Hugh Broder, Mark Nicholas Director: Josh Taft/HSI Editor: Jan Maitland/Optimus

Ghost Rider

An elegant hottie with unusually good legs for a commercial is walking down the street when she spots an Inifiniti FX-it looks like every other overpriced SUV on the road, but never mind that right now-parked. She instantly rushes into a caf‚ to frantically pen a note, apparently something to the effect of, "I've seen your car, now I must have you!" How does she even know the owner's a man? In the meantime, the hunk (of course) who owns the FX comes back and drives away. So the hottie rushes out to the street and puts her note under the wiper, but the car is a phantom, disappearing before her eyes, her throbbing missive tragically fluttering to the gutter. This is all backed by cool music that sounds vaguely like a tape played backwards. Tag: "Leaves a lasting impression." Well, the spot did. The moral: When you see a parked FX, just lie atop the hood and wait.

Client: Infiniti Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. ECD: Rob Schwartz CD: Tor Myhren AD: Rui Alves CW: Craig Crawford Director: Anthony Atanasio/Identity Editor: Hank Corwin/Lost Planet Music: Elias Arts Sound Design: Soundelux DMG

Dumb and Blonder

In a Pimp My Ride parody expertly handled by Joe Public, a blonde-she had to be a blonde, we suppose-has her total piece of junk replaced by a Toyota Corolla, though she genuinely believes it was modified by a crack team of ride-pimpers. "That doesn't even look like my car!" she squeals. "It took a lot of work, but we sure fixed your bucket," says one of the leering guys.

Client: Toyota Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi/L.A. CCO: Steve Rabosky CD: Miles Turpin, Steve Landrum CW: Anne Madden AD: Kevin Schroeder Agency Producer: Amanda Miller Director: Joe Public/HSI Editor: Gordon Carey/Filmcore Music: Ten Music

Dude, Where's My Galant?

Multimedia Mitsubishi action: A pair of cliffhanging spots with videogame pretentions are intended to drum up web traffic at In "Chasm," we get a brake test between a Galant and a Honda Accord, as the cars drag race on an unfinished bridge. In "Freeway," it's an accident avoidance test between the Galant and a Toyota Camry, as guys throw things like Weber grills at the cars from the backs of speeding moving vans. When you go to the site, you see the outcomes and soak up all kinds of other Mitsubishi temptations. But does anyone in this demo really buy a car with a name as wack as Galant?

Client: Mitsubishi Agency: Deutsch/L.A. ECD: Eric Hirshberg ACD/AD: Vinny Picardi ACD/CW: Steve Skibba CW: Jason Elm AD: Mick Kuisel Agency Producers: Randy Morton, Marisa Wasser, Kelley Whitis Director: James Brown/Smuggler ("Freeway"); Jason Smith/Bob Industries ("Chasm") Editor: Lucas Eskin/Mad River Post Effects: Riot Online: iDeutsch/L.A. CD: Josh Rose Senior Programmer: Douglas Palmer Producer: Hope Moore CWs: J.D. Jurentkoff, Jens McNaughton AD: John Waters Designers: Derek Arzoo, Eric Wegerbauer

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