Editor's Letter

By Published on .

In our efforts to slake creative thirsts, this issue we're serving up a big, eye-watering swig of Coke followed by a refreshing category showcase of beverage ads and design. For 2004, we've reoriented the way we're looking at categories-presenting themed showcases of the best work from a range of ad and design disciplines. This year you'll find cars, beer & booze, and this issue's nonalcoholic bevvies report, full of ads, package design and other drink marketing matter. Rounding out the beverage theme, we proudly present web/animation madman Joel Veitch, multitasking as client, ad agency and animator, proposing a surprising new internal-organ-based beverage with an equally tasty ad to match (see Pg. 54).

Another highlight: a real client on our cover, and featured in a dedicated story. Creativity and clients-a contradiction in terms, you say? Maybe. But in this case, the client is also a chief creative officer, one charged with marshalling the creative forces behind the one of the world's leading brands. The story provides a glimpse (albeit a small one) of the workings of a client in need of a creative rebirth and seemingly dedicated to pursuing it. The Coke advertising of recent history has, in many cases, not lived up to the marketer's mighty brand heritage, a result that may rest less on its agencies than on the marketer's own conservative approach and inner workings. The first round of Coke work last year caused a pause-some in the ad community were underwhelmed, but there was enough there to make us all curious about what would come next. A funny cinema spot from Berlin Cameron upped the ante (new work is expected soon), and now we have Mother's notable first work. Notable for its distinctly un-Mother look-how did the wisecracking Brits manage to create the earnest heir to "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing?"-and notable for its being imported to these shores. We've also seen a new Sprite campaign, riding the vinyl doll wave. In all, the work aims itself squarely at a younger market, and leans hard on "urban" culture in the process-sending up or embracing (or both) all of its familiar elements.

But possibly the best mining of urban culture is demonstrated in Levi's new "Anti-fit" campaign. BBH/London stretches here, looking past the gorgeous and the cool and foraying into the dangerous territory of street-based comedy dialogue. Somehow it all works brilliantly, largely due to the presence of humor and the absence of self-consciousness or meanness of spirit. Great agency? Yep. Great client? With advertising this consistently out there, has to be.

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