Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.


By Published on .

JUST HOW LONG WILL SUE KRUSKOPF RIDE HER CATNIP high? The press hasn't stopped since Minneapolis' Kruskopf/Olson's hilarious spot for Pet Food Warehouse, starring a kitty tripping on catnip, clinched a Gold in this year's One Show. The :30, created by Sue Kruskopf and directed and co-created by freelancer Jarl Olsen, recently won Best of Show at Minneapolis' The Show, the only Gold handed out, and in November it appeared on ABC's "The World's Funniest Commercials."

While the One Show honor was great, the Minneapolis win counts for more on the local level, Kruskopf believes. "In the last 10 years, the show's been dominated by Carmichael Lynch and Fallon McElligott," she says. "So it's nice to be the first little guy to win in awhile."

This $5 million shop with a staff of six is certainly milking the awards for new business prospects, especially in the pet indus- try, into which they've carved a paw print since winning Pet Food Warehouse last year. The strategy reflects more than their recent immersion into the category, explains Kruskopf. "I love going on tarantula shoots," she confesses. Amid the cacophony of a good dog casting session, she adds, "sometimes I feel like I'm in a sitcom."

The win couldn't have come at a better time for the agency, which last year witnessed the departure of co-creative director/writer John Olson. Olson and Kruskopf had teamed together at CME/Minneapolis for three years before they decided to cut loose in 1988 and open their own shop. But it's been a tough few years, with a lot of revolving-door clients. Highlights on KO's reel include a clever spot for Insty-Prints, a local copier chain, that claims its copies don't smear as easily as the competition's through a literal demonstration: via Paintbox effects, we see the guy who used the competition being smeared by smudges and blots. Funny spots for a local shopping mall called Gaviidae play off people's struggles to pronounce the name correctly.

In the last year though, collaborating with Jarl Olsen, the former FM copywriter who now directs at Dublin Productions, the agency has brought out a string of comic Pet Food Warehouse spots. The tag, "We know pets and pets know us," Kruskopf says, allows them to focus on the pet's perspective. "There's nothing I hate worse than when you see people using animals with fake paws and fur covering their eyes," she says.

Another recent spot, for the University of Minnesota Health Center, also directed by Olsen, shows the agency's solemn side with a tribute to nurses. Set to a new age score, it opens with an anesthesia-induced montage in which visuals of keepsakes float past b&w footage of a laughing girl. Suddenly, we realize it's all a dream when the patient wakes to a smiling nurse. The tag: "If you don't believe in miracles, you've never met a nurse."

"When we were working on that, I said, 'Everyone is going to think all we can do is drug-induced spots,'*" jokes Kruskopf. "In the health care category you always walk a fine line, because you don't want to be too sappy or too irreverent."

A campaign for Jostens high school rings, and the pursuit of new business top KO's agenda. Shelley Strohm, a new account executive with a planning background, is part of a move toward more strategic marketing, explains Kruskopf, who

Most Popular
In this article: