American Honda Motor Co.-Honda del Sol: "Escape" (Rubin Postaer & Associates; Propaganda Films; :60). The Best Editing winner is a paean to James Bond films. This fast-paced, yellow-hued :60, complete with Bond-evoking music, opens with a handsome couple in a del Sol being followed on a freeway by unidentified forces of evil in a helicopter. The car accelerates, but the chopper stays with them, then lowers by cable onto the car roof a menacing Robocop-type character with steel claws. The driver calmly reaches up and detaches the roof, sending the baddie into space on his tether. "Don't you just love the wind in your hair?" the woman asks. "What I have left," the driver replies. Endframe: "Honda del Sol. With the removable top."
"Constitution" ( Goodby, Silverstein & Partners; Ritz/Hayden; :60). Named Best in Cinematography (also see Travel), this spot is a powerful argument for the use of b&w. For those who think a travel/vacation-oriented message demands color, think again. These scenes of tropical beaches, boating, passionate underwater embraces and a Norwegian Cruise Line ship effectively sell the merits of getting away from it all-especially when coupled with the woman's velvety recitation of a "new constitution for the world," including an article stipulating that "work shall be abolished."
"Elephant" ( Fallon McElligott; Tarsem; :60). This spot, winner in the Soft Drink category, also is honored for the best original score. The music was written by Paul Hart; the lyrics were a collaboration between Craig Hazen and Julie Dansky of Zen Music in New York and Dean Hanson and Dean Buckhorn of the ad agency. It's a haunting throwback to the Ink Spots and other '30s and '40s performers. As an elephant swims underwater toward his goal (a Diet Coke on a raft where a woman is reading and sunning herself), the song begins:
Is it love? Yes my dear/Is it love that draws me near?/Is it love that brings me/back into your heart?/Our moments come through magic/As we drift on sea so blue./We stare into each other's eyes/As lovers often do.
Do the lyrics match the on-camera action? Not really, but they immensely enhance the mood of this surreal "Yes-elephants-really-CAN-swim" gem.
"Painting" ( Leo Burnett USA; Industrial Light & Magic; :60) Woman at a loft apartment cocktail party admires a painting with sweeping lines that gives her an idea: She moves into the painting and takes the wheel of an Aurora, using the lines as roads. Compelling visual effects, but the judges were taken by the music, for which spot takes Best Adapted Music honors: the Shaker folk tune "Simple Gifts," which Aaron Copland incorporated into his ballet, "Appalachian Spring." The music builds slowly, with just the piano at the beginning matching the cocktail party mood but it grows in intensity-with the full orchestra-as she drives the car in the painting. The arranger was Manny Mendelson of Comtrack.