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AD AGES;SOMETHING FOR NOTHING;JAY SWITCHES OFF ELECTRIC-CAR IDEA;STARBUCKS TO MIX COFFEE, PCS;FILLING IN THE GAPS ON NEW GAP VP;FCB ... WENDY ... XMAS

By Published on .

Good water tastes like nothing. And so goes the theme for Health o meter's new water filter pitcher ads, shot in surreal Nothing, Ariz., and featuring the line, "Nothing, tastes better." Meldrum & Fewsmith of Cleveland concocted the TV and print campaign, breaking today. Health o meter did a deal to use filters with a brand name that means everything in water: Culligan. Health o meter and Culligan International are exploring other ventures, too. One smart idea being mulled: putting Culligan filters on Health o meter's sister product, Mr. Coffee.

GM, trying to get Hollywood to plug its new electric car, tried to get car collector Jay Leno to lease one. Bad move. "I have no interest in leasing anything," Leno tells Automotive News. "All the cars I've ever had I still own. As soon as I heard about that [lease], I lost interest." Leno test-drove the car a year ago and raves about it.

Starbucks is talking to Intel, Compaq and Corbis (Bill Gates' digital art company) about supplying technology for customers in its stores. Starbucks marketeer John Williams notes how companies want to get inside to reach the desirable demos. Computers should start appearing in some stores within six months, allowing customers to check e-mail, read online-or do whatever schemes Starbucks serves up. "From a content perspective, it's a wide open palette," Williams says.

Michael McCadden's mother used to call him "hyperactive." That still seems to fit The Gap's new VP-marketing, who Rollerblades and catches three movies a week. The MBA has pushed everything from Q-Tips to Coach leather to Calvin Klein's CK One, but he was buying The Gap long before selling it. McCadden's been known to show up in meetings wearing 15-year-old Gap sweaters. His Gap strategy: "You just continue to reiterate what you are and say it as clearly as you can."

Good news for FCB/SF: The inspired new Levi's doctor and elevator spots are creating a buzz in creative circles. TriStar Pictures and N.W. Ayer called the agency to ask about the directors (Spike Jonz & Michael Bay). Bad news: FCB's $10 million Armor All account is virtually sure to exit after Clorox buys the car products maker. Clorox early this year moved bleach from FCB to DDB Needham. Look for Armor All to land there. . . . The new prez at Quaker's Snapple is talking to Wendy the Snapple Lady about coming back to pitch the product. . . . It's heartwarming to see media moguls get into the holiday spirit. True, Rupert's battling to get Fox News Channel onto Time Warner's NYC cable system. But that hasn't stopped Fox News Channel from running spots every 30 minutes for Time Life Music's "Treasury of Christmas" CD.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Mark Gleason, Jean Halliday, Keith J. Kelly, Laura Petrecca and Mark Rechtin.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157; or e-mail, brad@crain.com.

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