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AUTOMOTIVE FROM RIB-STICKIN' BARBECUE TO AIRBAGS THAT SAVE RIBS-AND NECKS

Published on .

Volvo Cars of North America: "Survivors" (Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer; Morton Jankel Zander; :60). Our automotive category winner also was named "Best of Show" among the top TV entries (see story on Page 32).

General Motors Corp.-Saturn Corp.: "Service" (Hal Riney & Partners; Dektor Higgins; :60). "Feel-good" spot for GM's newest nameplate. This shows quick-cut scenes from a combination barbecue/new-owner orientation given by Russ Penick, service manager at the Shreveport, La., Saturn dealership (who actually hosts these sessions once a month).

Scenes alternate between car-care lessons and humorous picnicking. Endframe displays Saturn mantra: "A different kind of company. A different kind of car."

Mercedes-Benz:"Airbag" (D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles S.A.; Vision Corp.; :45). Riveting drama from South Africa. A man walks on the roof of a modern skyscraper, and then, with the camera looking over his shoulder, he tumbles off the building while voice-over intones:

"When a car doing 100 kilometers per hour hits a rigid obstacle, the unbelted driver is thrown forward with the same impact as if he'd fallen 16 stories ...." Then, as the man falls and lands safely on a giant mattress-like inflatable, the message continues: "... unless there's a cushion to catch him."

Spot closes with an endframe touting Mercedes' airbags. American stuntman Bobby Brown jumped off a Johannesburg building-twice-in the filming of the spot, and was unhurt both times. (As of April, agency is known as Sonnenberg Murphy Leo Burnett.)

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