BACK CATALOG IN THE USSR; NO ROBBIN' IN THE 'HOOD; SAMUELS' HIGH-STYLUS PRINT; UNITED COLORS OF BENTON; UNVAILED THREATS

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In 1991 Russia's Lennauchfilm studio in St. Petersburg released quite a few interesting titles. Take, for example, "Where Is Your Brother Abel," described in the studio's catalogue as an account of "the tragic destiny of an outstanding plant breeder and professor, P. Golodriga." If it sounds like something you might find late one night on The Botany Channel, well, maybe you will.

Lennauchfilm is one of almost a dozen Russian documentary and educational film studios that have signed a contract with Breeze International, New York, granting it exclusive rights to its library of thousands of films and videos, as well as future productions. Among the studios that have given Breeze access to their collections, says Breeze president Vladimir Kononenko, are the Russian Central Studio for Scientific, Popular and Educational Films in Moscow and the St. Petersburg Studio for Documentary Films.

Kononenko calls these films, some of which contain old newsreel footage dating back to before the revolution of 1917, a wealth of obscure, largely unseen images, and he's currently lining up plans to make them available digitally for use in everything from multimedia to cable to, yes, even advertising.

Subjects run the gamut from the socially and politically relevant to the remarkably obscure, exploring everything from the abuses of the Stalin era to the disaster at Chernobyl. And for specialists, plenty of contemporary economic arcana is available; one documentary, made as recently as 1991, provides a glimpse of the inner workings of a dump truck factory outside Moscow. Many of these films were produced before the USSR dissolved in 1991, providing a pre-democracy Soviet look at issues and trends around the world.

Competitive advertising rarely surfaces in PSAs, but a brochure for New York's Robin Hood Foundation, a new, fiscally-conscious philanthropy, from Goldsmith/Jeffrey, takes shots at the well-publicized money-squandering that has plagued some charities of late, according to AD Jason Gaboriau. "Other charities are run so buffoonishly, they tend to make a mess of things," Gaboriau says, explaining the inspiration behind the wry illustrations reminiscent of vintage Coney Island (created by Canada's Christian Northeast), which knock shams like the United Way reportedly paying $900 for a chair.

Another spread in the brochure, which will be adapted into print ads, takes jabs at glitzy TV telethons. "Money is just a Band-Aid," adds writer Justin Rohrlick, explaining how the foundation sends consultants to various charities to help them increase efficiency. The TV campaign, with a VO by comedian Denis Leary, takes a broader view via footage that we're led to believe is Bosnia, which is finally revealed to be Harlem.

Other credits to senior AD Noam Murro, who shot the spots; CD Gary Goldsmith; freelance producer Sadie Polleck; DP Bob Yeoman and editor Avi Oran.

We know Hendrix is dead, and we thought vinyl was dead, but little-known Milton Samuels Advertising in New York, which also handles Brother, is now doing turntable humor for low-end electronics supplier Gemini-and it's all thanks, apparently, to the no-puns-intended creative team of art director Perry Hack, formerly at Frankfurt Balkind, and writer Sam Ash.

"Before we got here," says Hack, "a typical Gemini ad would have a half-naked woman in lingerie sitting on some equipment, and the line would be, 'Check out this equipment.'*"

Now a typical Gemini ad has a picture of a turntable and one of those inflatable women with the puckered maws, and the line is, "Obviously we aren't the only people who understand the importance of vinyl in entertainment." Says Ash proudly, "Hey, we haven't used a naked girl in an ad in a year."

Other delightfully cheesy Hack-Ash collaborations include some Elvis bashing for Dynasound CD racks-"We take better care of Elvis than he took of himself"-with a picture of a fat grimacing King on a disc, and a beauty for Telemania's Barbie phone: "The perfect phone for when you have nothing to say."

Reality bites is the subtext of a goofy new campaign for Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network from Butler Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif. "Essentially, we're trying to get across the idea that cartoons are better than reality," says copywriter Ryan Ebner. "Since we're not dealing with reality here, it's cooler."

How cool? One spot compares Johnny Quest's supergroovy dad, Dr. Benton Quest, to, well, um, your old man. "So what's your dad do?" asks the announcer as we see Dr. Quest driving Hovercrafts, riding camels, fighting tribesmen in the jungle and blowing up stuff. Cut to a real father figure, belly sticking out of his too-small tank top, boxers askew as he emerges from the bathroom.

In another spot, a stuffy announcer proclaims, "The gentle woodland rabbit relies on its soft coat for protection" as we see nature footage of playful bunnies. "However," he goes on, "there have been sightings of a species of rabbit that opts for something a little less constraining." Ta da! Out pops Bugs dressed as Bo Peep.

Other credits to CW Jim DiPiazza and ADs Erich Pfeifer, John Butler and Mike Shine. The live action was shot by Rob Pritts of Backyard Productions, Chicago.

A debut campaign for Colorado ski resort Copper Mountain slaloms along on stark photography and a hint of sarcasm to take a few downhill jabs at its competitors: ritzy Aspen and Vail.

Created at Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, the ads position Copper Mountain as a place for purists, not poseurs, with headlines like: "If your friends are superficial, you can always tell them you went to Vail."

Reinforcing that theme are elegant photos by Santa Barbara, Calif.-based photographer Marc Meunch. "I wanted to look at the ski resort from a different angle," explains art director Bob Pullum, noting how he tinted Meunch's often daring shots with an aged copper patina and then complemented the photos with copy set in metallic inks.

Other credits to writers Bryan Behar and Barton Corley and creative directors

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