The film, The Minus Man, which opens mid-September, is a psychological thriller written and directed by Hampton Fancher, best known for his script for Blade Runner. It stars Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo and Sheryl Crow, among others, but the big selling point, according to the creative team, is the plot -- it's gnawingly complex, with many questions deliberately left unanswered. Says Morales, "We talked about it a lot -- and we didn't get it. We realized that two hours later we were still saying, 'What the fuck is going on?' " So the plot of the trailer features a couple trying to figure out what the film was all about. They talk about the movie through various scenes, when suddenly, as they're watching a sunset, the girl freaks out and dashes off. She's apparently late for work. It turns out she's a lifeguard, and what she finds when she finally gets poolside are two corpses in the water. Creepy. And just as inscrutable as the film itself.
Themed "Conversation usually follows," the Website and print work -- which includes the movie poster, wild postings, newspaper ads, postcards and stickers -- are similarly fuzzy, with headlines alluding to the post-movie discussion, accompanied by threatening, sepia-toned nature photography. Says Bardales, "The somewhat surreal art creates a mood -- a frame of mind of how you think in your head."
Their feets don't fail 'em
A new Brooks print campaign by Big Bang is so darn cute and cuddly it stands out from the usual pack of sneaker ads like sore toes. These delighted digits make us want to strap on a pair of Brooks and run a marathon. Or at least take a short walk. Another ad features the sole of a foot with an assortment of colored marshmallows stuck to it. The copy: "There was, of course, a lengthy technical explanation for how our shoes make your feet feel so unbelievably comfortable. But when all was said and done, it just didn't taste as good."
Client: Brooks Agency: Big Bang Idea Engineering CD/AD: Wade Koniakowsky CW: Rob Bagot Photographer: Mark Laita
To introduce Pets.com, a pet-supply store on the Web, TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. is using a spokesdog. But before you get any "Yo quiero squeaky-toy" ideas, he ain't no Chihuahua. He's a wise-cracking, dog-faced sock puppet. Our little non-furry friend goes around interviewing real pets for their thoughts on Pets.com. In one spot, conducted in a steamy parking lot with dogs who are stuck in the car with the window open, he serenades a panting golden retriever with Kool and the Gang's "Too Hot." The tagline: "Pets.com. Because pets can't drive." Good point. We just weren't aware they can surf the Web.
Client: Pets.com Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. ECD: Peter Angelos CD: Rob Smiley AD: Lew Willig CW: Scott Duchon Director: Michael Patrick Jann, HKM Producers: Candace Bowes (freelance) & Patricia Danziger Editor: Noah Herzog, Lost Planet
In a new campaign for the OnHealth Network at OnHealth.com, health ideas are taken literally. Very literally. In one spot, three people are moving furniture while others are gazing at an old woman in bed. Suddenly she bolts upright with a big smile, until someone knocks over a lamp and she drops back down. The topic: Feng Shui -- Does it Work? And in another spot, a sleepy-looking guy stares at his refrigerator for a few moments before picking up a few of the colorful alphabet magnets and holding them to his head while he waits in anticipation. The topic: What's the Deal With Magnets?
Client: OnHealth Network Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/Los Angeles ECD: Peter Angelos CD: Rob Smiley AD: Tia Lustig CW: Mike Smith (freelance) Director: Bryan Buckley, Hungry Man Producers: Peter Feldman, TBWA & Steve Orent, Hungry Man Editor: Gordon Carey, Filmcore Editorial Post: Company 3, Santa Monica
Bow knows cars
Nothing says "car dealership" quite like a bunch of chubby cherubs shooting keys. The ad, based on Raphael's "Triomphe de Galatee," is painted on a 44 x 40-foot wall at S.W. 2nd and Washington in downtown Portland, Ore. It's called "Spreading the Love," and it occupies a space that was home to Nike athletes since the late '80s. When Nike chose not to renew, the 16-strong Ron Tonkin Dealerships leapt in with a burst of Renaissance athleticism.
Client: Ron Tonkin Dealerships Agency: Johnson Sheen Avertising, Portland CD: Mike Sheen AD: Mark Slotemaker CW: Guy Ragnetti Painter: Mark BennettChew carefully
How do you sell takeout on the Web? With sheer lunacy, as seen at Food.com. The bizarre print sports images like a pair of eyes on a hot dog, and a live pig leaping out of the oven, and the TV is just as weird. One spot features a man who takes his monkey girlfriend to a restaurant, where she runs off with a monkey at another table. And in a spot that actually makes sense, a man looks in his bare cupboard and all he has is hot dog buns . . . and a dachshund.
Client: Food.com Agency: Blazing Paradigm, San Francisco CD/CW: Sam Pond CD/AD: Ron Walter CW: Dan Ligon Director: Melissa Bolton, Shelter Films Producers: Gale Gortney, Blazing Paradigm; Steven Shore, Shelter Films & Rebecca Ross, The Partners' Film Co,. Ltd. Editor: Ted DePalma, Bob 'N Sheila's Edit World Sound: Andy Newell, Earwax & Ted DePalma, Bob 'N Sheila's Edit World
Tennis, not exactly setting the world on fire, wants to be hip and funny. So in a new TV campaign, an announcer asks, "Can anything beat the excitement of U.S. Open tennis?" It's not as normal as it sounds. In one spot, he follows the question with "How about figure skating?" We see the lovely couple prepare to do their routine, but something's off. Oh, they're not on ice. The disclaimer: "For a fair comparison, both events were held in the same environment." As you can imagine, the poor female skater gets tossed around like a rag doll as her partner trips and repeatedly bumps into the net. In "Basketball," the players, coach and cheerleaders don't fare much better. At one point, the coach runs into the net post; not much is made of it until later, when he's talking to the team and you notice the enormous red welt on the side of his head. Advantage, subtle humor.
Client: United States Tennis Association Agency: Fallon McElligott/New York ECD/CW: Jamie Barrett AD: Ellen Steinberg Director: Bryan Buckley, Hungry Man Producers: Julie Hampel, Fallon McElligott; Stephen Orent & John Towse, Hungry Man Don't touch that 'dile
The ever-fecund videogame category can entertain even without sex and violence, as WongDoody proves in a new spot for the ultracute Playstation platform game Croc 2. In "Summertime," we're asked, "Which is cooler, Croc 2 or a live crocodile?" We then see kids watching dumbfounded as a live croc wallows in a kiddie pool. Cut to Croc 2 game scenes, to the tune of Elton John's "Crocodile Rock," loaded with all sorts of bouncy action. Then back to the somnolent croc, who's still just trying to get comfy in the pool as the kids look on, now bored silly.
Client: Sony PlayStation Agency: WongDoody/SeattleSanta Monica CD: Tracy Wong AD: Pam Fujimoto CW: Jeanne Ivy Director: Jim Barton, Kaboom Producers: Chantal Houle, WongDoody & Lauren Schwartz, Kaboom Editor: Richard Cooperman, Brass Knuckles Music: Gary Myrick Music Audio: Margarita MixIt's all in the manual
Typical subway scene: Straphangers crammed together, the train grinds to a halt and the conductor announces, "Due to a track fire, this train will be temporarily delayed." There is a collective groan and out come the cell phones. The passengers are all busy dialing away when suddenly the car lurches forward. Quicker than you can say "domino effect," everyone falls to the floor, except for one twentysomething redhead. She's got a Motorola with "one-hand access" and "one-touch dialing," as the cool LCD-style titles tell us. It's "one really small phone" and one really good spot. Her closing line as she steps around the bodies littering the floor: "Oh, sorry, was that your hand?" Now if only Motorola had a cooler audio tag . . .
Client: Motorola Agency: McCann-Erickson/New York CD: Fritz Westenberger ADS: KJ Bowen & Chris Cereda CW: Jenny Sandbank Director: Lenard Dorfman, @radical.media Producer: Guy Quinlan Editor: Haines Hall, Spotwelders
Vive Las Vegas
For the new Paris Las Vegas Hotel, which recreates Paris as only tacky Yankee ingenuity can, Texas agency Temerlin McClain moves the City of Light to Sin City. The campaign features a group of enthusiastic movers called the Men in White who go through Paris snatching everything that is significantly French, and shipping it off to Sodom in the Desert. Above, we see the Eiffel Tower barging its way into New York, to continue its journey by train and chopper.
Client: Paris Las Vegas Hotel Agency: Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas CD: Bill Oakley ACD/AD: Dave Wilgus ACD/CW Diane Seimetz Director: Rob Pritts, Backyard Productions Producer: Barry Lisee Editor: Jack Waldrip, Charlie Uniform Tango Music: Elias Effects: David Laird, Charlie Uniform Tango
Fox Sports and Cliff Freeman score again, throwing a fastball at the face of the MLB logo in this detail from a new print ad. Headline: "Dodgers vs. Giants. The rivalry continues." In another ad, headlined "The Mets vs. Mark McGwire and the Cardinals," we see a shot of the entire Mets' infield playing deep in the outfield.
Client: Fox Sports Agency: Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York CD: Eric Silver AD & CW: Dan Kelleher, Mark Schruntek (Logo) AD: Taras Wayner (McGuire) CW: Kevin Roddy
The Snapple capades
Deutsch is at it again for Snapple, this time featuring skinny skating sensation Tara Lipinski. Or, rather, featuring a cardboard cutout of Lipinski. Now that Lipinski "is part of the Snapple family, she can be part of your family," we learn. With every 2,000 Snapples you buy, you can bring home your own Tara Lipinski. What ensues is a Monty Pythonesque showing of all the fun you can have with your Tara: One kid blames a mess on the smiling skater; Tara walks the dog (sort of); and our personal fave, the lonely boy playing spin the bottle with his cardboard chick. Says GCD/CW Cheryl Van Ooyen, "It's really an ideal way to shoot a celebrity."
Client: Snapple Agency: Deutsch/New York ECD: Kathy Delaney GCD/AD: Craig Markus GCD/CW: Cheryl Van Ooyen Director: Joe Public, HeadQuarters Producers: Susan Curbow, Deutsch & Robyn Moskow, HeadQuarters Editor: Nelson Leonard, Editing Concepts Sound: Steve Rosen, Howard Schwartz Recording
Germans don't do humor?
German agency Jung von Matt an der Isar's latest campaign for mobile phone company D2 Mannesmann Mobilfunk features a gangly guy on a bicycle. In one spot he tries unsuccessfully to ride hands-free, and in another he listens to the action of the Tour de France, then switches to easy listening. Just when you're wondering what these wacky foreigners are trying to say about mobile phones, the voiceover kicks in. "Why do we have such low rates? Maybe because we don't have to fund an expensive cycling team." The competition, Deutsche Telekom, sponsors the German team, of course.
Client: D2 Mannesmann Mobilfunk Agency: Jung von Matt an der Isar, München CD: Oliver Voss AD: Tobias Eichinger CW: Till Hohmann Directors: Nika & Til, Neue Sentimental Film Music: Bernd KunzGroan-jour
So jetlag has an upside, after all. The other ad in this campaign reads "Mach deux." Copywriter Tom Kraemer notes that Ammirati has since lost the account. "Hmmm, perhaps we really did irritate them . . . c'est la vie."
Client: Air France Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas/New York ECDS: Rob Feakins & Roger Bentley CDS: Lance Paull & Pat Hanlon AD: John Szalay CW: Tom Kraemer
Wet and whimsical
Hammerquist & Halverson manages to mock the bottled water craze while selling bottled water, with two new commercials for Cascade Clear spring water. In "Bench," which parodies the convince-your-pal-to-try-it genre, a thirsty runner is persuaded to sample new Cascade Clear, which is guaranteed to quench thirst -- it's got "thirst crystals!" After taking a sip, the guy exclaims, "You've made a believer of me," and they go for another lap. In "Jack and Jill," the nursery rhyme is used to demonstrate, via tumbling stunt dummies, the dangers of getting your water from any source other than a bottle of Cascade Clear.
Client: Cascade Clear Agency: Hammerquist & Halverson, Seattle CD: Fred Hammerquist ACD/CW: Ian Cohen AD: Matt Peterson Director: David Frankham, A & R Group Producer: Michelle Bagnato Editor: Duncan Sharp, Flying Spot Sound: Earforce
The Golf Course Superintendents Association apparently wants to be known as more than just a bunch of groundskeepers battling dancing gophers à la Caddy Shack. So, in addition to the long-copy wonder seen above, when John Deere donated airtime to the GCSAA during the John Deere Classic, the group commissioned a no-dialogue :60 from Mullen that is anything but par for the course. As a languid bossa nova tune plays in the background, a man sits watching golf on TV. His baby daughter spills juice on the turflike carpet. After a moment's contemplation, he pulls out a hole-cutter, makes a hole in the floor, tosses the stained circle of carpet to the dog and neatly replaces the hole with a fresh, new piece of carpet. The closing title card: "We live golf."
Client: The Golf Course Superintendents Association Agency: Mullen, Wenham CD: Edward Boches AD: Michael Ancevic CW: Stephen Mietelski Directors: Tom Kuntz & Mike Maguire, Propaganda Films Producer: Sarah Monaco Real freaky
Photographer Butch Belair (who shot Creativity's cover in May '96) has his model put her best foot (and hips) forward in a new campaign for Steve Madden fashion accessories. Belair photographed one model, who appears in two different print pieces as three different people. But there's more; none of the resulting characters bears any resemblance to the actual model. Belair shot each body part separately against a white background and then digitally knit them together with his signature freaky and beautiful results. Says art director Tom Kane, "The more you stare at the pictures, the more real it becomes, and then when I saw the real girl -- it was just really disturbing."
Client: Steve Madden Agency: Hampel/Stefanides, New York CDS: Dean Stefanides &