Every year around this time we take a look at some bright lights in the commercials directing cosmos. This month, we fixed our gaze on cover boy Frank Budgen. If you've not seen his reel you really should. (Frank continues in our long tradition of writing about top Brit directors who are hardly ever available in the States.) Here is a dual triumph of style and substance. The concepts are usually great (our favorites include the kid in the museum knocking around a voodoo doll for Centraal Beheer insurance and the insufferable London yuppie ranting on about the material world as he test drives an Audi), and each is executed with a cool, detached style that never calls attention to itself yet can't be missed.
Of course, if you want to call attention to yourself just stick a few clamps in your mouth and hop around like a lunatic. Anyone who's seen Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People" video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, of whom the clip's title clearly refers, knows just how captivating a sight this can be. Floria's commercial work isn't up there with Frank's just yet, but we believe anyone with a visual sense as striking as hers is a talent to keep an eye on.
We recall one of our technology writers advising readers way back in 1995 to keep your Web site fresh. "It's an organic thing," wrote Sam McMillan then. Too bad agencies that launched their own sites that year didn't pay much attention to him. Pat Riedman revisited a number of sites we critiqued last year at this time only to find that not much has changed. In addition, there are still a number of hot shops with no discernible Web presence at all. Why no WWW at GS&P? See her story and you'll find out.
Finally, we're introducing The Lyon's Din in this issue, a column on trends in the advertising music scene written by Rick Lyon. Rick, who had just opened his own music house, penned a viewpoint piece for us last year on using pop artists in advertising that was insightful and thought-provoking. Of course, given that he was both a writer and composer while at Messner (something you don't see everyday), it's no surprise he turned out to be a pretty good wordsmith. Given his talents (he penned the "It Just Doesn't Ring True" jingle for MCI), we asked him to share with us his uniquely knowing and wary perspective as a composer and former ACD. -Anthony Vagnoni