EDITOR'S NOTE

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When Paul Wolfe was named executive creative director at the San Francisco office of FCB, I remember thinking, Gee, that's an-um-interesting choice. Having known that Wolfe had worked on the MCI Gramercy Press campaign, one that seemed about as literal a depiction of the human condition as advertising is capable of, I couldn't help but wonder what he might make of Levi's. I mean, compared to those baggy jeans-clad boys romping on the beach with their giant, uh, balls, Gramercy Press comes off like a Sidney Lumet film. As it turns out, Wolfe had also worked on one of my favorite MCI spots (not that I'm crazy about many of them), a very downbeat, almost nihilistic tale about a divorced dad who gets a personal 800 number so that his son can call him whenever he wants. This spot reeks of the jaded resignation found in so many survivors of modern-day domestic distress; it sounds almost too real to be a commercial. So given Wolfe's reel, which, as far as its Messner Vetere work is concerned, takes a pretty cerebral approach to advertising, the question was, where is he going to go with an all-attitude, image-is-everything piece of business like Levi's?

Well, now we know. Essentially, he's going to make sure Levi's still looks suitably hip and trendy, but he's adding a bit of a conceptual twist, like fabricating numerous reasons why 501s are such cool jeans. The current Levi's and Dockers work that has come out of the agency under his creative direction stands up well to that which has come before; in the process, it provides some insight into the obvious comparisons of Wolfe with his legendary predecessor, the late Mike Koelker.

Been reading Doonesbury lately? Know the character of the twentysomething hacker chick that old man Mike is flirting with? Seems the media is cluttered with stories of similar overnight, underaged sensations-mere tykes, they suddenly find themselves profiled in The New York Times and pulling down alarming salaries while slaving away for Fortune 500 monoliths. Of course, the key to all this is that these kids have what American marketers want-web skills! So what if they don't even have Visa cards yet? Who cares! They understand the difference between a URL and a hurl. What we thought might be worth looking into is just where they were learning all this marketable stuff-hence our revealing piece this month about webucation.

Finally, while we know that the under-30 crowd is already web-adjusted, what of the more senior set-you know, all those premature boomers who've said goodbye to 40? Particularly, what do agency creative directors really think of the Internet? So we asked, and you may be surprised to know they don't all hate it. Then again, they're not in love with it, either.

You be the judge: www.creativitymag.com debuts

If you'd like to take a look at the TV spots we've written about in this issue, now you can. A sampling of them can be seen on the Web, in all their compressed glory, by visiting www.creativitymag.com. There you'll be able to download the spots, obtain creative and production credits and read short write-ups about the ads.

In this issue, the campaigns covered in the Upfront section, as well as the TV spots reviewed by Greg DiNoto of Deutsch, will be up on our site as of April 8. (In the case of multispot campaigns, we're only able to put one spot up, so we've picked the one we like the best.) In future issues, spots that will be posted to the site will be noted with an icon.

We're interested in your response to our site, so feel free to contact us at editor@creativitymag.com. Our sterling site can be viewed with any browser software, but works best with Netscape 2.0. (It also helps to have Macromedia's Shockwave plug-in if you want to see our nifty animated logo.) The site was designed and produced for us by John Slepian at Farago Advertising in New York.

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