GARY COHEN

Published on .

BUD LIGHT

Guy (peeping Tom) sees girl walk into her apartment with a six-pack of Bud Light. He gets out his trusty little mouse, who wears kamikaze flight goggles, of course, and catapults his fearless little friend out his window and into hers. The mouse scares girl. Girl takes Bud Light and shows up at guy's apartment. This is where the storytelling suddenly loses its traction and heads straight into the land of illogic. Why does the girl show up at his apartment in particular? The guy isn't a neighbor. He lives across the street in another apartment building. It just didn't track for me. I feel for the mouse. He did such a brilliant acting job. Unfortunately, even he couldn't overcome a flawed script.

agency Fusion Idea Lab

Director Dave Merhar, Visitor

VOLVO

Open on chandelier in Sweden's little-known Ice Hotel, where all the accommodations are sculpted from ice (bar, pillars, tables, etc.). Shots of the upscale hotel are intercut with winter driving performance shots of Volvo, as it makes its way to the posh ice dwelling. So what's the connection? The well-written copy explains that the hotel proves that winter can be "tamed, controlled, and enjoyed . . . something guests arrive at, before they arrive." (Referring to the Volvo itself.) While visually interesting, the metaphor here seems a bit tenuous. When all is said and done, I'm not left with the Volvo as hero. Instead, I'm left with a question: what's the number of the Ice Hotel?

agency MVBMS/Euro RSCG

Director Tarsem, @radical.media

MASTERCARD

Of all the executions I've seen in the current MasterCard campaign, the "Cartoon" spot is the most inventive. We see Mr. Magoo mistake an airplane's Emergency Exit Only door for what he sees as Elevator to Lobby. The door opens, he walks out, then proceeds to plummet. VO: "Contacts: $320." Other segments include Olive Oyl ("Wonderbra: $26") and Droopy Dog ("Face Lift: $3,000"). We end up on Fred Flintstone dancing as gleefully as a cherub. Charming spot, not saccharin.

agency McCann-Erickson/New York

editor Owen Plotkin, Editing Concepts

THE STEEL ALLIANCE

In one spot in a campaign of :15s for "The New Steel," we see a car moving along a road to contemporary music. Suddenly and unexpectedly, both the film and music stop. A super comes up: "You have .003 seconds to decide if you want your car to be made of steel. Go." We then see another vehicle enter and crash directly into the side of the car. VO: "Another strong argument for the New Steel. Feel the strength." This spot, along with the two others, is elegant, simple, smart and beautifully art directed. From the Steel Alliance, no less. Who knew?

agency GSD&M

Director Gerard de Thame, Gerard de Thame Films

AND 1

The four print ads in the And 1 campaign seem to miss the point of the entire company. They only make basketball shoes (along with basketball shorts and basketball jerseys). Not tennis shoes. Not running shoes or cross-trainers. Not even walking shoes. Nowhere in the advertising, including the copy, does it mention this fundamental, potentially powerful consumer benefit. In the ad featured here, they show a photographic action series of Shammond Williams driving toward the basket, faking right, whirling left, and unleashing a jump shot, accompanied by four insets below each picture. These happen to be the four steps needed to make Shake 'n Bake. In another, we see Raef LaFrentz, about to catch a pass, then drive into the paint and dunk like no one's dunked before. In the insets, we are witnesses to a mild-mannered man being transformed into an ever-powerful and mighty super hero, powerglow and all. Are the ads fun? Yes. In the end, will the salespeople think so?

Agency CRISPIN PORTER & BOGUSKY

Gary Cohen is an associate creative director/copywriter at Grace & Rothschild in New York.

The work this month: A Trophy Trough

By Sharon Klahr

Time to get out your best shorts and a clean T-shirt, and to dig your finest sneakers from the pile in the back of the closet; awards season is upon us, with the Andys and the ADDYs kicking off this most wonderful time of the year. Ah - the glamour, the drama, the prestige, the mini egg-roll thingies! Not to mention the same freakin' commercials over and over again. (The first time we saw WongDoody's multi-award winning Seattle Supersonics campaign, we loved it. We even loved it the fourth time. By the 112th time, however, we wanted to clobber Nate McMillan over the head with his Cake Taker Tupperware.)

Don't get us wrong. We think awards shows are great; we are, after all, free-loading journalists. More importantly, we're ad junkies, and proud of it. But do we really need to out-awards-show Hollywood? We have the AICPs, Andys, Art Directors Club, Athenas, Cannes, Clios, D&AD, O'Toole, One Show, Effies, Kellys, London International Festival, Mobius Awards, New York Festivals, Mercury Awards - not to mention all the local shows. What's that, about a billion of them? What do you think that equals in canap├ęs?

Of course, the best thing about the shows, other than the open bar, is the recognition - especially for those of you who toil and sweat and pour your hearts and souls into a campaign just to have it unceremoniously yanked because, even though it was brilliant, some client from a square state is all bent out of shape because sales aren't up. Like anyone would care about sales when they can make a teary-eyed acceptance speech that puts Gwyneth Paltrow and her dead cousins to shame.

Hey, nice thighs. Hers aren't bad, either. Proving its new tagline "Anything Goes," Kahlua gets raunchy-sexy with its new print campaign, shot by David LaChapelle. The seven piece-campaign features LaChapelle's striking photos in conjunction with recipes for various Kahlua drinks.

CLIENT Kahlua AGENCY BBDO/Chicago CCO Phil Gant GCD/AD Gail Pollack GCD/CW Jim

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