Guest Review

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Girl Scouts Agency: Bailey Lauerman, Lincoln, Neb. Director: Steve Thiesfeld, Great Plains

Etzine: A little brother pontificates on the dangers of GSS (Girl Scout Syndrome). Symptoms include confidence, self-respect, leadership and respect for others. The male voiceover concludes: "Girl scouts. Good for girls. Bad for pesky little brothers." Not a girl in the spot. I'll start believing in the Girl Scouts when they let confident, self-respecting young girls pitch the organization.

Cimmino: Like that annoying Pepsi girl, or that damn Snuggle bear, it is possible to be overly cute. It reminds me of those awful Juicy Juice commercials, except this one is starring that kid from Jerry Maguire. I also think the unenthusiastic voiceover at the end is really out of place. The monotone VO made joining the Girl Scouts sound as exciting to a kid as hearing Ben Stein recite War and Peace.

PETA Agency: PETA Director: Joey Penello

Etzine: I like music. I like cows. Can't go wrong with singing cows, can you? I like this spot because it avoids the usual PSA guilt trips. I do find the art direction crude, but the message is clear. If I ran a public service campaign, I'd look for a simple, cheap idea and stick my money into media.

Cimmino: Even though I've seen enough talking animal spots to make me feel like the Son of Sam, and this is extremely similar to a Kenneth Cole 'pleather' ad I saw a couple of years ago, I couldn't help but smile. What's sad is that conceptually, using a talking/singing animal actually makes sense for this client. But because of all the spots with dogs selling baked beans and frogs selling beer, the impact of this ad isn't what it could have been.

Miller Lite Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Director: Bryan Buckley, Hungry Man

Etzine: Two guys celebrate the death of a drinking buddy's in-laws over a Miller Lite, moments after they've been hit by a meteorite. Yet another commercial in the 'You can have any type of humor so long as it's black' genre. I confess. I drink Miller Lite. Now when I drink it, I'll cover the label.

Cimmino: I really like the approach that this campaign is taking. Concentrating on the marriage of male bonding and beer is a smart strategy that plays really well during sporting events. This particular execution isn't my favorite, but there are some really good ones in this campaign.

Bud Light Agency: DDB/Chicago Director: David Kellogg, Propaganda Films

Etzine: Guy has his girlfriend over for drinks, gets her all worked up and then sprays beer in her face. Nice casting. Nice timing. Nice buildup. Absolutely no idea whatsoever.

Cimmino: Man + Beer = Man making an ass out of himself in front of woman. I can definitely relate to this.

EDS Agency: Fallon/Minneapolis Director: John O'Hagan, Hungry Man

Etzine: I have no idea what this spot, featuring stampeding squirrels, is supposed to accomplish, but I love it. If I got a call from the EDS people, I'd definitely want to work with them. Anyone who approves work this audacious has to be smart and interesting. The execution is superb. If I have one tiny qualm, it's that the spot looks like it was conceived by Minnesotan workaholics rather than gazpacho-quaffing Spaniards.

Cimmino: Out of curiosity, I asked everyone at the Super Bowl party I attended what their favorite spot was. Without hesitation everyone agreed this one was the best. When I asked what company the ad was for, and what they do, no one had a clue. Is it good advertising? I don't know, but it certainly made my boxers soggy from laughter.

Craig Cimmino is an art director at Merkley Newman Harty, New York.

Steve Etzine is a creative director at Eisner Communications, Baltimore.

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