INSPIRED ADS; ABSOLUTELY POSITIVITY

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Contest #429: First, it was Butch Reynolds getting dumped by Nike for failing a steroid test at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Now Hertz will barely acknowledge it had an endorsement deal with O.J. Simpson. Is there any living celebrity marketers can safely turn to these days for an endorsement deal? Someone who doesn't have a skeleton in the closet? Of course there is. T.N.T.ers: come up with the next company to use Mother Theresa in an ad campaign.

And now for the results of Contest #425: we asked you for the next ad campaign to promote positivity in the U.S. and you lit us up with:

First Prize: In order to bring out the positivization of America, Bill Clinton has mandated an increase in the exposure of happy banjo music. To kick off this new campaign, the Clinton PR machine has developed a series of 30-second spots featuring the president and one-man-band Bobby McFerrin performing a new version of the hit song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," accompanied by an orchestra of banjo players led by comedian Steve Martin. Roger Alford, marketing specialist, Sintech division of MTS Systems Corp., Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Second Prize: The Clinton administration launches a sitcom that tries to cheer up unhappy U.S. campers. The show would air during ABC's sappy "Thank God It's Friday (TGIF)" prime-time lineup. Imagine the laughs and the 23-minute, smiley-faced solutions to global crises as audiences watch "The Prez!" instead of boring press conferences and electronic town halls. Dave Nadelberg, student, West Bloomfield, Mich.

Third Prize: Introducing Lysol's new Lysol Mind & Mouth Cleaner/Disinfectant. In the spot, several children recite "Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Men in a Tub." We see three miniature men in a tiny tub in a sink filled with dirty water: Bob Dole, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. They spin around in the Lysol cleaner as their nasty thoughts and words are seen going down the drain. Mary Whyte, office manager, Carrington Communications, Randolph, N.J.

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