The Gap: "Lena Horne" ( In-house; Palomar Pictures, Los Angeles, Mark Seliger and Fred Woodward, directors; :30).
As usual, The Gap finds a way to cut through the posturing clutter of so much apparel advertising with ultra-cool simplicity. In this category winning spot, legendary songstress Lena Horne, looking fabulous in fashionable Gap threads, perches on a stool against a white background as she sings "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" in this holiday installment of Gap's trendy celebrity campaign. This might do for Lena what ESPN did for Robert Goulet -- namely, introduce her to an entirely new generation of hipsters.
Levi's: "Bag Boy Fantasy" (Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco; Radical Media, Tarsem, director; :60). Spot opens on a harried rock band manager using a gas station pay phone. In the background we see rocker Lenny Kravitz, standing in the men's room. We cut to the other end of the conversation: The hyper-stressed manager, shrieking on his cell phone as he checks out of a grocery store. The bag boy overhears and fantasizes about switching places with Lenny -- he's on stage, dreadlocks flailing, crowd cheering. We cut to the grocery store to find that, simultaneously, the manager is having his own fantasy: he's now the bag boy, mindlessly asking, "Paper or plastic?" This complex spot is one of a half-dozen "They go on" commercials that loosely tied together overlapping storylines while saying nothing overt about the product. A daring conceptual approach, it marks the last jeans campaign from the longtime Levi Strauss & Co. agency.