LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

By Published on .

All eyes in the cola world are on Venezuela, where Coca-Cola has swiped from Pepsi-Cola the entire Cisneros family, the previously loyal bottlers who for decades made Venezuela one of the few markets where Pepsi buried Coke. An unexpected rival is taking advantage of consumer confusion over the cola brands: Kool-Aid. When news broke of the Coke coup, Kraft General Foods put a team of 30 to work day and night at Caracas agency Corpa under creative director Jose Luis Pimentel to knock out two TV spots and two print ads featuring a Kool-Aid jar pushing Pepsi and Coke cans out of the way while singing "You move out and I move in." And, it costs less than cola. Thrifty Kool-Aid spent $21,052 making the ads.

In a less high-profile Coke victory, Aare Evisalu, chief of staff of the Estonian Armed Forces, announced that Coke and McDonald's Estonia have won a $200,000 catering contract to feed hungry troops on a joint exercise starting Sept. 14 between the Estonians and Russia's border guards. By a strange quirk of fate, the exercises will be held around Estonia's Lake Pepsi.

The global shoe campaigns: "Just Do It" from Nike, Reebok's Planet Reebok, and now Sprandi's "Get What You Want." Sprandi? M&C Saatchi says the Hong Kong shoemaker is launching a "global" campaign (but mostly in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic) to build a famous global brand. Unable to compete with Nike, Reebok and Adidas on athletic performance, Sprandi will zero in on why young males want to buy good-looking shoes to look good. "To attract young girls," reveals Alan Jarvie, M&C's Hong Kong creative director. "That is a universal truth from Moscow to Mombai."

Miuccia Prada, who took her Italian family's leather business into the fashion industry with seriously trendy items like the Prada nylon backpack, is extending the luxury brand. Look for Prada's first skincare products and fragrance in 1998, possibly working with Estee Lauder.

L. Gordon Crovitz, the Dow Jones & Co. exec who radically transformed the company's sleepy Far Eastern Economic Review in four years as both editor and publisher, is leaving the magazine business to become managing director for Asia of Dow Jones Telerate, an electronic price and news service for the financial community.

Where are they now? After a long career at Interpublic Group, where he is still director of creative communications, Barry Day chronicles in his new book, "This Wooden `O'," the byzantine struggle waged for more than 40 years by U.S. actor Sam Wanamaker to rebuild Shakespeare's round, wooden Globe Theatre along the Thames River. With the Globe finally open in London, Barry's next project is a book on Noel Coward.

In an unusual brand extension from subway to cameras, the London Underground camera is aimed at the tourist market. For $34, each camera features a subway map and is color coded to match the buyer's favorite subway line. A poster and leaflet campaign by Smith Stuart Advertising is themed "Smile-picture yourself in London."

There are ad agencies who take international creative awards seriously, and then there is Colenso Communications in New Zealand. A perennial hot issue is the way crafty agencies concoct ads that haven't really run to impress awards juries or clients. Or friends-like BBDO-owned Colenso's low, low budget commercial for local Italian restaurant and agency hangout Valerio-denounced as a scam at the Cannes ad festival. Creative Director Martin Brown admits cheerfully, "It was made as a favor for our friend Valerio ... and to make sure we never have to pay for lunch in Auckland ever again."

Contributing: Christina Hoag, Caracas; Amy Barone, Milan; Geoffrey Lee Martin, Sydney; Juliana Koranteng, London.

In this article:
Most Popular