TRADE SECRETS

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At Creativity, there's one question we're asked time and again: "So, like, how do you do, um, what you, like, do?" Rephrased: What criteria do you use for the ads that make The Work section?

Our frequent response: "Uh, well, that's like, uh, a very good question."

Rephrased: We're not really sure how to describe great work. (But like the Supreme Court Justice who was asked to define obscenity, we know it when we see it.)

A guy named Stan Cotton, apparently a 35-year veteran of the advertising industry and author of, "In 12 Easy Steps, Anybody can be in Advertising . . . It Beats Working for a Living" (self-published, 1997), has a few ideas about what makes an admirable ad. Such strong and well-defined ideas, in fact, that every example he gives of a good ad in "12 Easy Steps" is straight out of his own portfolio. Cotton believes, it seems, that a career in advertising delivers the dough without taxing the brain.

Could Ted Bell, Young & Rubicam's creative Big Cheese, be of the same opinion? Last month, anyone with $39 to spare could have registered for his course, "The Secrets of Killer Advertising," at The Learning Annex, a for-profit school of popular subjects that also offers courses such as, "Mega Speedreading," "Speak and Grow Rich," and "How to get Booked on a Talk Show." We're curious how many resumes Y&R has received since. And how many were worth their while.

Now, this is no elitist manifesto. Yeah, lots of people (even hacks) can be in advertising. Not that learning a few tricks of the trade in one night will make them shining stars with fat wallets. Nor will landing in The Work section, obviously. But then again, we're not really sure.

You want a putter with a "soft Stronomic insert," not one with scales. One of a series of five new ads that appeal even if you can't tell a divot from a hole in the ground.

client Odyssey agency VitroRobertson, San Diego cd&ad John Vitro cd&cw John Robertson cw Brian Gold Photographer Marshall Harrington Illustrators James Bennett, Anita Kunz, Mark Matcho, Mark Ulriksen and Edmund Guy

A new Canadian spot for Kellogg's Special K, tagged, "Look good on your own terms; eat sensibly," is fashionably freakish. Reed-thin models, wearing not much more than a strategically placed piece of string, stride down a catwalk. Then the title, "Designers should try wearing what they design for us," is followed by a repugnant roly-poly couturier in a bikini, sequins and tulle. He's got plenty of gut, but no glory.

client Kellogg's agency Leo Burnett/Toronto cd Jeff Finkler ad Elspeth Lynn cw Lorraine Tao producer Colleen Floyd director Richard D'Alessio prod company A Band Apart Editor Alex Eaton, Stealing Time composer Ted Rosnick, Rosnick Mackinnon

Every dog owner knows who rules the roost, and this charming new print campaign for Cesar Select Dinners touches on the warm fuzzy feelings of being a pet owner, without inciting the urge to hack up a hairball. Another ad reads: "Hot cocoa. A warm blanket. A cozy fire. They will all be yours. When he's good and ready." Featuring a beagle playing on an icy beach.

client Kal Kan Foods agency BBDO West/Los Angeles cd David Lubars and Chris Robb

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