UPFRONT;HP: PHOTO FINISH

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Hewlett-Packard, synonymous with home printers and office PCs, didn't want to draw undue attention to its tardy arrival in the home PC market, so a new campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi/San Francisco, under the new helm of former Goodby creatives Steve Silver and Mike Mazza, adroitly sidesteps that issue with a pair of funny spots for the HP Pavilion, a computer that comes with a built-in color scanner.

Directed by Baker Smith of Tate & Partners, Los Angeles, the spots focus on funny scenarios in which people easily handle the color scanner for practical uses, like deviously self-serving photo manipulation. In one, a breathless chubster is the last to cross a marathon finish line, his pathetic time of over nine hours recorded in his finish line photo. As he arrives home carrying a pizza, his answering machine is recording a message from a friend who is taunting him about his tortoise race.

The wiseguy quickly scans his photo and digitally doctors it so the time clock gives him a killer finish.

The not so killer tag: "It's not just a PC. It's an HP."

"We wanted to come at it from inside the consumer's head," explains CD/writer Steve Silver. "We put it in their vocabulary; how they could have fun with the product and live with it."

In another spot, a boy's little sister takes a Polaroid of him in his underwear, scans it and e-mails it to a girl he drools after.

Other agency credits to CD/art director Mike Mazza, writer Andy Sohn and AD Steve Driggs. Music by Elias Associates; editing by Tom Muldoon at Nomad, L.A.

"Some art speaks to you. Some just belches loudly in your face." The Museum of Bad Art (more commonly known as MoBA, the world's only art museum dedicated to promoting the unappealing) in Dedham, Mass. (and on the Web at www.glyphs.com/moba) has opened its doors for those of us who are both capable and willing to appreciate the amateur's attempts at creative self-expression.

This cheeky local poster campaign aims not to pick on the little guy with the clumsy paint brush, but rather, to heroize him and encourage us all to question the idea of art in general. To redefine beautiful, if you will.

Well, pathetic art is in, and the trash can/yard sale art depicted here is celebrated as "real people's attempts at making art," says Leonard/Monahan, Providence, ACD/writer Kara Goodrich, hideous as it may be.

With headline like, "Our art compels you to look at it. In much the same way a car accident does," MoBA not only hopes to attract visitors with these posters but to make a few extra bucks by selling them, as well. Additional credits to creative director David Baldwin and art director Hal Curtis.

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