UPFRONT;THEY'RE JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY;KUDOS: KING MISSILE; NATIONAL: THE UNMENTAL RENTAL;PULP CONNECTION

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Says Mike Hughes of The Martin Agency, "When Harry goes, he'll be like an old soldier-he'll just fade away." The Harry in question is Richmond's revered Harry Jacobs, and just where he's going is not to that great photo shoot in the sky but rather into the world of retirement. As it is, Jacobs has greatly cut back his time at The Martin Agency, and he intends to spend even less time there next year.

So members of the Richmond Ad Club decided they wanted to do something special to commemorate Jacobs' three decades of contributions to the local ad community, and they turned to Hughes to pull it off. "A lot of people have said over the years that they'd like to do something good enough to get into Harry Jacobs' portfolio," Hughes says. "So that's what we did. We made a portfolio for Harry."

In it are ads-really great big thank you cards, when you think of it-from, among others, Martin ADs Jerry Torchia and Tom Layman; Jacobs' former partner Bill Westbrook; Kelly O'Keefe of O'Keefe Marketing; Martin's Hal Tench and his wife, VCU Ad Center director Diane Cook-Tench; illustrator Keith Ferris, Jacobs' old classmate at Washington's Corcoran School of Art; Chick McKinney of McKinney & Silver; and from Hughes himself.

The portfolio was presented to a surprised Jacobs at the tail end of a Richmond Ad Club meeting last month, at which Jacobs took part in yet another Wall Street Journal "Meeting of the Minds" panel discussion. At the same time, the Ad Club announced they had named its new VCU scholarship program in Jacobs' honor.

Westbrook summed up Jacobs in his love letter of a poster: "He brought dignity to a business that didn't have much and doesn't have much today."

If you're tired, don't bend over. You could miss out on the thrill of your life (or maybe you'll get the thrill of your life). Someone from the Strategic Candy Command lives to fire a laser-guided Kudo at you.

In two amusing spots from New York's Merkley Newman Harty, directed by Rob Pritts of Backyard Productions, the unsuspecting recipients, one a lethargic kid in a trippy pottery class, the other a burnt-out riot grrrl garage-band drummer, get it right in the mouth.

"That chocolate taste oughta give 'em a lift," declares a very serious guy from Mission Control. "Those oats and grains will help keep 'em going." The results: an energy boost more normally associated with an adrenaline spinal.

It's the usual candy-bar-as-updrug motif, but this time it's executed with panache, including delightful behind-the-bar shots as the Kudo sails through the suburban air like an intercontinental ballistic sugar missile. The chocolate-covered wonderbars are consumed at warp-speed and the world thereafter is a better, more energized place to hang for a while. Even the Candy Command is relieved. "'Kudos: All systems go."

Agency credits to creative director Parry Merkley, writer David Corr, art director David Fox, exec producer Diane Flynn and producer Jaki West.

Harrowing airport race scenes are among the scare tactics employed in rental car commercials, which, according to writer Shon Rathbone, "traditionally, don't talk about the good things.

"Rental cars are really just a means to an end," he adds, and in the case of a refreshing campaign from Minneapolis' Carmichael Lynch, that end is travel.

Directed by Peter Nydrle of GMS, Los Angeles, each spot features people exploring stunning locations. In one, a family swims with dolphins along a sun-dappled marine park. The soundtrack is a mix of soothing Muzak overlaid with a recording from a voice-mail system. "You have 712 unheard messages," drones the recording. The tag: "You've got places to go. We've got the keys," accompanied by a stark shot of the keys.

In another spot, a toddler in his jammies cruises in his tricycle along a gorgeous mountain path, determined to be stopped by no one, explains the voiceover. "We tried to find an emotional hot spot," CD/writer Tom Gabriel adds, so "we talked about travel and how inspiring it can be."

Music by Martin Lund at Admusic, Los Angeles, and editing by Bee Ottinger at Mad River Post, Santa Monica. Other agency credits to art directors Penny Duerr and Warren Johnson and producer Kate Talbott.

"Soda Jerk," reads the dimestore novel title, next to a glazed-eyed Joan Crawford lookalike. "Her soda was almost as bitter as she was. Could Torani save her?"

If this sounds like a novel you passed up in the used bookstore clearance bin, you probably did. A campaign for Torani Italian syrups from San Francisco agency Gardner Geary Coll & Young, takes original pulp fiction covers and reinvents them, adding bottles of Torani and funny product points about the syrup. Photographer Steve Nordstrom then reshot the books, which were incorporated into ads with the tag: "Another original classic by Torani."

Art Director Kurt Lighthouse, who teamed with writer Leanne Lustica, says that they also had to educate people about uses for the syrup, which explains the novels with soda and coffee themes. The vanilla syrup label, for example, recommends a shot in cappuccino, caffe latte, steamed milk or even sparkling water. "It was a fun way of showing that Torani was the original in the U.S.,"

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