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Extreme puppetry rocks! Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, is gliding smooth on the jagged edge with new work for Rollerblade, a campaign that features their first TV spots for the skate company, along with some high-energy print for arch support. The ad seen here hangs with the full-time fanatic crowd, making characters of the skates of sponsored pros Chris Garrett and Chris Edwards. That's Garrett's winning wheels basking on the left, Edwards' moldering on the right. It was the best of skates, it was the worst of skates, or something equally Dickensian. Says creative director Brian O'Neill, the ads "give people a reason to believe that when they strap on our skates they're putting on something innovative and cool," as opposed to "stodgy and lame." We'll take his word for it, our skates still have a wheel on each corner. Additional credits to creative director Mike Moser, art director Mishy Cass, copywriter Randy Hibbitts and artist/

photographer Sarah Hodge.

MINI REVIEW: GATORADE

Well, wring our towels! "Love Hurts" as a sports anthem, from FCB/Chicago and Gatorade, directed by Tony Kaye. Unfortunately, Steve Tyler couldn't make it, he had a groin pull.

Scott Zacaroli, Senior Copywriter, Merkley Newman Harty, New York

I think I would like this spot a lot more if Nike and Reebok hadn't already done it so many times. The rock 'n' roll and sports thing has gotten a little tired. Some of the shots are nice and some of the wipeouts are fun to watch, but I think Gatorade and FCB would benefit a great deal from trying something completely different-strategically and creatively.

Michael Silvia, Copywriter, Duffy & Shanley, Providence

People are gonna love this spot, right? I mean, not necessarily copywriters or art directors, but real people. They've got to. This "jukebox advertising" crap is everywhere. It must be working, right? The general public would never look beyond the music for an idea. They're not savvy enough to balk at a gratuitous Jordan cameo. Or smart enough to realize that it's just another jump-on-the-swoosh-bandwagon idea. Nah, they'll just go, "Hey, cool commercial." Then snap up Gatorade like it was Burger King cheeseburgers. Right?

Nic York, Art Director, Team One, El Segundo, Calif.

There seem to be a lot of spots that are trying to create a Nike feeling and not quite pulling it off. The problem with that is they're competing with a high bar and they start with a disadvantage. I understand the twist of the song "Love Hurts" being juxtaposed against the painful sports images. And within the genre, it's some nice film, but the music is not particularly compelling and not sung by the original artists. It's smart for Gatorade to want to own the good feelings associated with sports, like Nike does. They'll just have to accomplish it in a different way.

Mike Samonek, Senior Copywriter, Griffin Bacal, New York

For me, the first thing that comes to mind while watching this spot is Nike. Gritty visuals of bruised and battered athletes Just Doing It because they love it has become a bit of sports shoe staple. However, the footage is very well done and ranks with some of the best athletic "lifestyle" stuff around.

But what makes this spot stick in my head-like an ice pick-is the music. A bad imitation of a power-rock ballad from a low-budget '80s teen movie. (Night Ranger, anyone?) I couldn't figure out if this was intended as a joke or as a counterpoint to the action. Either way, it sounded enough like Michael Bolton to make me wish for a mute button. Conceptually, the spot is telling us that if you love sports, you will get hurt. Fair enough. But what's Gatorade gonna do about it? Although I suppose you could drink it while applying Ben-Gay.

EVENTS

Special Guest Lecturer: Rupert Pupkin. No doubt about it, comedy is king. Certainly it is in the advertising business. Consider that, in Entertainment Weekly's recent issue ranking the 50 greatest commercials of all time, eight of the top 10 spots were sidesplitters. So it makes sense that the Association of Independent Commercial Producers has decided to make comedy the centerpiece of its annual Museum of Modern Art lecture series, which takes place in New York on June 10-11. The lecture series, which this year features Kinka Usher, arguably the hottest director working these days, accompanies the presentation of the annual AICP Show.

This year's lecture series kicks off on the morning of June 10 with Cliff Freeman and Arthur Bijur of Cliff Freeman & Partners, who'll present a retrospective of their work together. Right after that, we'll be entertained by James Signorelli, the resident commercials parodist of Saturday Night Live, who plans to trace the history of humor in advertising and illustrate the parallels between it and his work at SNL. Next up, Usher takes the stage, showing selections from his often hilarious showreel.

The following day starts off with a presentation by Lee Clow of TBWA Chiat/Day and Cheryl Berman, recently promoted to exec CD at Leo Burnett, who will attempt to answer the question, "What makes comedic advertising work?" Afterwards they'll take questions from the floor in a give-and-take session moderated by Headquarters' resident motor mouth, Tom Mooney. Right after the wheezing and coughing that accompanies most laughing fits subsides, director Barry Sonnenfeld closes out the lecture series with a presentation of his work.

So, aside from the fact that attendees are guaranteed an opportunity to wet their pants laughing at the funniest commercials ever made (and over on Eleventh Avenue you often have to pay extra for this), why comedy? After all, anyone who's ever taken a college class on the nature of humor knows how potentially dull talking about it can be. "Well, it's one of the most important techniques in the business," says AICP executive director Matt Miller, himself an altogether funny kind of guy, except when talking to Creativity. For more information, contact the AICP at 212-475-2600.

Talkers wanted. Just when you thought it was safe to sit around in a daze again, Boston's Arnold Advertising brings back the slacker, on behalf of the Volkswagen Golf. Two guys drive around in a spot called "Sunday Afternoon." That's it. They don't say a word. Oh, they pick up a chair off the side of the road, it reeks, and they put it back. While it's pretty amazing that this big chair fits in this toy car, the spot is not about cargo space. Copywriter Lance Jensen says it's simply "about two guys doing nothing. It's a reaction against the mountain biking, snowboarding thing. There's nothing slick about this." Adds art director Alan Pafenbach, "There's no saturated colors, nothing super cool. It's the Mountain Dew guys on their day off." Fellas, Mountain Dew guys don't have a day off. Additional credits to creative director Ron Lawner and producer Keith Dezen; directed by Baker Smith of Tate & Partners; and original music, "Da Da

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