Rudolph the Red-Nosed Road Kill. Bad news for Mookie the Elf-he's had it with the toy-production gig and he's aspiring to be a modified shovel racer, but the poor little jerk gets shredded by a sled the second he goes out to prove himself on the slopes. What kind of heart-wrenching fable is this? Wieden & Kennedy presents tales of the pathetic and better-off-dead for the ESPN Winter X Games, animated in authentically tacky Frosty the Snowman style by Olive Jar, Boston. In another promo that resembles the stop-motion Christmas specials of yesteryear, some warm and cuddly woodland animals are killed by a snowboarder. Says W&K art director Robert Palmer, "If kids have nightmares, we've done our job." Additional agency credits to CD Jerry Cronin and writer Eric Silver. Credit also Olive Jar director/animator Flip Johnson and CD Fred Macdonald.
Shades of the bop era. From Fallon McElligott Berlin, New York, comes a new print campaign for Nikon sunglasses, designed to keep a high-tech product competitive in a whimsical fashion market. They do it with style, says CD/AD Jason Peterson, "by paying homage to the art" of old jazz record covers, from the West Coast cool of Riverside Records to the laid-back Blue Note look of designer Reid Miles. Other headlines include, "It's the invisible things in life that can really hurt you, like love and ultraviolet rays," and "For some it takes a life-threatening event to experience a moment of clarity and vision in which the whole world finally makes sense." All are followed by the tag, "Lookbetter." Additional credits to CD/CW Izzy DeBellis and photographer Greg Federman.
MINIREVIEW: GM'S EV1
Batteries included? It's the CGI of the present for the car of the future, GM's electric EV1, in "Appliances," from Hal Riney & Partners/San Francisco, directed by Joe Johnston of Industrial Light & Magic.
Karen Holland, ACD/Art Director, Ogilvy & Mather/Houston
I respect that they did an impressive job of creating excitement and interest in this very new vehicle, while avoiding details. The storyline definitely kept me curious through the entire spot, wondering where this was leading. I was, however, a bit let down by the payoff. Intellectually, "The electric car is here" is big news, but somehow the protracted buildup made me expect much more, and the news just wasn't as amazing or inspiring as I anticipated.
Regarding details: I was confused by the storm at the beginning, with all the power shutting down-I'm still not clear on why that happened, though it was admittedly dramatic. I loved the frantic dishwasher trying to get away, and liked the flying fan and the swivelling lamp. The walking toasters and tiptoeing boomboxes got way too cute. Overall, it wasn't anywhere near the "1984" spot I was tempted to expect, but it was certainly a relevant and likable :90.
Christopher Gyorgy, Art Director, DDB Needham/Dallas
Conceptually, I think this spot is brilliant. The animation is well done, and the money shot at the end with the appliances lined up on the curb is wonderful, but I do have a few caveats. Now, I ain't no Cecil B. DeMille, but this spot is a :90 and it seems to me that it's about 60 seconds too long. It's a :30 idea milked for :90. The first 30 seconds are a yawn.
The scene in the kitchen where the appliances start coming to life I've seen before, like a hundred times. If I see a toaster and a blender walking out the front door, I figure they probably originated their journey in the kitchen-I don't need to see them actually coming from the kitchen. That, plus the spinning clock was one cliche too many for me. I know directors like shooting thunderstorms, but this one seemed like an unnecessary element. I'm a car buff, and this is a new car. I'd like to see more than a :03 crane shot of the rear end. I don't need a :30 lock down of the car on a revolving platform, but one :03 shot of the front end would've been nice.
Alec Lawson, Creative Director, JayRay, Seattle
When electric appliances come to life, it usually means one of two things: either Rod Serling is going to step out from behind a curtain or that little turtle, ET, is about to pay a visit, but I think this is a pretty cool way of grabbing attention and building anticipation. It also solves an interesting problem: How do you make an electric car look sleek and aerodynamic? Simple. Surround it with toasters. This solution has the added advantage of providing the creatives with a lifetime supply of electronic props. Which is a nice twist on the script that absolutely has to be shot in Paris.
Justin Rohrlich, Senior Copywriter, Korey Kay & Partners, New York
I know how hard it is to cast a spot, so I must compliment the casting director on a job well done. I thought the waffle iron's performance was particularly moving and the toaster reminded me of a young Pacino. The blender, however,