THE WORK THIS MONTH: DOGGIE-STYLE

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Advertising's going to the dogs. Ever since Mr. K. showed up with that Jack Russell terrier of his, puppy-mania has been sweeping the airwaves. TBWA/Chiat Day's Nissan campaign alone featured dogs hypnotizing their owners, dogs driving cars, and dogs driving Laz-Y-Boys. Clearly an improvement over those previous canine cuteness champs, rug potatoes Nipper and Chipper of RCA fame. But these days, talking about our furry friends is no longer enough. 'Cause now, the dogs are not just yipping, they're yapping. In 1998, Taco Bell's Chihuahua became quite the spokes-puppy, actually transforming into a cultural icon. A hard act to follow? Some agencies don't think so. "If dogs can talk, why not make them even more human?" seems to be the thinking at Y&R, which now uses dogs' heads grafted onto human bodies for AT&T's Lucky Dog Phone Co. And Leo Burnett Co./Toronto employed Topix/Mad Dog effects ('nuff said) to create spots for Cadbury, featuring a man's head on a dog's body, and a woman's body with (get this) a Chihuahua's head. There'll probably be more canine campaigns in 1999. Why not? Dogs are generally loved by all, and are less demanding and easier to manage than their human counterparts. Imagine SAG's response to whacking a human actor or actress on the rump with a newspaper when they misbehave. As for the superior sales power of pooches, we're not sure of Taco Bell's and Cadbury's revenues, but we hear that Chihuahua sales have gone way up.

Those French! They're so artsy! Directed by Xavier Giannoli, winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, DDB/Paris creates a charmingly simple and elegant spot for the Volkswagen Golf. In a stark white art gallery, a man is guided by the curator to a large, dark and somber painting. "His first love," the curator says knowingly. The next two paintings are similarly gray and morose. "His mother . . . and of course his self-portrait." Around the bend we see a canvas filled with riotous, happy colors. "I know nothing about this," the guide says, "except that he changed his car." The spot ends with "VW Golf" onscreen.

CLIENT VW Golf AGENCY DDB/Paris CD Christian Vince AD Sebastien Zanini CW Pierre Marie Faussurier PRODUCER Stephanie Lacoste DIRECTOR Xavier Giannoli, PremierE Heure

How do you sell a cigarette lighter in the Age of Nonsmoking? In an oddly intriguing new campaign, Ketchum positions Zippo lighters as the tool to light way more than just a butt. The print work leans toward the spiritual, with lots of glowing candles and inner enlightenment. In one piece featuring a couple on a couch, the double entendre tag, "Use it to start something," really comes across. The television campaign leans more toward the wacky side, with a guy in a Zippomobile touring the country, getting his wick dipped in strange situations.

CLIENT Zippo AGENCY Ketchum/Pittsburgh ECD/AD/CW Lee St. James CD/CW Jim Anderson ACD (TV) David Wachter PRODUCER (TV) Marilyn Salley PHOTOGRAPHERS Jim Erickson & Craig Guyon

Stop admiring that label and pass the Joan of Arc kidney beans, please. Those captains of collecting, Ralph and Terry Kovel, have a fascinating new book, The Label Made Me Buy It, that features product labels from as long ago as the 1840s. It's a history lesson on a box!

TITLE The Label Made Me Buy It: From Aunt Jemima to Zonkers -- The Best-Dressed Boxes, Bottles and Cans From the Past PUBLISHER Crown, New York PRICE $40 AUTHOR Ralph and Terry Kovel

Yoohoo is not your average drink, and thanks to Mad Dogs & Englishmen and director Hank Perlman, there's nothing average about its new TV campaign, either. In four rather bizarre :30s, we are treated to the horrible things that can happen if you don't buy Yoohoo. In the funniest of the four, a guy has to choose to walk down the soda aisle or the Yoohoo aisle in a supermarket. He chooses the soda aisle, and he's nearly crushed to death by a gang of 400-pound slobs in undershirts. In the meantime, four supermodels are strutting down the Yoohoo aisle. The tag: "Buy any other beverage, and you could be making a terrible mistake," archly delivered by Brian Unger of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

CLIENT Yoohoo AGENCY Mad Dogs & Englishmen, N.Y. CD/AD Dave Cook CW Neil Riley EXEC PRODUCER Stephen Orent, Hungry Man PRODUCER Cathy Cooper DIRECTOR Hank Perlman, Hungry Man DP Andrezej Sekula EDITOR David Checel & Paul Norling, Film Core

Wait, they're kidding? We just sent our resume. Using tacky type, a lousy layout and perky cartoon kids, these pro bono ads from dGWB offer mock job descriptions for stealing cars, robbing convenience stores as well as getting pregnant and living off welfare. The ads are meant to illustrate the need to help foster kids and other kids at risk get on track once they reach legal adulthood. The campaign's goal is to let adults know that if they don't help employ these kids, the streets will.

CLIENT Orange County Works AGENCY dGWB, Irvine CD Jon Gothold ACD/CW Ed Crayton ACD/AD Joe Cladis CWS Felipe Bascope, Chris Cruttenden & Pat Zimmerman Illustrator Jeff Kronen

So with the new battery, can the Bunny beat the crap out of the whole Putterman family? TBWA Chiat/Day's latest work for Energizer, featuring that busy little bunny, touts the "advanced formula" battery. The spots are done in '70s police-drama style ("Who loves ya, Bunny?") and the campaign starts with two teasers announcing the introduction of the Bunny Crew, the rabbit's dedicated pit team. And true to Chiat style, it's the little touches that make it so believable. The guy describing the new battery to the rookie while he meticulously removes the pickles from his sandwich is priceless. Of course, we were hoping for Gorditas.

CLIENT Energizer AGENCY TBWA Chiat/Day, L.A. CDS Chuck Bennett & Clay Williams AD Bernie O'Dowd CW Chris Schifando PRODUCER Richard O'Neill DIRECTOR Traktor DP Harris Savides EDITOR Jim Hutchenson, Nomad Editorial SOUND Jann Anderson, Housework Productions MUSIC Asche & Spencer

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "flypaper." Not a word is uttered but a whole lot is said in a new :30 for the Wallpaper Council. A woman happily walks around her lovely country home when her peace is shattered by the presence of a fly. Armed with a swatter, she takes off after it like the Terminator on speed. Nothing is spared; pictures of family, plateglass windows and lamps are shattered in her bloodthirsty quest. Finally the fly is in perfect repose -- resting on the wall, i.e. the wallpaper. Unable to soil her beautiful paper with insect guts, our heroine is left staring bemused at the fly, which is nestled between pink damask roses on the creamy background of her wallpaper.

CLIENT The Wallpaper Council AGENCY Pagano Schenck & Kay, Boston CD/AD Woody Kay CW Tim Cawley PRODUCER Nancy McGraw DIRECTOR Jon Bekemeier, Picture Park EDITORIAL/SOUND Steve Hamilton, Spin Cycle post

Hey, he's so old he could be the missing link. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners must have had plenty of Geritol at the craft table for their new HotBot campaign. Using anthropomorphic "old links," to show how other search engines operate, we see a Muzak-filled room stocked with dusty curmudgeons offering equally dusty advice. In "Investment Tips," gleeful octogenarians tell us to "Buy leg-warmers" and to invest in "asbestos baby clothes." And in "Political Scandals," we hear that Catherine the Great's been seen around the stables and that they've got some compromising pictures of Calvin Coolidge. With HotBot, however, you can "Search smarter." The techno riff that accompanies the logo is downright brilliant.

CLIENT HotBot AGENCY Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco CD Steve Simpson ACD/CW Paul Venables AD Greg Bell PRODUCER Kristin Loudis DIRECTOR David Wild, Wild Scientific EDITOR Bob Morrow, GSP Post MUSIC Hum music

Gerbils! Thank you, Cliff! We love gerbils! Cliff Freeman & Partners have a new client who likes goofy stuff: Outpost.com, billed as "The place to buy computer stuff online." So, in "Cannon," the company is introduced by a distinguished host, who informs us that to make sure we'll remember the company's name, they will now shoot gerbils out of a cannon and through the cutout O in the Outpost sign on yonder wall. What commences is a PETA person's nightmare, and Richard Gere's wildest fantasy -- flying furry balls smashing into the wall until one finally makes it through. "Send complaints to Outpost.com," reads a title card. The two followup spots are equally devilish. In one, rabid wolves are released onto an unsuspecting marching band; in the other, crying children have their foreheads tattooed with the company name.

CLIENT Outpost.com AGENCY Cliff Freeman & Partners, N.Y. CD/CW Eric Silver AD Roger Camp PRODUCER Nick Felder DIRECTOR John O'Hagan, Hungryman EDITOR Gavin Cutler, Mackenzie Cutler

We bet his favorite band was Propellerhead. Bartle Bogle Hegarty continues its successful "Dress to Kill" campaign for Wallis clothes with a :60 film noir cinema piece. The spot ran in England with the movie A Perfect Murder, and it features an unintentional one. As a stunning woman leaves her car and slowly crosses the tarmac to her waiting helicopter, a young mechanic who should be checking a plane is checking her instead, and is unfortunately too smitten with our femme fatale to notice anything else . . . including the blades behind his head. The screen goes black and we are treated to the "Dress to Kill" themeline. Ouch.

CLIENT Wallis AGENCY BBH/London CD Bruce Crouch AD/CW Graham Watson PRODUCER Colette Ponsford DIRECTOR Olivier Venturini, Godman

The spot opens like an episode of Masterpiece Theatre -- distinguished-looking guy in leather chair, fire crackling in the fireplace -- but soon reveals itself to be more like The Johnny Arson Show. The distinguished-looking guy is a reformed pyromaniac named Roland, and the fire is fake. The spot is for Burley appliances -- a fire that you plug in. Says Roland, "I love it, my neighbors love it, and yes, my parole officer loves it." Perfect for pyros and anyone else who doesn't want to roast a marshmallow.

CLIENT Burley Appliances AGENCY Bill Brokaw, Cleveland AD Laurie Lapinskas CW Mike Hudock PRODUCER Tim Kramer, TK Productions DIRECTOR George Remington, Remington Productions EDIT Bob Carter, Creative Technology

Lexus: The relentless pursuit of . . . comedy? In this startling new Lexus print ad, the copy reads, "Aaah, the sheer joy of traveling 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds." We're assuming that she's not driving, unless she's in California, in which case it's OK. The companion TV campaign is just as eyeballs-to-the-floor, featuring a flattened Mr. Bill in one spot, while in another, that tremendous Lexus acceleration causes a guy's brain to cleave to the back of his skull. Cool.

CLIENT Lexus AGENCY Team One, El Segundo, Calif. ECD Tom Cordner CD/AD Steve Levit ACD/CW Jon Pearce (print) CD Steve Levit CW Rob Stewart AD Pat Zimmerman (TV) PHOTOGRAPHER Gregory Heisler EXEC PRODUCER Karen Smith PRODUCER Julie Shannon DIRECTOR Steve Williams, Complete Pandemonium DP Scott Buttfield EDITOR Alan Chimenti, Western Images FX SUPERVISOR Zane Rutledge, Western Images

Finally, the warm and fuzzy side of extreme sports. Focusing on snowboarders' desire to stay warm but look cool, Borders Perrin & Norrander puts the kibosh on the caveman look and suggests "100 percent nylon Technicloth II with Slimtech insulation" instead. The copy points out that it "allows you to feel warm and fuzzy without worrying about fleas, dandruff or scaring girls because you look like Bigfoot." In the interests of radness, we guess head lice are still OK.

CLIENT Convert AGENCY Borders Perrin & Norrander, Portland, Ore. CD Terry Schneider AD Kent Suter CW Miguel Javier Caballero PHOTOGRAPHERS R.J. Muna & Dave Emmite

He's a switch hitter, and they've got all the bases covered. Driven by Stuart Patterson's vibrant illustrations, Mad Dogs & Englishmen presents some short-lived relationships that presumably contrast with the abiding pleasure of the fruit-flavored cognac drink, Alizé. The agency sought to reach both women and gays with the print campaign, and in a similar execution for each target audience, the same disposable boyfriend is depicted. Judith Grey, one half of the creative team, says they weren't aiming to make Jim a two-timing bisexual. "We didn't think the same people would see the same ads. We were just making less work for the artist."

CLIENT Alize AGENCY Mad Dogs & Englishmen, N.Y. CD Mikal Reich ADS/CDS Judith Grey & Carol Holsinger ILLUSTRATOR Stuart Patterson

As long as it doesn't come with an EZ-Zip fly. This ad ran in a Dutch paper the day after President Clinton's grand jury testimony aired. The fine print reads, "McGregor has the right suit for everyone who anticipates a big career move. Just one tip Mr. Gore: Try to stay away from the girls. Although we admit, that won't be easy dressed in one of our President's suits." We think Gore would be more concerned about being mistaken for a tailor's dummy.

CLIENT McGregor AGENCY BBC&W, Amsterdam Ad ad Ligthart CW Peter den Otter PHOTOGRAPHER Vincent Kruit

Hey, where'd these dummies learn to speak German? McKinney & Silver's new :30 for Audi's allegedly super-safe, all-aluminum A8 is joyously spooky. Amid the wrecked bodies of crash test dummies, one that is still intact starts to move. Then he breaks out with Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." He is soon joined by a cast of thousands, all singing the praises of the car.

CLIENT Audi AGENCY McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C. ECD David Baldwin GCD/AD Mark Oakley GCD/CW Chris Wilson PRODUCERS Joni Madison & Regina Brizzolara DIRECTOR Gerard de Thame, Gerard de Thame EDITOR Richard Learoyd, Ian Weil

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