My partner and I are constantly imploring our staff to create communication that feels more like a movement than a bunch of ads. Which is why I am so fond of this campaign for Foot Locker, which focuses on a fictional ground activist, played by Jason Muse of Clerks. Muse tries to convince anyone who'll listen to wear the new Nike Tuned Air shoe because it's cushioned sole is kinder to the pavement. I love the notion of a proponent for asphalt rights. This is a big idea and a spectacular way to convey a pretty tired product attribute. Unfortunately, none of the executions are as strong the original premise and I wish Jason spent more interacting with potential converts and less time delivering long speeches to no one in particular.
Director Kevin Smith, Moxie Pictures
I've lived automotive hell. So I can tell you roughly how this exchange went. Eager account executive enters room. Eager account executive speaks: "Client says they need ads to launch the new car. Client says this car doesn't look like other cars. Client says this car doesn't drive like other cars. Client says show the sheet metal. And don't forget the interior." So the creative people promptly throw out big brand-building campaign, and what's left over is a series of ads that I can't even call a campaign because there is no central thought to them. The headlines are OK. The layouts are fine. The pictures are in focus. But the fact is, you could slot any other luxury car in place of the vehicle the client swore was unlike anything else on the road, and nobody would even notice.
Agency McKinney & Silver
I don't ever want to party with '30s Guy, the star of the new Haggar campaign. You see, '30s Guy dresses in Haggar duds that hearken back to the '30s. And he's daffy, you know, like '30s Guys were in the '30s. And most importantly, he's in black and white, while his friends are in, get this, color! I want to give '30s Guy a wedgie. But since that's not a mature critique from a professional marketer, let me say this: The success of a clothing brand is determined almost exclusively by the degree to which that brand makes you feel cool about having their label on your body. And, after seeing these spots, I'd have higher self-esteem in the Sears Toughskins my mom used to buy me than I would in a pair of Haggar Black Label slacks.
Director David Denneen, Atherton & Associates
In a category so testosterone-laden, you can actually feel your back hair growing while you read the trade publications, it's nice to see a quiet, smart, insightful ad like this one for Mosh bikes. I respond well to advertising that isn't based on gimmicks, but truths. And what I've found to be true, is that every guy has some inanimate object they treat with more love and respect than their girlfriend, wife or immediate relatives. For me, it's my '66 Mustang. For my buddy, it's his stereo. For mountain bikers, it's their bike. This ad recognizes that bond between man and shiny object. It also recognizes that you don't need a lot of words to speak volumes. And most of all, it makes me want to go to the store and see the bike.
Agency Hammerquist & Halverson
I've been on the planet 33 years now. And in that time, not once has someone come up to me and said, "As we both know Court, life is a ribbon." There aren't many advertising rules I condone, but here's one: If you're going to write a two-part headline, make sure people nod along with the premise you set up in the first half. Because if you don't, no amount of design, photography or prosaic copy is going to bail you out. The real irony is that this headline works me into a foamy lather of frustration and the name of the product is Tension Tamer -- wait a minute, maybe they're onto something here.
Agency Campbell Mithun Esty