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MINIREVIEW: ADIDAS "TANK"

You'll kill 'em, Troy, the whole team's a bunch of Panzers. Troy Aikman just threw it when he played football against a tank for Adidas and Leagas Delaney, San Francisco. Directed by HSI's Zack Snyder; edited by Eric Zunbrunnen at Nomad.

Chris Poulin

Associate Creative Director, Hill, Holliday/Boston

This spot is pretty much a live-action cartoon, and the overall tone is nicely tongue-in-cheek. I like the concept and I love the execution. I just wish it was the other way around.

Curtis Melville

Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi/San Francisco

Working on an athletic shoe account has always seemed a dream job to me-big budgets, top directors, bold clients, virtually anything goes. Just one catch; whatever you decide to do, Nike has probably done it first. And even if they haven't done exactly what you have, they might as well have-they've staked out so much territory on all sides of you. In fact, so vast is their black hole of a shadow that, try as I might, I can only bring to mind maybe four shoe spots I've ever seen that I'm pretty sure were for brands other than Nike. So what's a creative to do?

Aside from the small nit of wanting a cooler, more realistic explosion when the tank's turret blows up, I like everything about this spot. It looks great, the camera angles and effects are inventive, the cut moves at a great pace, and it's fun to watch. I just can't get over the feeling that I've seen it (or something very much like it) before. It blends in. And not just with other shoe ads, but with the host of other advertisers from soft drinks to burger joints who have become Nike-esque. Which leaves me wondering how much good this spot is doing for Adidas . . . or was it Reebok?

Scott Linnen

Associate Creative Director, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami

Cowboys and infantrymen. I love it. Troy Aikman out on preseason training maneuvers at Adidas boot camp. Watch out, Troy, that guy's a tank. Wow, football really is war. Good thing he's got those fancy new treads. Just the thing to help him dig in and launch his spiraling tomahawk missile. Game over, man.

It's a great idea, beautifully executed, right on down to the tank gunner's pathetic little Wile E. Coyote here-comes-Doomsday whimper. The tagline kind of comes out of left field: "Feet you wear." Oh, I get it. As opposed to the other kind. Aww, but who cares? It's tucked away small enough in the corner. Speaking as a fanatical Adidas wearer, it's nice to see them out there annihilating the competition.

Finally! Valet pumpkin parking! This silkscreened poster, the work of English woodcut artist Andrew Mockett, hangs in an information kiosk at Lincoln Center in New York, promoting both the Royal Ballet's production of Cinderella and the Center's parking garage. Ogilvy & Mather/New York creative directors Mylene Pollack and Peter Wood, art director Per Robert Jacobson and writer Cally Shea collaborated with several international artists and Lincoln Center kiosk sponsor IBM on the campaign.

Excuse us, but since when is tongue-polishing fetish boots merely a fad? Photographer David LaChapelle has a keen sense of the absurd, neatly demonstrated in his work for new campaigns from Bass ale and Salon Selectives hair products. For Bass, New York-based Weiss Whitten Stagliano makes a clear departure from its previous advertising with this reliable "There's Always Bass Ale" campaign. Other ads mock cigars, computer nerds and tattoo trendiness, offering Bass as the antidote to the evanescent. Co-creative director Nat Whitten says the ads juxtapose "original pleasures and the fads that'll be here today and gone tomorrow. At the end of the day, you go to what is authentic." Sure, Nat. Additional agency credits to co-CD Marty Weiss, art directors Jerry LaStarza and Jeff Compton, and writer Ian Caplan. Meanwhile, London's Bartle Bogle Hegarty has a really bad hair day for Elida Faberge Salon Selectives in three LaChapelle-shot ads that present hair in dire need of care-soaked in chip-shop grease, poodle permed beyond the pale and, as seen here, cotton candied for sideshow status. Agency credits to art director Tiger Savage and writer Mark Goodwin.

Pretty impressive, but can he morph into rich Corinthian leather? In a pair of :30s from Team One, El Segundo, Calif., Lexus makes a cool swerve into Terminator 2 and Hellraiser territory. Not simply touting its luxurious qualities as in past campaigns, the goal for the '98 LS400 is to emphasize the performance and emotion of the car, explains agency ACD/copywriter Rob Schwartz. Hence, the driver literally blends into his Lexus in these spots, which explains the weird guy who looks like Frankenstein's groovy kid brother, but in fact has taken on the appearance of the upholstery. Directed by Paul Giraud, "Running Man" and "Seamless" portray a man perfectly camouflaged when shot in the car's interior, and he's pretty hard to spot leaning against the car as well, thanks to the character's body paint job by artist Joanne Gail. Additional agency credits to exec creative director Tom Cordner, ACD/art director Steve Levit and producer Mila Stein. Editing by Stuart Waks and Patricia Gushikuma at Stuart Waks & Co., Santa Monica. Music/sound design by Tom Hadju at Tomandandy, Santa

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