Finding humor in anxiety, "Simplify" is the simple theme of a droll new campaign from Rubin Postaer & Associates for the Honda Accord, directed by none other than the Coen brothers, via GMS, Los Angeles. The Barton Finkish "Office" brings us into a 1940's b&w world, as an exec is verbally poked, prodded and assaulted by everybody he passes on the way to his office. "Hey Bob, I hear your neighbor's suing you . . . Whew! Looks like you stepped in something, Chief." The tagline, "Life gotten a little crazy?" spoken in the familiar voice of Jack Lemmon, rounds out the spot as Bob walks through what appears to be his office door and onto a white cyc and a soothing Honda.
"Western" is letterboxed spaghetti Western style, with a poor cowpoke suffering a torrent of abuse, while "Detective" is retro-Charlie's Angels, from the gold-toothed buffoon chasing a super-chic super-sleuth to the thousand-story jump she makes to get away.
"We wanted to represent Honda as a haven, its reliability and dependability something to covet," explains ACD/writer Wendi Knox.
Additional agency credits to creative director Larry Postaer and ACD/writer Mark Erwin.
NASTY AS HE WANTS TO BE
Head butts. Punching out fans. Taking a swipe at the ref. Must be basketball season again! Of course, for every five Dennis Rodmans there's one Grant Hill, he being the undisputed nicest guy in hoops and resident marquee endorser of Fila athletic shoes. The Fila creative team at FCB/Leber Katz in New York, which has consistently come up with offbeat concepts to engage their titan-sized rivals, decided to "take that nice-guy image and mess with it a bit," says CD Sam Gulisano. The first spot of a new three-spot TV campaign kicked off last month, showing what happens when Hill is taken under the dark wing of the notorious Bill Laimbeer, the retired Detroit Pistons star and renowned bad guy.
At first we see Hill being coached by Laimbeer in how to trip opposing players, throw the unexpected elbow to the head, yell at officials and shove offending TV cameramen. "Good, good," says Laimbeer as Hill practices snarling. We see him modeling tattoos, assorted nose and nipple rings and enough jewelry to weigh down Marion "Suge" Knight.
By the end of the campaign, during which Hill will fall under the tutelage of pro wrestler George "The Animal" Steel, our hero becomes totally brainwashed, then snaps out of it (surprise!) to return to his former nice-guy self.
Gulisano not only art directed the campaign (working with copywriter Scott Rosenblit) but directed the spots as well. Production designer Sid Bartholomew designed the "James and the Giant Peach"-looking dummies seen throughout the spot. Additional credits to agency producer Coyne Maloney and post house Invisible Dog in New York.
What's the well-dressed pallbearer wearing this year? Well, whatever he's wearing, he bought it at Butch Blum, a one-outlet men's clothing store in Seattle. Other ads feature a jail cell and a urinal; "These are issues in our lives that shape our character," explains Butch Blum co-owner and campaign producer Kay Smith-Blum, adding that they are also elements that "you'd never see in a fashion ad." The 5,000 semi-colons were a novel touch, too. Credits to freelancers John Boiler, art director, Teresa Elliott, copywriter and photographer Ken Anderson.
BUT WHAT CAN THEY DO WITH GAK?
Straight out of Never Never Land comes this a new spot for Plymouth from Bozell/Detroit. Traffic coordinator Peter Kim and matte room assistant Andrea Mogielnicki were contemplating the joys of Silly Putty one day, when a fantastic concept "just appeared" before them," says Kim.
A guy sitting at his breakfast table accidentally squashes some Silly Putty against an ad for the Plymouth Neon. He stretches the image and it magically, in that Putty sort of way, transforms into the Plymouth Breeze. One more slight tug makes it the Voyager. Finally, he folds the Putty, slams it up against a picture of a cougar, a purple super-hero comic drawing, and a printed "Wow!" and he's got the new Prowler. The tag: "One clever idea after another." The clever idea of Kim and Mogielnicki has since transformed them to junior copywriter and junior art director, respectively. Now we'll see if they have another.
Additional agency credits to executive creative director Gary Topolewski and creative directors Mark Simon and Tim Teegarden. Erich Joiner of Tool of North America directed.
Tell 'em Large Marge sent you. Big impact is what Ogilvy & Mather/Houston was looking for to sell Shell Rotella T motor oil, and big impact is what they got. The tagline, "It's not just an oil. It's a security system," is backed by the ass-kickin' haulers art director Karen Holland and CD/writer Jay Suhr built. "We wanted to show 'em something they've never seen before," says Suhr. In addition to the spiked version shown here, the other ads incorporate camouflage netting, radar devices, Dobermans and rottweilers. Eighteen wheels of pure fury not to be