THE SPEC DECK: Absolut Animal Magazine

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West Side Booze Story
Publisher Bucky Turco and his creative team at downtown-hipsterish art mag Animal (www.animalnewyork.com) sometimes make custom ads for clients — usually relatively modest clients like messenger bag maker Timbuk 2 (see the PDF). But they also like to go after bigger fish in the Gen Z demo, so they recently worked up an Absolut ad with heavy New York political overtones — concerning the new stadium to be built in Manhattan for the Jets, which ties in with Mayor Bloomberg's frantic efforts to secure the 2012 Olympics — and sent it off to the client. It didn't get them any business, but it sure makes for interesting topical spec. "There's no Photoshop in this image," notes Turco, who was CD on the ad, working with AD Matt Trumino. "This is the real thing. We would have Photoshopped it into something that looked a lot more like an Absolut bottle if the client was interested." But what's the ad saying? It seems to be straddling the political fence. It turns out Turco, like so many New Yorkers, is opposed to every aspect of this real estate boondoggle. "Who needs a football stadium in Manhattan when we hardly have housing? And what's so great about having the Olympics here? It's the last thing we need. I'd sooner make the damn space a park." The Animals also did a very current Axe ad, and there wasn't any fence straddling on this effort. We'd love to show it, but Turco is already in receipt of such a dire cease and desist order from the Unilever legal department, we're afraid they'd send that three-toed walking armpit after us. The ad features a photo of Pope John Paul II lying in state with the headline, "Guaranteed to ward off even the most Unholy of Smells." No kidding. "Some people think it's terribly distasteful," says Turco. "I just think it's funny." Got spec you want to flaunt? Send it to terryk@crain.com today!
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