Arian Lowe & Travis, Chicago
Client: EA Sports
Agency: Odiorne Wilde Narraway Groome, San Francisco
This is why I'm in the business. The art direction and particularly the copy really stopped me. I'm 39 going on 13. These ads speak to the spirit of youth that I won't let go of. They also are speaking a little too loudly to my 10-year-old son. My lifetime batting average of .098 feels more like Wade Boggs's .325 when I'm at the controls. The killer line is: "Do you have a glove where home runs go to die?" One time in a little league game I threw my glove and knocked down a homer. Does that count?
Agency: Arnold Communications, Boston
Director: J.J. Sedelmaier, J.J. Sedelmaier Productions
The spot is fun to look at. Once. This Gen-X formula: A) Find anything crappy from the '70s (none too hard to do) and slap your product next to it. B) Technique the bejesus out of it to make up for a weak, weak concept. In this case the production team matched the cartoon series exactly. Stealamatic fans will applaud a job well done. I'd rather a concept first, and once it's nailed down then figure how to produce it. A great spot along the same lines as this one that targets the Xers-but with an idea-is Kodak's digital camera spot with the kid and the Gremlin (the real automobile equivalent of Speed Racer). Now that's a great concept well executed.
Client: Motorola Sport Radio
Agency: Carmichael Lynch/Minneapolis
This ad was fun to read. It romances. It charms. It persuades. The product is essential to the humor. The art direction makes your effort to read each of them well worth it. I guess you wouldn't want to give one of these to someone you didn't like.
Agency: DMB&B/New York
This 1956 formulaic pitch has been heard a thousand times. It's an automatic page turner. People tune this approach out these days. My uncle Dick would tell his equally boring story over and over and over at family gatherings. Everybody would scatter (the equivalent of consumers turning the page quickly) at just the sight or smell of him (he was an Aqua Velva-by-the-quart man). In a time when companies are trying to keep up with all the changing attitudes and trends, this ad positions this cool product as a talks-to-himself-Uncle-Norelco-in-a-leisure-suit. Now, if the target audience is 80-year-old men, then that's another story. Spare me that one, please.
Client: Levi's SilverTab
Agency: FCB/San Francisco
Levi's has been around a lot longer than Uncle Norelco, but as a brand it seems years younger. That takes effort. And risk takers. It takes people willing to stand up in a meeting and say, "This isn't working," and then state why. This campaign is fun and approachable. I think the copy is great. Why not? Jeans are an emotional rather than a rational purchase. Nice conversation pieces. I'm more of a Lee's Behemoth Relaxed jeans person these days, or I'd buy a couple of pairs.
Agency: Bates/New York
Director: David Denneen, Film Graphics Production,
Out with the old birds, in with the new birds. Whew. Where did these birds come from? I don't want to get it. What ever happened to the guys that used to run around and clean your windshield as they pumped your gas? Maybe one of them was promoted through the company and became the squeegie-toting, senile CEO that