REVIEW

Published on .

Client: Calvin Klein Agency: In-house Director: Steven Maisel

I know, I know. It's old news. But wait. This is some of the most interesting TV I've seen in months, and it's my turn, so here it goes. Whoa. Call me prurient, but I love it when that guy rips his T-shirt off. These spots also make me extremely uncomfortable as glimpses of truth in modeling.

Does it turn you on or off? Does it go too far? Is it harmful? Educational? Will it sell jeans? Does that matter? This is thought-provoking, ultra real, edgy advertising. In my mind, the Calvin Klein brand always equaled sex. This is just a darker expression of it.

Client: Havana Joe

Agency: R.G. Weismeir, Germany

"Save your sole?!?" Who writes these things? Who approves them? And who gets to go to the casting sessions? Maybe what they were trying to do is figure out how much nudity an American advertiser can get away with these days. (I'm looking for motivation here.) Or maybe it's that "sex sells" thing. Got me. Does it matter that the whole thing's idiotic? Hell, no. This is advertising. It's supposed to be banal, right?

Client: Hi-Tec

Agency: Mandelbaum Mooney Ashley

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then anybody who's ever worked on a leave-your-stupid-mundane-life-behind-and-escape-to-the-great-outdoors kinda campaign (and there are lots of us, admit it) should feel very flattered, indeed. I have no idea, however, why I should I buy these boots.

Client: Honda

Agency: Rubin Postaer & Assoc.

Director: Richard Kizu-Blair, Colassal Pictures, Visual Effects: Jonathan Keeton, Good Pictures

OK, you're in New York. It's loud and obnoxious (surprise, surprise). A pencil comes in and starts erasing the annoyances, one by one, until we're left with the Honda, which, you guessed it, drives off against a white seamless background and leaves the word "simplify" in type underneath.

Excuse me, but, huh? At first I thought, OK, maybe the car is real quiet inside, hence the noise is going away from the city. Or maybe you can use the car to drive away from the city. Or maybe, um, maybe, well they just needed a new art direction trick to justify all those big production budgets.

Client: Timex

Agency: Fallon McElligott

Despite the massive mediocrity one finds in our weird little world of advertising, there are signs of intelligent life, and this campaign is one of them. I love it. It's funny and smart and believable-and that's before you get to the art direction, which is, by the way, elegant and witty and arresting. Even the watches look cool.30

Client: Microsoft Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Director: Paul Giraud, HSI Productions

Every time this commercial comes on, my husband and kids actually start dancing. I want to hate it (god, another zillion-dollar montage spot from Wieden-"Revolution" revisited, where's the concept, blah, blah, blah), but I can't.

It's likable on every level, exquisitely crafted, and right for the Windows 95 introduction-from a PR standpoint, if nothing else. Where do I want to go today? On a shoot with that kind of budget.

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