2002 Rating: 3 stars
Campbell-Ewald didn't make a lot of noise in 2003, but that's probably a good thing. In a year that brought grim news for parent Interpublic Group of Cos., Campbell-Ewald Chairman-CEO Tony Hopp didn't mind being a tad on the boring side, particularly since his shop didn't really lose any significant business or key staffers.
Excluding a handful of small wins including Carrier Corp., the American Heart Association and Kaiser Permanente, the Warren, Mich.-based agency came up short on major reviews, most notably Kmart Corp., which-considering the discounter's problems-may not be so bad. Its most talked-about creative work was Chevrolet's rock `n' roll campaign. Fans said it captured the nostalgia for the General Motors Corp. unit's cars, while critics said the theme was better reflected in vintage models than those of today. Perhaps Campbell-Ewald's most underappreciated work was that relying on the stark, reality-based recordings from GM's OnStar. The ads showed the benefits of having the automotive concierge call an ambulance for you after your airbag deployed.
The coming year will bring more of the same, but increasingly refined and bigger, Mr. Hopp hopes. One glint of a more shining year could be upcoming work for retailer Pier One featuring newly signed pitchman Thom Filicia, the home design maven of Bravo's hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."