What's the Big Idea?

Published on .

The perfect shopping companion doesn't mind being on her feet all day, doesn't make unflattering remarks about your body/spending/taste, and loves to try on different clothes. A :90 cinema spot made for the shopping magazine Lucky explores the special relationship between one woman and her ideal shopping pal, a mannequin named Cheryl.

The camera follows the pair of happy-go-lucky gals (OK, one gal, one dummy) about town as they try on perfume in a department store, ponder clothes in front of a dressing-room mirror, and, arms laden with bags, hail a taxi on a busy streetcorner. The dummy gets hit by the cab, but no harm done, all the limbs go back on.

The all-male creative team, including copywriters Dave Loew and Warren Cockrel and art director Phil Covitz, had to conduct some research before they became comfortable with Lucky's clothing-obsessed target demographic. "There was sort of a mental hurdle that we had to get over: Obsessing over a shoe, keeping yourself up at night thinking about a shoe - we had to understand that this is true, this exists for women," says Covitz. In order to fully inhabit their audience's psyches, the creative team volunteered to shop with female friends, ran their ideas by women co-workers, and "did a lot of peeping into dressing rooms," jokes Cockrel. They chose the mannequin theme because, he explains, "a mannequin is an icon in shopping and exists only in the shopping world."

Having landed a concept, the team's first act was to write the spot's music, a `70s style theme song called "Cheryl `n' me." "Conde Nast liked the mannequin idea, but then they got a little nervous," says Loew "The song helped convince them." The lyrics alternate between being purposely insipid ("Cheryl `n' me, shoppin' together, feelin' so free") and humorous ("I don't know if she's happy or sad"). Once they nailed down the song, the dated feel of the music dictated the vintage aesthetic and retro sentimentality of the spot.

After a shopping spree, the live half of the shopping duo goes home to her boyfriend, who breaks some difficult news. "Sweetheart, Cheryl's not real," he says carefully. Furious, she ignores his efforts at logical discussion and runs from the apartment. As she wanders in the foggy New York night, the screen shows a sappy montage of good times with Cheryl. But when she returns to make up with her boyfriend, Cheryl is at her door in a bathrobe and the boyfriend has a towel around his waist. The heroine screams and runs out; at a newsstand, she finds her new shopping friend, Lucky. Which she apparently doesn't bother paying for as she walks away. She's also going to need to replace her two-timing boyfriend; she should've stolen a Playgirl too.

Client: Lucky Magazine Agency: Black Rocket, San Francisco CD: Bob Kerstetter/Steve Stone AD: Phil Covitz CW: Warren Cockrel/Dave Loew Agency Producer: Stacey Higgins Director: Baker Smith Production Company: Tate & Partners DP: Pierre Rouger Editor: Bob Frisk, Phoenix Editorial, San Francisco

Rhythm Nation

Vince Carter, Darius Miles, Lamar Odom, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Williams. . . and Savion Glover? Glover choreographs the NBA stars and some well-known street players in this beautifully executed spot for Nike. The players show off not only rhythm but style as they pass, dribble, jump, and even dance to percussive music created with the thumping sounds of a ball and the squeaking of the sneakers on the court.

Client: Nike Agency: Weiden & Kennedy CD: Hal Curtis/Jim Riswold AD: Hal Curtis CW: Jimmy Smith Agency Producer: Vic Palumbo Director: Paul Hunter Production Company: HSI Music: Digihearit? Sound Design: Jeff Elmassian Editor: Adam Pertofsky, Rock Paper Scissors.

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