The Work

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The Hot Seat

A new Mitsubishi Eclipse spot continues the hip music-driven "Wake up and Drive" campaign with some distinctly clutter-busting bucket-seat choreography. This funky spot features a familiar carload of young hipsters heading out for a night on the town, but instead of just singing along, one girl cranks up the volume and breaks out the Electric Boogalo, to the tune of Dirty Vegas' Days Go By. This is without a doubt the best dancing in a car we've ever seen, and it doesn't even require a sunroof.

Client: Mitsubishi Agency: Deutsch/L.A. ECD: Eric Hirshberg ACD: Vinny Picardi AD: Bernie O'Dowd CW: Chris Schifando Agency Producer: Rebecca Darvin Director: Walter Kehr/Palomar Editor/Sound Designer: Bob Jenkis/Crew Cuts West Post: Riot Music: Dirty Vegas

Drop Kicks

A year and a half ago, Element 79 AD Doug Behm had a dream: someday, athletes would pour like water from giant spouts, splashing on the ground. Last month his dream came true with the birth of a beautiful Michel Gondry-directed spot for Gatorade Propel water. In this :30, huge water drops splash against a gray tiled floor, morphing into athletes who pop up and dribble, skate and swat their way towards the camera, illustrating the tag, "What if Gatorade made water?" Eventually the camera pulls back, revealing a bottle full of writhing athletes. "I just had to keep believing," says Behm of the long-term project, which involved filming the athletes underwater in an Olympic diving pool. "But now that it's come to life, it feels really good." It looks good, too.

Client: Propel Fitness Water Agency: Element 79 Partners CD: Dennis Ryan AD/CW/Agency Producers: Doug Behm, Candice Neary Director: Michel Gondry/Partizan Editor: David Brixton/The Whitehouse Effects: Buf Music: Bill Brown/Soundelux DMG Sound Design: Bryan Bowen

Mark of Quality

Here's something you don't see every day: Mary Ellen Mark on the other side of the camera, endorsing furniture. Yes, Wieden & Kennedy turned the lens of Grant Delin on one of America's foremost photographers in this high-profile campaign for a high-end office chair; the #19 by Allsteel. As the excellent allsteeloffice.com website (designed by W&K) explains, the "I am part #19" refers to the 19th element in the chair, "the human part," which complements its aluminum, plastic, foam and fabric. Other artsy celebs in the campaign include artist Gary Panter and violinist Joshua Bell.

Client: Allsteel Agency: Wieden & Kennedy/Portland AD: Danielle Flagg CW: Derek Barnes CDs: Susan Hoffman, Roger Camp Photographer: Grant Delin

Homo Misticus

Sierra Mist is not your average lemon-lime beverage. So what's it like? According to a new spot, from BBDO/New York, it's like waking up after 5,000 years of enforced snooze time, though the careless viewer may think it's like the breath of a caveman who was hit on the head with a rock, slept through the Ice Age, and was thawed out five millennia later. At any rate, as directed by David Kellogg, it's like a bizarre National Geographic comedy short. The spot opens on a parched desert scene, across which stumbles a dehydrated caveman. He wipes his brow and looks skyward, just as a rock comes crashing off a mountain, hitting him in the head and knocking him unconscious. Cut to 5,234 years later. A bunch of babbling archeologists have discovered his body and are delicately digging it out when the caveman opens his eyes and grins, exhaling a frosty breath. He takes a few wobbly steps, looks up, and is hit on the head by a densely packed snowball. Tag: "It's kind of like that."

Client: Pepsi Agency: BBDO/N.Y. CCO: Ted Sann ECD: Bill Bruce ACD/GCD: Jean Batthany Agency Producer: Sue Petitti Director: David Kellogg/Anonymous Music: Ad Music Editor: Tom Muldoon/Nomad Effects: Method

Thumb Life

The AT&T Wireless "mLife" campaign has gone from solemn to silly in a snap. The new text-messaging campaign is all about the necessities of thumb power, and the executions are getting two thumbs up. In one spot, a man stands in front of a bathroom mirror, rubbing his chin. But instead of shaving his face, he lathers his thumbs. With streamlined digits, he picks up his cell and rapidly pads out plans for the day. Another spot shows a woman pulling a box of gloves out of her closet. She sits on the floor and snips the thumbs off several beautiful mitts. She slides on a pair of red amputees and grabs her cell to send a message: "Shopping 2morrow?" A third spot is a goofy infomercial, complete with testimonials, for "the Thumbmaster," a contraption that guarantees to deliver "more friends and better ring tones," in short order.

Client: AT&T Wireless Agency: O&M/N.Y. ECD: Jeroen Bours CDs: Anil Bathwal, Bobby Pawar AD: Jaydee Jana CW: Stephani Rao Agency Producer: Carrie Simon Director: Lloyd Stein/Headquarters Editor: Paul Kelly/89 Edit Effects: Brand New School

Music: Human

Don't Wolf Your Wolfenstein

This U.K. spot for the Playstation 2 was originally shot as an in-store promo. But it was such a hit with the client that TBWA/London decided to book it into two- and three-minute slots on British television. It features one Michel Lotito, aka Monsieur Mangetout, dining on a gourmet meal of PS2 components, complete with "Don't try this at home" warning. No mean feat, although Mangetout ("eats everything") made it into the Guinness Book of Records by eating an entire airplane - a Cessna model 150. The quasi-earnest spot, which plays like a show on the Food Channel, opens with Lotito rushing to a restaurant. "I'm going to meet Claude," he says to his companion. "He has something very special for me." The feast, it turns out, is an entire Playstation 2, from joystick to console, served with such delicacies as blanched Sicilian asparagus. "I've been told the four-player multitap is excellent," says Mangetout, ordering the appetizer, which he salts, slurps and crunches. "It is very tender." Next up is a pile of "freshwater" memory cards. Mangetout digs in - after sprinkling them with lemon. Throughout the meal he chats with the chef about the various benefits of the Playstation, from a more practical entertainment perspective. "Come again," says Claude when he has finished eating. "The hard drive will soon be in season."

Client: Sony Playstation 2 Agency: TBWA/London CDs: Trevor Beattie AD: Pat Burns CW: Gavin McGrath Agency Producer: Kate Hitchings Director: Sam Cadman/Rogue Films Editor: Johnny Scarlett/The Quarry Post: Framestore Sound Design: Jungle

Art Glass

Inspiration for the new, ingeniously lo-fi Snapple campaign, which features "human" characters fashioned out of Snapple bottles, sprung from rather mundane circumstances. "We were sitting in our office, playing with the bottles, making them dance, and it just hit us," says Deutsch CD David Rosen. Soon Rosen and his partner were hot-gluing Barbie hair to bottles and scheming up scenarios for their recyclables, including a house party, a breakdance showdown, a boy band, an ill-fated skateboarder, a UFO abduction and a couple of peeping Toms in the girl's shower room. Directors Dayton/Faris assembled a crack team of modelmakers, stylists and ex-Pee-wee's Playhouse puppeteers to construct entire worlds, outfits and hairstyles to the scale of Snapple bottles. "Everyone really got into it," says Rosen. Although the campaign strives for "homemade kitsch," the production was anything but low budget. "They ordered human hair from Russia because Russians have the best hair for wigs," says Rosen. "They had one person cutting it and another styling it." Adding to the campaign's complexity is the spots' unusual lengths. Not one made it to 30-seconds. Instead they are chopped into :15, :10s and even :05s, all of which end abruptly with a cut to a Snapple bottle cap and the distinctive pop of its vacuum seal.

Client: Snapple Agency: Deutsch/N.Y. CD/AD: Scott Bassen CD/CW: David Rosen Agency Producers: Jim Frame, Bruce Andreini Directors: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton/Bob Industries Editor/Sound Design: Jonathan Smalheiser/3 Fingered Louie Effects: Brickyard VFX Music: Duotone

Fear Factor

Two clever spots from Venables, Bell & Partners, for HBO Home Video, show viewers who have been scared straight by overexposure to the prison drama Oz. In one, a would-be jaywalker steps off the curb before a swirl of the show's riot footage flashes in his mind. Although the street is deserted, he decides to wait for the light. In another, a viewer accidentally takes two newspapers from a vending machine, but pays to put one back after visions of concertina wire assault him. "Eight straight hours of Oz," the tag reads. "It'll make you think twice."

Client: HBO Home Video Agency: Venables, Bell & Partners CDs: Paul Venables, Greg Bell AD: Nick Spahr CW: Kevin Frank Agency Producer: Stacey Higgins Director: Tom Routson/Tool of North America Editor: Bob Frisk/Phoenix Editorial Sound: Andy Newell/Ripe Sound

Freudian Quips

Four deceptively simple yet unusually cerebral ads, for Wilson tennis rackets, evoke the ghost of Freud to convey the emotional state of tennis players. Entitled "Psychotherapy," they feature hand-drawn depictions of the "subject's" angst, accompanied by dry text explaining the picture's deeper meaning. Seen here, a water- colored "Ball Monster" shrieks at his crudely-drawn opponent. The text reads, "Male, age 28. Lost 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. Analysis: The subject is unwilling to accept defeat. The cloud represents his failure. Classic denial." Another features a pen-drawn "Male, aged 38" with rackets for hands and a grill for a mouth looming over his adversary. "Analysis: The subject feels exposed and vulnerable. The abandoned racket shows a desire to abandon himself from the past." Tag: "Make sure it's your opponent on the couch, not you."

Client: Wilson Sporting Goods Agency: Euro RSCG McConnaughy Tatham CCO: Jim Schmidt AD: Jeff Dechausse CW: Rob Powers Photographer: Guy Moeller Illustration: Hamid Paredes, Amanda Butts

Sucker Bunch

"LifeSavers are like old friends," says FCB writer Mark Warfield. "They each have personalities, depending on their position within the roll." That's the idea behind this fresh print campaign for the venerable candy. Each flavor is given its own ad, and a brief analysis of its persona. Cherry is Ms. Popularity. ("Always the first picked, cherry has taste and beauty. And she knows it. Tends to act innocent. She isn't.") Orange is The Runner-Up. ("We love orange. We just love cherry more.") Lime is The Outsider, and Lemon is the tough guy ("Confuse him with pineapple and it could get ugly.") Butter Rum's been kicking around the roll since the 1920s. He's The Old Timer.

Client: LifeSavers Agency: FCB/N.Y. ECD: Rich Russo CWs: Tim Roan, Mark Warfield, Jason Karley AD: Mark Warfield

Rump Roast

Two distinctly unusual :30s, from GSD&M, directed by Bryan Buckley, aim to defuse the fear and embarrassment of a colorectal exam via deadpan doctor humor. One opens with an earnest doctor reciting statistics about colon cancer. He suggests a simple self-exam. "Place your hands on your lower back. Slide them down. If you feel two large lumps," he says, squeezing his rump, "you're at risk." In the second, a doctor and a patient engage in butt-joke repartee to leaven an uncomfortable subject with humor. A sample: "Let me probe further," says the patient. "I'm behind you all the way," says the doc. "When it comes to your health you should shoot for the moon." "Try Uranus," says a nurse.

Client: NCCRA Agency: GSD&M GCD/AD: Tom Gilmore CD/CWs: Rich Tlapek, Allan Hannawell AD: Tim Cole Agency Producer: Dorothy Taylor Director: Bryan Buckley/Hungry Man Editor: Sheila Sweeney/Bob & Sheila's Edit World

Hard Cel

A strangely gripping new British anti-child abuse spot takes a simultaneously subtle and over-the-top approach, divorcing the viewer from the victim until the final scene. Directed by Frank Budgen, the spot mixes a human abuser with an animated abusee, set to a cartoon soundtrack. A man comes home from work and beats on his cartoon kid, who rolls with the punches; bouncing off the walls and sticking his head in the sink to extinguish his cigarette-charred skin. Eventually, the father throws the cartoon boy down the stairs. The camera slowly focuses in, and we're shown a real child lying face down at the bottom of the steps. Tag: "Real children don't bounce back."

Client: NSPCC Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi/London CD: David Droga AD: Duncan Marshall CW: Howard Willmott Agency Producer: Sally-Ann Dale Director: Frank Budgen/Gorgeous Animator: Russell Brooke/Passion Pictures Editor: Paul Watts/The Quarry Music/Sound Design: Jonathan Goldstein, Nigel Crowley/750 mph

Henry Miller Time

The tag may be ponderous - "Life is best told over a Miller at a place called Miller Time" - but the stories are refreshingly engaging and well-executed. In one spot, a man hitches a ride with a fat, creepy truck driver. When the driver introduces him to his equally creepy dummy, which screeches in a most unnatural way, the hiker jumps out of the truck. Cut to the bar. "You jumped from a moving truck?" his buddy asks incredulously. "At that point my decision was made," he answers. In another, an older man brushes against a younger one on a crowded escalator. The younger man pats himself down and realizes he doesn't have his wallet. He runs after the man, eventually pinning him against a wall and demanding the wallet. The guy hands it over. When he gets home he spies his wallet on the counter. At the bar he tells his buddies, "I accidentally mugged this guy!" Another shows a young couple sitting in a car on a rainy night. They both have something to say. "You go first," she says. "I'm not ready to get married," he says. "What's your news?" Turns out she just won the lottery-"$63 million!" he tells his buddies, one of whom slinks off to give her a call.

Client: Miller Lite Agency: Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. ECDs: David Apicella CD: Joe Johnson AD: Joe Johnson CW: Jeff Muller Agency Producer: Joe De Franco Director: Erich Joiner/Tool of North America Editor: David Bradley/Go Robot Music: Snyder Music

Snack Attack

The New Violent Comedy trend continues to spread, now infecting a pair of spots for a Frito-Lay package design intro, which allows snackers to "go anywhere but hungry." In both spots a mock-serious spokesguy -played by actor Eric VanWick - gets a serious beat-down when he tests the limits of this claim. He enters the locker room of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in one :30 to demonstrate the various attributes of the Go Snack. "They're crushproof," he points out as cheerleaders tackle him. "They fit in your backpack" - his head is slammed battering ram-style into a locker - "or in a locker." He's eventually wheeled away on a gurney, with multiple injuries. "Did I mention you can eat them with one hand?" In another spot, with a touch of international flavor, he struts into the Queen's bedroom and is immediately attacked by her two small dogs. He begins his spiel as she smashes a silver platter over his head, throws him around the room, through a painting and ultimately out a window. "They travel well," he says mid-flight, landing in a fountain. "And did I mention they're waterproof?" Although the production crew employed doubles for some of the stunts, "we really did abuse the hell out of that guy," says AD Tom Darbyshire. "We dropped him in freezing cold water and threw him around the room. He kept saying, 'You gotta hit me harder!' "

Client: Frito Lay Agency: BBDO/N.Y. CCO: Ted Sann ECD: Michael Patti CD/CW/ADs: Tom Darbyshire, Ted Shaine Agency Producer: Lisa Grossman Director: Frank Todaro/Radical Media Editor: Eric Johnson/Crew Cuts Music: Howard Schwartz

Toys R Pus

What if indie film producers marketed tie-in toys? The answer can be found in these delightfully sardonic posters for a California film festival, from agency DGWB. Each shows a photograph of an "independent film toy" in its retail environment. In addition to the executions shown above (a blood-soaked Crime Scene Cleaners "Mr. Thirsty" vacuum and a Road Dogz "Bitter Pregnant Girlfriend" doll), other ads include a shrink-wrapped bag of garbage promoting Solid Waste, and a "Primitive Tattoo Kit," featuring a rusty nail and a packet of berries from the movie Delusions in Modern Primitivism, a film about a man's search for the ultimate in body mutilation. We'll catch that one on video.

Client: Newport Beach Film Festival Agency: DGWB AD: Dave Hermanas CW: Elliott Allen CDs: Dave Swartz, Enzo Cesario, Jon Gothold Photographer: Peter Samuels Designer: Hosea Gruber Logo Graphics: Stun Gun

Wild Palms

Last month it was Glacier gloves, now it's nitrile gloves. Maybe we have a fetish. Nonetheless, industrial gloves doesn't sound like a sexy print category but Rhode Island's Communications Arts Group comes through with an eye-catching nod to The Wizard of Oz, in an ad that won a Bronze at the recent Summit Creative Awards. Our (nitrile) hats are off.

Client: North Safety Products Agency: Communication Arts Group CDs: Chuck Lusignan, Denise Lynn ADs: Chuck Lusignan, Jennifer Adotte CW: Denise Lynn Photographer: Tony Filipe

Tea, the Hard Way

The latest Cliff Freeman campaign for Mike's Hard Lemonade and Hard Iced Tea takes a wild leap from the earlier deadpan amputee humor to deadpan sci-fi insanity. Two spots - the first to be finished by The Mill's New York outpost (see p. 10) - feature disgusting monsters who wreak havoc on unassuming men, thereby earning them a Mike's break. One spot opens in a parking lot, where a couple is about to get in their car. Suddenly a storm of giant white aliens appear, their gnarly heads affixed to their chests. One of them carries the woman away, screaming. The abandoned man is joined by another, who comments on his tough break. "Yeah, I really liked her," he says, watching the woman recede into the distance. "You deserve a Mike's Hard Lemonade," the friend says. About to take a sip at the bar, another monster swoops in and lifts it from his hand. It's just not his day. A second spot takes place in a cubicle, where a man has a problem - he "thinks" he's grown a "second evil head." Upon seeing his predicament, a mildly alarmed female co-worker invites him out for a Mike's Iced Tea. "I didn't know Mike's made a hard iced tea," growls the evil head, ogling her chest in a fuzzy POV shot. At the bar, the evil head, apparently of drinking age, gets his own bottle and belches in the man's face. You gotta love an agency that's willing to stick its creative neck out.

Client: Mike's Hard Lemonade Agency: Cliff Freeman & Partners CD: Eric Silver AD: Scott Vitrone CW: Ian Reichenthal Agency Producer: Clair Grupp Director:Rocky Morton/MJZ Editor: Gavin Cutler/Mackenzie Cutler Effects: The Mill

Bugged Out

It didn't take long for Jonathan Schoenberg and his team at TDA Advertising in Boulder to realize that a flaming moth would illuminate the power of their client's bike light. But setting the moth on fire was another story. "We felt that lighting up a live moth would be awkward," says Schoenberg, "especially since we won an award from Peta a few years back." So the team gave it the old third-grade try, igniting more than 20 dead moths without the desired results. "Dead moths really look dead," says Schoenberg. "And they burn really fast." In the end, their experiments weren't for naught: although they were forced to use stock, they recreated the flames based on the dead-moth outtakes.

Client: Sigma Sport Agency: TDA Advertising & Design AD: Thomas Dooley CD/CW: Jonathan Schoenberg Photographer: Brooks Freehill

Summer Stock

"Swing"in' Lisa Prisco is back CD'ing at the Gap, with a music- and celeb-driven summer campaign that boasts not only a rare Coen Brothers spot but the commercials directing debut of Cameron Crowe. All the :30s are beautifully shot black and white one-takes, featuring the likes of Dennis Hopper, Christina Ricci, Kate Beckinsale and a host of the young and the beautiful from movies and TV. Moreover, each spot has a twin set to different music, by bands like the La's, the Troggs and the Beach Boys. Fave moment: The surreal background touch of men painting a giant white television on the sidewalk as carefree bike riders zip by on the deserted street.

Client: Gap Agency: In-house CD: Lisa Prisco Producers: Leigh Donaldson, Tiffany Richter, Jill Young Directors: Cameron Crowe/Moxie Pictures, Joel and Ethan Coen/Villains, Roman Coppola/Directors Bureau Editor: Jerry Steele/Steele VFX Music: John Bolen/Eleven Sound

Man's Best Friend

Two outstanding new comedy spots for an Oregon car dealer mark the directorial debut of Derek Barnes, a Wieden & Kennedy copywriter who's clearly got a way with dialogue. The :30s feature new car owners whose love for their ride has sent them off the deep end. In one, a David Schwimmer type coos to his new car as if it's a puppy. "Who wants a wax and a wash," he gurgles, flicking the alarm on and off to simulate a bark. "Who wants to drive really fast? Who wants to go on the highway?" Another spot takes place at dusk, in a near-deserted car lot. A long-suffering salesman is answering ridiculous questions from a recent buyer who hopes to relive the excitement of the purchasing experience. "The windshield," the quasi-customer asks. "Is that real glass, on both sides? And the sideview mirrors; do those reflect even when the car is off?"

Client: Suburban Auto Group Agency: Big Ads CW: Joel Thomas AD: Jim Raleigh Agency Producer: Erik Dwton Director: Derek Barnes/Hidden City Films Editor/Flame: George Mitchell, Mike Quinn/Mission Control Sound: Eric Stolberg/Digital One

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