The Work

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THE UNCOLA

KesselsKramer, the Dutch hot shop that recently ran into trouble with its condom-crushing campaign for the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam (see Creativity, September 2001), has bounced back with an outrageous print onslaught themed "Save Yourself," for Diesel's fall/winter collection. A glossy brochure, pages of which are appearing also as print ads, features spectral models wearing full-head latex masks, complete with fake hair and eerie glass eyes. Dressed in Diesel's "new" look - which actually harks back to the Victorian Age - the models espouse various twisted techniques to achieve eternal youth and beauty. These tips include drinking urine and abstaining from thinking, laughing and having sex. The characters are based on real people from the Victorian era, and the methods were culled from real events, asserts the agency. The "Drink Urine" ad, for example, was based on interviews with a Parisian sect that believes that a daily glass of urine will help them live forever. "We must say, they did appear to have very fresh skin," says creative director and copywriter Dave Bell. "To see if these methods are based in reality, we suggest picking your favorite and giving it a go."

Client: Diesel SPA Agency: KesselsKramer CD: Erik Kessels/Dave Bell AD: Karen Heuter CW: Dave Bell Producer: Pieter Leendertse Photographer: Jean Pierre Khazem Model Making: Anthony Ritter

COOLNESS CUBED

"We were going for the 'What the hell was that?' response,' " says ECD Jonathan Hoffman, by way of explaining Leo Burnett's 60-second launch spot for the Nintendo GameCube. The simple idea behind all the frenzied visuals is what's happening inside the Cube is infinitely more interesting than what's happening outside. "The weirder we could make it, the better," adds Hoffman. Set to a relentless industrial beat, surreal images fly by, all centered around some bizarre activity occurring inside an out-of-context Cube: A samurai sword battle at the center of a busy train station, for example, or a naked, tattooed contortionist surrounded by middle-aged zombies eating soup. Several of the scenarios, including the opening sword fight scene, are tied directly to Nintendo games. The others consist of "random stuff we thought was cool," says Hoffman. The spots were filmed in Paris and Rome by French director Erick Ifergan, who also shot last year's "PS9," a futuristic effects dazzler from TBWA/Chiat/Day, which launched the PlayStation 2.

Client: Nintendo Agency: Leo Burnett USA ECD: Jonathan Hoffman CD/CW: John Brockenbrough AD: Bill Stone Exec. Producer: Ron Nelken Producers: Veronica Puc, Vincent Geraghty Director: Erick Ifergan Production Co: Believe Media Effects Studio: Buf Inc. Music: Peter Lawlor, Water Music

CHANGE OF SPACE

Carmichael Lynch makes its Ikea debut with some eye-catching print and wry TV. One :30 shows two cars pulling next to each other at a stoplight: an Oldsmobile with a crotchety geezer at the wheel, and a lowrider filled with young toughs blasting hip-hop. The old man boldly stares at the group, till everyone chuckles and looks up, as the camera pulls back to reveal the same Ikea couch strapped to each roof, in different colors. Other spots explore the "Change something" tag more directly. One features a young man opening a fortune cookie in a restaurant. " Love is sitting right in front of you," it says. He looks up to see an obese man scarfing lo-mein. He looks to the right and sees an attractive woman at the bar. He smiles and folds the fortune until it reads, "Love is sitting right of you." Another spot has two girls out for a drive, hanging their arms out the window. One notices that her arm is sunburned. The driver stops and they switch places for color coordination.

Client: Ikea Agency: Carmichael Lynch CD: Jud Smith ADs: Libby Brockhoff/Randy Tatum CWs: Tom Camp/Steve Casey Agency Producer: Sean Healey

Director: Lisa Rubisch Production Co: Bob Industries Editor: Charley Schwartz/Bertram Cambridge, Uppercut Music: Absolute Music/Asche & Spencer

ASSAULT AND PEPPER

Del Taco takes on Taco Bell with its "exclusive" new spicy chicken burrito and a piece of inspired physical comedy, from agency/production company G&M Plumbing. A pleasant spokesman, ID'd as "Del Taco product guy" blithely carries on inside the restaurant about the new offering, while we see the Pepper Man - a guy in a food suit - talking up the burrito outside the window in the open-air seating section. Cut to outside, where the Pepper Man has inadvertently terrified a little boy. His martial arts-savvy mom proceeds to take the poor schlub down with a series of vicious kicks; then, as we cut back inside to the happy spokesman, the background mayhem continues, as she sits astride the Pepper Man and proceeds to brutally pound her off-camera victim with her fist, while the outdoor diners sit quietly and shake their heads in sympathy.

Client: Del Taco Agency: G&M Plumbing CD/CWs: Mickey Taylor, Glenn Miller AD: Sarah Stinsmuller Producer: Lindy Lucas Director: Glenn Miller Production Co: G&M Plumbing Editor: Adam Rosenblatt, Autonomy

GREAT DELIVERY

The latest FedEx campaign, from BBDO/New York, sketches slightly absurd but wholly sympathetic caricatures of life in the business world via scripts that crackle with fast-paced conversation worthy of David Mamet. In five dialogue-driven :30s, directed by Joe Pytka, two white collar workers share stories about the various ways FedEx helps small businesses triumph over adversity. One of the protagonists (played by Steve Carrell) is the focused narrator; the other (played by Joe Narciso) is easily distracted by trivial details, which leads to some great comedy. "She wore white?" the listener asks at the beginning of one spot. Cut to a smiling bride. "She put her past behind her," says the other. "But you're missing the point. Try to stay with me here." Trying to stay with him is what makes these spots so lively - each begins at a story's halfway point, which lends the campaign a feeling of random luck, like overhearing a punchline but still getting the joke. Scenarios range from a woman whose car is commandeered by bank robbers, leaving her stranded miles from the nearest FedEx depot, to an entrepreneur who's engrossed in a Hogan's Heroes marathon and forgets to mail an important package. But no matter how far-fetched they may be, we're with them all the way.

Client: FedEx Agency: BBDO/NY CCO: Ted Sann CD: Gerry Graf AD/CW: Ernest Lupinacci Dir. Broadcast Prod: Regina Ebel Senior Producer: Stacey Suplizio r Director: Joe Pytka Production Co: Pytka Editor: Emily Dennis, Mad River Post Music: Amber Music

ART HISTORY 101

A clutter-busting print campaign for a little-known Colorado-based bag company and an equally obscure Denver agency seeks to expand the products' reach beyond bike messengers, DJs, and drug dealers -by cleverly defacing classic paintings. Incongruously tacking a messenger bag onto the back of a figure in nude-heavy art, along with teenspeak-style copy that reinterprets the scenarios, may sound tacky on canvas, but it works on paper. Shown here is a reproduction of Jaques-Louis David's "Mars Being Disarmed by Venus." In this case, Venus is wearing a messenger bag, and the explanation is, "Nice to have when you need a place to put stuff because your hands are full trying to get a flowered headband on a naked guy and you're naked too." Other reinterpreted works include Velazquez's "The Forge of Vulcan," with one of the blacksmiths wearing a mini messenger bag: "Perfect when you blacksmith guys are wearing towels and an angel shows up at the blacksmith place and you don't have any pockets."

Client: Chrome Messenger Bags Agency: McClain Finlon Advertising CD: Tom Leydon AD/CW: Steve Whittier Photographer: Richard Feldman Artist: Beijing Dream Works, China

PICK A CARD

When asked to create a poster campaign for The Gypsy Den, a dimly lit restaurant in Santa Ana, Calif., the creatives at DGWB decided that cheeky tarot cards would be the perfect medium to define the bohemian establishment. Five cards were custom made for the assignment, then photographed on a table with the Den serving as a moody backdrop. Here we see, "Death. Showing up and demanding to be seated," with the Grim Reaper lurking behind an arrogant businessman; and "The Magician," who has the power to "Fix a wobbly table with just one sugar packet." Other include "The Fool: Ordering Fries," while "Temperance" is portrayed by Rip Van Winkle "Only taking a two hour lunch."

Client: The Gypsy Den Agency: DGWB ECD: Jon Gothold CDs: Dave Swartz/Enzo Cesario AD: Dave Hermanas CW: Elliott Allen Illustrator: Adrien Rivera Photographer: Ian White

BOUND FOR GLORY

Seeking to quash sharp criticism from feminists and government officials about the exploitation and denigration of women by the advertising industry, the French Truth in Advertising Office recently beefed up its self-regulating guidelines for the presentation of "human images" in ads. Nudity is still acceptable, as long as it stays on the clean side of sado-masochism and zoophilia, and doesn't "alienate" viewers or banalize violence. This particular blend of flesh and furniture, for upscale retailer Ligne Roset, escaped censorship, we're relieved to report.

Client: Ligne Roset Agency: Callegari Berville Grey CD: Pierre Berville AD/CW: Patrice Jean-Baptiste Photographer: Christian Kettiger

DIRTY JOKE

Wrigley's sugar-free Orbit gum takes off for the stylistic stratosphere in a funny mock product demo with a strangely European skew. A British spokeswoman guides viewers through the Orbit Institute, a facility dedicated to proving that the gum keeps your mouth clean "no matter what." A dowdy, Orbit-chewing subject named Jane is locked in a room with a very muddy dog. The dog, of course, shakes himself off, splattering Jane from head to toe. Our guide asks: "How do you feel Jane?" Upon receiving no answer she says, "Perfectly understandable. But how does your mouth feel?" Jane's pearly whites shine against her filthy face, helped along by a hokey animated starburst. "Fabulous!" says the spokeswoman. The sight gag, the casting, the inventive split-screen and off-kilter editing may recall the early days of Traktor, but this is the U.S. debut of Lion-winning Spanish director Pep Bosch. It's also the first commercials job for Bosch's U.S. production house, Rock Fight, Los Angeles, formed in April by Ned Brown and Melissa White, both formerly of the Directors Bureau. "It's exactly the kind of start we were hoping for," Brown says.

Client: Orbit gum Agency: BBDO/Chicago ECD: Phil Gant Exec Producer: Chuck Sheldon Agency Producer: Brian Smego Group CDs: Jim Hyman/Gail Pollack ACD/AD: Frank Dattalo ACD/CW: David Schiff Producers: Ned Brown/Melissa White Director: Pep Bosch Production Co: Rock Fight Editor: Scott Gray/Spotwelders

BLUE MAN GROUPIE

Plato, Sony's top-heavy, blue college student alien is back, continuing to love-fluster women and out-man men in new TV work. A subtly brilliant :60 follows Plato into the doctor's office for a routine checkup, conducted by a young, attractive woman, who slowly but surely falls under the spell of this extraterrestrial stud puppet with the pulsing music emanating from his giant, headphoned head. Another spot follows Plato into the locker room, where he is told by his wrestling coach - played by Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs , aka Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington from Welcome Back, Kotter - that he has five hours to lose some weight. Plato pops a "five hour mix" into his Walkman and heads off to the steam room. When he climbs back on the scale, he has to drop his tiny drawers to tip the balance, revealing something no doubt out of this world. Another spot pairs Plato against Olympic Gold Medal wrestler Rulon Gardner. But the athlete who beat the reigning Russian at the 2001 Olympics is no match for the fuzzy fella, armed with a "good luck mix" from his girlfriend. He flips Gardner onto his back with one hand.

Client: Sony Agency: Y&R/N.Y. ECD: Ross Sutherland CWs: Matt Aselton/Darren Wright ADs: David Skinner/Hunter Williams Producer: Kim Lowell Director: Phil Morrison Production Co: Epoch Editor: Emily Dennis, Mad River Post

CAMERA OBSCURA

Fuji takes an interesting, and very amusing, male-targeted tack to promote its digital cameras and accessories: the ways men can use the gear to attract and appease the ladies. In one spot, a guy fails to maintain his girlfriend's beloved potted plant while she's away - it has one leaf left on it. He photographs the leaf, duplicates it endlessly, tapes them all to the bare branches and fools her during a videophone call. In another, a guy finds the florist closed but takes a picture of a rose in the window, duplicates that endlessly and creates a photographic trail of roses leading to the bedroom, to impress his wife on what he thinks is their anniversary - which turns out be a week later. He points out in his defense that he even went to the trouble of shaving his back. In the best spot, a young man snaps a pic of a pet shop poodle after watching a sexy foreign chick tongue kiss her French poodle in an elevator. (Surely this interspecies intimacy is an American commercials first.) When they meet again in the elevator, he's wearing a T-shirt with the silk-screened likeness of his alleged dead dog, "Mitch," which when he says it, sounds suspiciously like "bitch."

Client: Fujifilm Agency: Publicis/N.Y. CDs: Jim Basirico/Mark Bernath CW: Mark Bernath AD: Jim Basirico Agency Producer: Mary Ann Kurasz Director: Bryan Buckley Production Co.: Hungry Man Editor: Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie Cutler Music: Amber Music

BROWN BAGGIN' IT

Three new spots for a used CD buy-back program at Wherehouse Music are as cheap, and as funny, as they come. "Wherehouse music wants to give you more money for your used CDs, so they cut their ad budget - considerably," says our paper narrator, whose hairy trunk can be seen throughout the spot. A shredded red curtain opens on a makeshift record store. On stage, a salesgirl with string for hair is helping difficult customers exchange their CDs. In one spot, a customer turns into a paper-bag version of the Incredible Hulk, and gobbles her up after she asks, "Cash or store credit?" In another spot, a customer comes to the counter with a bloody piece of what looks like flesh hanging out of a hole in his bag. "I need to get an operation," he says. "And I came to Wherehouse because I heard they give the most money for used CDs!" "What's that?" the salesgirl asks, nodding at the flesh. "That's my lower intestine," he says. "That can't be good. I think I see the light!" As he falls over, a white paper-bag ghost floats up behind him. "Cleanup on aisle six!" yells a grumpy shopkeeper. "Get the mop."

Client: Wherehouse Music Agency: Colby & Partners ECD: Rick Colby AD: Jim Root CWs: Jason Sperling/Craig Lederman Agency Producer: Yuko Ogata Director: Alexander von David Production Co: Blind Spot Media Editor: Jeff Skinner, Harley's House

RUBBER SOUL

Rather than focusing on safety, performance or durability in a TV campaign, Continental tires seeks to bond with its male target audience with outright fetishistic devotion. One spot opens with a young man meticulously cleaning his tires. He tenderly wipes the rubber, even licking a soapy toothbrush before running it along the chrome hubcap. The camera pans back to reveal that the truck is completely coated with mud - but the tires are sparklingly clean. Another spot presents a young man who, while a stupefied cop looks on, takes all the tires off his parked car, locks them in the car and leaves the vehicle on cinder blocks before he's ready to leave his beauties unguarded. In a far more bizarrely memorable execution, a man glances out his office window and catches a dog sniffing his tires. The man drops what he's doing and frantically bolts outside. When he gets within five feet of his car he leaps in front of the leg-raised dog and takes the territorial spray full in the chest. Then he stands up with a complacent smile, the wet splotch spreading across his shirt and tie. The formulaic tag: "They're not just tires. They're Continental tires."

Client: Continental Tire Agency: Boone/Oakley, Charlotte, N.C. CD/AD: John Boone CD/CW: David Oakley Agency Producer: Sally Lynch Director: Peter Darley Production Co: Miller/Stiefel + Co. Editor: Doug Walker, FilmCore Music: Elias

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