All the laughing has undoubtedly spawned seriously standout, often daring, advertising, including the original Sony "Plato" work, runner-up for Creativity 2001 campaign of the year, as well as the morbidly comic Sony Santa-napping campaign that ultimately got pulled before running. They also originated the hilarious NFL United Way campaign, which exposes the softer, goofy side of football untouchables as they volunteer with kids and the elderly. "Like all sports, the NFL kind of had an image problem that they wanted to improve," Wright notes. "The spots running before seemed so dishonest to us, in a way. It felt like the player just stopped in for 15 minutes, put some kids on his lap and was done. We had to convince them that humor was a viable way to go, that it would humanize the players."
The duo revisited pigskin power in the recent NFL Playoffs campaign in which Don Cheadle rants fervently about how the sport of football has inflected basic concepts, like "crazy" and "Joe," with worlds of meaning and emotion. Bold and cinematic, the work stood out admirably against the beer and babes fodder at this year's underwhelming Super Bowl adfest. "Football has become such a powerful thing that it changes the way people think and do things," Skinner insists. "It might seem hyperbolic to take the name Joe and say football made it 'Joe,' but not really. There are people who think that. They're so passionate about the game, and it's immediately identifiable to the fans." The creative process is often enviably simple for the likeminded duo. In the case of the NFL campaign, "we just sat around throwing out ideas and picked the ones that made us laugh," recalls Wright.
Notes CD Taras Wayner, "Their spirit, personality and chemistry really help define this creative department. There are those who can do the work but never want to show up to the meeting; then there are those who just go to meetings and sell but can't do the work," he adds. "The trick is to be able to do both, which both of them can. That's a very valuable thing, and the last thing I want to do is say too much, so someone else hires them."