DERIVING DRIVEN AT NISSAN, PART 2

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Mack used "Driven" as a tag before Nissan began its new "Driven" ads from TBWA/Chiat/Day (Adages, May 17). But Mike Hollander, a one-time exec at William Esty and Chiat/Day, notes Nissan's new work connects to the "We are driven" tag that Nissan introduced two decades ago, when the agency was Esty and the brand was Datsun. What about the star of the new "Driven" ads with car designer Jerry Hirshberg? Turns out that's not a new idea. Hollander says that when C/D won the business from Esty a decade ago, the agency proposed filming Hirshberg's group sitting around the table talking about great design and great cars. Management nixed the idea as "making Hirshberg a star," Hollander says, so C/D came back with its oft-derided campaign showing a table of "goofy engineers." Says Hollander: "Many of the people at Nissan now don't remember those days."

Why Wieden's life isn't full of sh*t

Wieden & Kennedy watchers should read Dan Wieden's Q&A in Paper, out tomorrow. One Q: Will he sell? A: "Ah, no. Never. But all of life is just letting go of shit, you know? I mean it's weird. It seems like you're always trying to grab on to stuff, but the real trick is knowing when to let go."

Philips light bulb biz plummets

Philips Lighting secured rights as official bulb of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, providing 180 Halogena bulbs to light up Waterford Crystal's 800-pound ball as it makes its fall. This assumes, of course, that Con Ed solves any Y2K problems and is actually able to deliver electricity.

How to slip into the 51st state

Are Canadians that insecure? The Direct Marketing Assoc.'s Web site (www.the-dma.org) has a button to click for more details on its upcoming convention in Toronto. One tip from the DMA under conference information is, "Do not tell Customs that you are going to Canada to do 'work.' Instead, tell them you are attending a conference. They don't want anyone taking jobs that could be done by Canadians."

C/D sneakers . . . asinine

Why did Chiat/Day trademark a logo in December for a line of sneakers and athletic apparel? The agency says it was for an account pitch that didn't work out. . . . Angel, the chimpanzee from kids show "Critter Gitters," will appear next month at the Licensing '99 International show in NY. We hope she'll be keynoting. . . . So Disney's Michael Eisner derided Jeffrey Katzenberg as "the little midget." How ungrateful of a guy who got rich exploiting the labor of seven dwarves. . . . Adages' writer is leaving to pursue other interests (see Page 6) after four years of Adaging. Our goal was to deliver uplifting columns paying tribute to the inspirational work of this honored profession. Of course, we were so busy digging for dirt and making note of asinine marketing and ad schemes that we never got around to writing any uplifting columns. With all the sincerity you've come to expect, we apologize.

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