The Next Wave: Scott Vincent, Hungry Man

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Scott Vincent takes an extended pause in the middle of his Creativity interview. He's not deep in thought. Rather, he's cracking up so hard he can't talk or even breathe. He had been reminiscing about some of his work for Archipelago, which he directed and wrote while still a creative at Fallon/Minneapolis. The spots hilariously promoted a switchover to online trading by depicting the insane habits of a fully grown man who jumps into bed with his parents, or of another lad who turns to his mom's chest for lunchtime chow. Blessed with a sixth sense in funny, Vincent has a fitting new home at Hungry Man, which he joined this September.

Directing is Vincent's third attempt at a career. The 42-year-old SoCal native graduated from UC/Santa Barbara with a geology degree, and worked a while for the government. "But I like making stuff up, and in geology, they kind of frown upon that," he deadpans. So Vincent put a book together and made his way into advertising, at agencies like TBWAChiatDayVenice and ultimately Fallon, where he was a CD on Archipelago. Since he joined Hungry Man, he continues to direct for the client, this time a massive project entitled The Open Show. The slapstick series of one-minute shorts debuted last month and will continue every morning on MSNBC at 8:59 until the end of the year (see archives on Archipelago.com). Reminiscent of Spinal Tap's docu-comedy, they track the quixotic exploits of the goofy Jeff and Neal, who set out cross-country in search of a perfect signal for the opening of the online exchange.

But for Vincent it's not just about money. There's also sex. Earlier this year he was in London filming a spot for The Observer, featuring a suicidal carrot, when a script came in from Saatchi/London for broadcast on the Coco De Mer campaign, whose innocuously lewd print ads took this year's Press Grand Prix at Cannes. It called for a succession of big O's to ensue from a boardroom of suited, um, stiffs. "In comedy, I like strange things played small," he notes. "This was a chance to take something that would normally be pretty broad and play it small. I didn't want it to be like the hair commercials."Casting extended into the wee hours, with Vincent reviewing various moaners on videotape in his London hotel room." I would try to keep the sound down, but then I couldn't hear. So I'd turn it up a little bit, and of course that's when they started shrieking. The next morning people were like 'Show some dignity! You gotta relax a little bit in there!'"

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