TOM CORDNER, ECD/Regional Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson/Detroit
Eating a Snickers bar coincidentally helps a man win a radio contest, go to a museum of natural history, save Marshall Faulk's life and have an NFL team named the St. Louis Freds in his honor.
Agency: BBDO/N.Y. ECD: Eric Silver ACD/CWs: Dan Kelleher, Jim Lemaitre Director: StyleWar/Smuggler
GS: I suppose this could be a condensed version of the American dream. Fred is working late. He eats Snickers to keep him on the go. From there, anything is possible. This spot takes the absurd to a new level, and I like it. Any time you put StyleWar and Eric Silver and his team in one room, you're guaranteed to get something good. The spot provides us with totally random events cascading into one big false promise. Beautiful. The tagline, "Make it happen with Snickers," gives me the feeling that we will be seeing a lot more of these. (3 stars)
TC: It must have been tricky naming this string of visual non sequiturs. It could have just as easily been called "Worker," "Radio Station," "Dart," "St. Louis," "Marshall Faulk" or "Freds." I was confused by this desperate, frenzied message, right down to the tagline, which is so open-ended all the meaning has spilled out and evaporated. But what's truly incomprehensible is why Snickers would walk away from a brilliant campaign for this one. (one star)
2. Perry Ellis "Yacht"
Lithe models bask in the sun on the deck of a yacht. The camera pans to one emaciated fashionista having trouble folding a map. The tag: "Our models suffer too."
Agency: La Comunidad/Miami CDs: Jose Molla , Joaquin Molla CW: Leo Prat AD: Maximo Vazquez Directors: Andy Fogwill, Agustin Alberdi/Landia, Argentina
GS: Fashion has a way of taking itself too seriously, even when it's trying to be funny. This spot sets you up with the soft music and long pans, and then finishes off with an unexpected gag. I could never fold a map, so, in an odd way, I sympathize with this tortured model. I'm not too sure what it says about the Perry Ellis brand, but I liked the simplicity of this spot. (2 stars)
TC: For 20 seconds, I drifted along with a crew of models so drained of food or thought I missed the wink. It wasn't until a waiflike beauty tries to fold a map (difficult for anyone to master, especially a copywriter) and hand it to her poker-faced colleague, that I realized I'd been had. I'm not sure what "Our models suffer too" means, but satire this dry makes my mouth water anyway. (3 stars)
3. Tilex "Handle it"
A montage of screaming people stationed in front of their homes shows folks of all shapes and sizes who can't handle the fact that all homes have mold.
Agency: DDB/San Francisco CCO: Lisa Bennett CW: Daniel Mabe AD: Chad Ackley Director: Douglas Avery/Villains, Beverly Hills
GS: Simple truth: People hate mold. Done. I was pleased to see the Clorox brand getting away from product demonstrations. Conveying an emotional connection to the product will always win against split-window comparisons or contrived testimonials. It is great to see DDB/San Francisco getting A-list directors. I would say that Douglas Avery did a nice job simplifying the film, and I wish that the back-end graphics had done the same. (2 stars)
TC: I haven't heard this much screaming since Home Alone or when I was in chemistry class and spilled hydrochloric acid on my genitals. My sympathies to the sound person on the spot, the editor, the sound mixing engineer and the producer. I'll bet the creative team won't be up for the sequel. Sure, this spot is attention-getting, but does mildew warrant this kind of reaction? It's a mildew problem, not the day after our national elections. It's overstated and well screamed. (one star)
4. Energizer "Mailman"
The return of the Energizer Bunny is celebrated with spots that feature people who just won't quit. In this commercial, a mailman cheerfully delivers letters and packages in gale-force winds, whistling all the way, even when the mailbox completely blows away.
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. CD: Jerry Gentile CW: Raymond Hwang AD: Jerry Gentile Director: Jeff Gorman/Sandwick Films
GS: This is a pretty funny spot. Gorman is showing yet another side to his visual arsenal. It's also good to see mailmen in a positive light for once. That said, the music feels a bit too chipper for my taste. I get the contrast to the storm, but it1s just a bit too "Whistle While You Work." I suppose the line, "For those who never quit, the battery that never quits," takes me one step closer to the promise. It seems Energizer is on my side; and that makes me feel a little weird. (2 stars)
TC: I loved the bright, cheery "Johnny Mann Singers" juxtaposed against hurricane-type conditions. It's quite arresting and topical, though I suspect the client might be a little hysterical, at the moment. Unfortunately, this spot suffers from bad timing and bad weather. The production values are visually superb. The only thing long-lasting about this commercial is the images and devastation of Florida hurricanes on my local news that it conjures up.(2 stars)