Berlin Cameron Partners/N.Y.
1. Adidas "Unstoppable"
Tracy McGrady pushes through a toy-size army to get to the basket.
Client: Adidas Agency: 180/TBWA, San Francisco Worldwide CD: Lee Clow ECD: Chuck McBride ACD/CW: Scott Duchon ACD/AD: Geoff Edwards Director: Brian Beletic/Smuggler Effects: Digital Domain
RL: This is one of the best-produced and most riveting spots I've seen. Lilliputian helicopters and armed forces are no match for a b-ball Gulliver in his Adidas. It looks great and sounds great but distill the tagline, "Impossible is nothing," and it gets so close to "Just do it" that what we've got here is one of the best Nike spots I've seen. As memorable as this spot is, I would feel better if the thinking behind it more clearly differentiated Adidas from its competition. 3 stars
JP: Just goes to show that even hundreds of white dudes, no matter how hard they might try, can't stop T-Mac from taking it to the cup. Impossible. 4 stars
2. Evian "Natural Source of Youth"
Women drench themselves with Evian.
Client: Evian Agency: BETC Euro RSCG/Paris CD: Remi Babinet CW: Veronique de Surmont AD: Florence Bellisson Art Buyers: Isabelle Mocq, Malik Kinde Photographer: Karen Collins
RL: By now, we all know water is good for us and that bottled water is better than tap. So these ads serve to remind us to drink Evian every day (not just occasionally). They're wonderfully refreshing because they don't take themselves too seriously and the headline, "Water yourself every day," is perfect. A couple of nits: I kind of miss the white background and did every letter O really need to be in the shape of a water drop? 2 stars
JP: This is one of the all-time highest-scoring Millward Brown ads among veterans of World War II. It is well documented that with the liberation of Paris in 1944 came the sexual gratitude of many a comely Parisian woman toward the GIs. No doubt that this sophisticated Continental take on a wet T-shirt contest had the old soldiers reaching for their rifles. Bravo. Kudos may also be in order. 2 stars
3. Cingular "Road Trip"
A road trip demonstrates the AT&T/Cingular merger's coverage across the country.
Client: Cingular Wireless Agency: BBDO/N.Y. CCO: David Lubars Senior ECD: Charlie Miesmer CDs: Susan Credle, Steve Rutter ACD/CW: Lauren Connolly ACD/AD: Tim Bayne CQ: John Spalding AD: Rick Bryson Director: Lance Acord/Park Pictures
RL: Cingular and AT&T have joined forces to create the largest voice and data network. From that strategy comes the tale of an average East Coast guy setting off on a cross-country drive to hook up with his great looking West Coast gal. While she sends him text messages urging him on, we see visuals suggesting cellphone signal strength "power bars"-aerial shots of rows of crops being harvested, geese flying in a "power bar" formation, etc. It's nicely shot and I was moving right along with this spot (although I did wonder for a second why she only sent text messages during his long journey instead of calling) right up until the VO, which says, "Our goal is to have more bars [i.e., a stronger signal] in more places." That's your goal? I thought that was the benefit of the merger. If it isn't the benefit of the merger, you should have done a spot on whatever that benefit is. 1 star
JP: After five viewings, I get the clear point this spot in making: More bars are better. I've heard that Milwaukee has the highest ratio of bars per capita, with one bar for every 1,600 people. Also in Milwaukee, health food stores per capita are among the lowest in the country, with only one store for every 28,600 residents. Digging deeper, Milwaukee has more municipal golf courses per capita than any other city except Omaha. Little wonder that more Milwaukee/Racine residents participate in golf than do residents of any other city, according to a study of exercise activities by American Sports Data. The region also leads the country in number of residents who play football. Not surprising then that the same goes for badminton. More bars, more badminton. 1 star
4. Mercury "Meet the Lucky Ones"
An interactive website featuring 30-second films about 10 characters, not 10 cars.
Client: Mercury Agency: Wunderman Interactive Agency: Kirt Gunn & Associates Creative Consultant: Mother Writer: Ed Herbstman Production Company: @radical.media Director: Derek Cianfrance Music: Stephin Merritt
RL: This is a very modern site. It's quirky, with lots of content, great music, beautiful footage and good design. It's also very well written. I spent a lot of time on meettheluckyones.com and that's the problem. Why? Aren't we talking about a sweepstakes for a midlevel American SUV? Have the Mercury people suddenly decided that their brand is "quirky" and to define it outside the retail-driven ads we're used to? Or are they just pandering to the "young folks" who frequent the web? You can't have it both ways. High marks for production values and quirkiness; poor marks for job one: a consistent brand voice that comes to life on a website that tells me what you're about and what you would like me to do. 3 stars
JP: Depressed lately? Contemplating partaking in the bliss of death? But I have to give it up to the planner/account/creative guy who managed to get an American car company to pony up for this pointless "future of advertising/you don't get what young people are into/it's not cool to make mention of the product" idea. This seems to be one of those post-BMW films, "Let's do something bigger than 30 seconds" briefs. Man, whoever sold and held the client's hand through this pit of depression is actually worth what he gets paid. Imagine what he could do with a good script. Want a job, son?