Butler Shine Stern & Partners Sausalito, Calif.
1. Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty"
Normal-sized women pose in their skivvies to promote a healthy body image.
Agency: O&M/Chicago ECD: Joe Sciarrotta CD: Purvin Darbary GCD: Maureen Shirreff CD/CWs: Christine Montaquilla, Rebecca Rush AD: Gabe Usadel Art Buyer: Meghan DeBruler Photographer: Rankin
JB: I must admit, the first time I saw this stuff, I said to myself, "Firming lotion? Obviously it doesn't work." But that was before my daughter arrived. Having a daughter has changed me in many ways. Like Chris Rock, I ultimately just want to keep her off the pole. So anything that presents women in a positive, truthful way that doesn't cater to some man-made ideal is cool by me. But what the hell do I know about feminine products? So I asked 10 women of varying ages at the agency what they thought. Nine loved it and said it was spot-on for women. The tenth thought it was a bit contradictory using a firming lotion to celebrate curves and natural beauty. (3 stars)
SO: The "real women, real bodies' approach is not new, but the honesty that we expect from these kinds of executions is undermined by the over-the-top mugging at the camera. If Dove is about "real," why are these women trying to be something they're not? If the poses are meant to be ironic, what's the point? The most powerful presence in these ads is the unseen photographer saying , "Throw your shoulders back, now stick out your chest, lick your lips. Beautiful, baby." (2 stars)
2. Time Magazine "Know Why"
A piece of public art grows over time, until the Time border is placed in a corner.
Agency: Fallon/N.Y. ECD: Ari Merkin CW: Marty Senn AD: Molly Sheahan Artist: Cope 2
JB: A really nice idea, and what makes it is the consecutive unveiling of the concept. I think it could have been more of a misdirect if it could have been done on the side of a building somewhere, instead of on a pre-existing ad space. But it still works, and I imagine it looked like some inventive graffiti artist/mountain climber rappelled himself down the side of the building and got to the board before the media company could. Time has a problem we'd all love to have-a fantastic campaign that has been around long enough to need a bit of a refresher. This feels like that to me. We had Cope design a shoe for our client Converse last year. Somewhere along the line he put the 2 after his name. He was simply Cope when we worked with him. Maybe he'll be Cope 3 when one of the soda companies nabs him next year. (2 stars)
SO: Fallon adds welcome substance to this one-of-a-kind billboard by actually using a real graffiti artist to create the art that lies at the heart of the message. Having the billboard evolve over time is a classic engagement technique, and the reveal of Time's sponsorship and the use of "Is graffiti really art?" to promote the "Know Why" positioning feels honest and satisfying, if not remarkable. As always, I love the iconic Time cover, devoid of content, superimposed on the visual. (3 stars)
3. Nestea Ice
A website that really pours on the silliness.
Agency: Juxt Interactive CD: Todd Purgason AD: Jorge Calleja Lead Developer: Christian Ayotte Developers/Designers: Kenn Macy, Justin Bernard, Eric Lim Programmers: Christian Ayotte, Erik Bianchi, Victor Allen Writer: Joe Shepter Video Directors: Todd Purgason, Ahmi Manson Audio: Locsmif, 4ize, Kenn Macy, Christian Ayotte, Jorge Calleja, Todd Purgason Project Manager: Kristen Myers
JB: I really like the aesthetic of this site. The design is very good, the animations are tight and it's extremely well produced. But conceptually, I don't really get what they're trying to say about their brand. I think the functionalities are weak, and the content isn't really that engaging. In the end, I think you have a neat-looking site with a few cool user experiences and no real engaging content to get them to come back. (2 stars)
SO: This Nestea website borrows unashamedly from Terry Gilliam's Monty Python animations, SNL's Mr. Bill videos, Yellow Submarine, and The Gods Must Be Crazy, among other sources, to create a loony, British-accented alternate universe promoting its new absurdly cold ice tea. The site piles on the silliness until you reluctantly succumb to the dubious charms of its low-tech graphics, bad jokes, penguins, medicine man and goosing elephants. It risks being bad to be good and almost succeeds. (3 stars)
4. Fruit of the Loom "Country Video"
The Fruit Guys sing a spot-on country song about loving your underwear.
Agency: The Richards Group/Dallas Creative Group Head/CW: Ron Henderson Creative Group Head/AD: Dennis Walker Director: Wayne Holloway/Uncle Editor: Jack Waldrip/Charlieuniformtango Music Company: Wojahn Brothers Music
JB: I guess it's underwear, so what are you gonna do? I just find it sort of well-trodden ground. It's silly, and maybe 10 years ago it would have really stood out. But now it just feels familiar to me. I know the underwear guys have been around a long time, but I'm just so sick of guys in costumes. I couldn't get around that. (one star)
SO: This faux country anthem is so pitch perfect that you have to see the spot several times to realize how subversive the lyrics really are. Fortunately, it rewards multiple viewings with discoveries such as, "Even though his hamster dies, he finds comfort, this I swear," and "Comfort ain't just found in teddy bears." The melody also gets its hooks into you, and the moment about a third of the way in, when you realize who's actually singing, is priceless. (four stars)