Senior VP-Group Creative Director DDB/Chicago
Executive Creative Director JWT/New York
1. KFC "For You"; "Eatin' Chicken"
New spots touting the alleged low-fat, low-carb benefits of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Agency: FCB/Chicago ECD: Tom O'Keefe GCD: Kurt Fries CDs: Mary Beth Reed, Bob Jensen CW: Bill Lindsey AD: Chris Kloet Agency Producers: Ivo Knezevic, Tony Wallace Director: Jonathan David/MJZ
JI: The only thing that really makes this forgettable campaign worth reviewing is the unbelievable platform it's built on-fried chicken is really healthy eating. That's a legal/ethical stance that would make Johnny Cochran squirm. When an advertiser sinks to these depths, the consumer's takeaway isn't, "I didn't know that." It's "KFC must really be desperate. They're even encouraging me to take the secret-spice-laden skin off." Ads like this don't just diminish their creators or their brand, they diminish our entire industry. A disgrace. No Stars.
JW: Hey, no one flips a bucket of chicken like KFC. Just look at the shot where the bucket bounces into frame. Then one (extra crispy?) breast bounces up and back into the bucket. This is first-class entertainment, people. When was the last time you saw a piece of chicken do a Triple Sow Cow? Beautiful, baby, beautiful. And what a type treatment! No one can capture 11 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein like these guys. KFC, how do you do it? I have a feeling KFC wanted a little larger type, right? Just the right size to keep a $200 million client happy. Well, at least you got some nice casting in, thanks to Jonathan David. 1 Star
2. adidas "Lessons"
The NBA's Tracy McGrady touts 21 ways he can school a young player on the court.
Agency: TBWAChiatDayS.F. CD: Chuck McBride CW: Scott Duchon AD: Brian Lee Hughes Agency Producer: Jennifer Golub Director: Jake Scott/RSA
JI: The athletic-shoe category must be really difficult. Nike so dominates the tone and tenor that competitors' ads often seem like B copies. This one certainly does. The production value is fine, it looks like a Nike spot. The voiceover narration sounds like a Nike spot. And the structure, "Athlete talks about his passion/game and ends with zinger," is vintage Nike. In the end, it really isn't a Nike spot, though. It's just an imitator. 2 Stars
JW: Darkly shot. Cool electronica/hip-hop soundtrack. Insane slo-mo shots of a superstar dancing around the floor like a crazed madman. I'm not talking about Matrix Revolution, I'm talking about Tracey McGrady cutting it up. Very cool. Not a lot of copy, but just enough to take it to those younguns Lebron and Carmelo. And as a 5-6 Jew, I can really identify with Tracy's plight. Cool spot. Cool director. Well done. 3 Stars
3. Nike "I Am Not Michael Jordan-Jeter"
With VFX sleight of hand, Michael Jordan is resurrected in the form of Derek Jeter.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy/N.Y. CDs: Ty Montague, Todd Waterbury ACD/CW: Charles Hall CW: Andy Carrigan AD: Adrian Hilton Agency Producer: Brian Cooper Director: Joe Pytka/Pytka
JI: Maybe it's just me, but Michael Jordan in ads this year is about as interesting as Michael Jordan in a Wizards uniform last year-not very. True, no modern athlete is as charismatic as Jordan in his prime, but this campaign strikes me as a blowout sale at the Minor Celebrities Super Store. Even the look and tone feels dated, very early '90s. Like I said, this category must be difficult. Even Nike is starting to phone it in. 2 Stars
JW: Pytka. He's big. He's scary. I'm not. Did I mention I love this spot? 3 Stars
4. AT&T "Couple"
Text messaging comes to life as a fighting couple makes amends.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners CD/CW: Harry Cocciolo AD: Sean Farrell Agency Producers: Barbro Eddy, Stacy McClain Director: Scott Hicks/Independent Music: Elias
JI: Any cell phone ad that doesn't use Carrot Top, Alf or Terry Bradshaw is already a contender for Best of Category. This ad doesn't disappoint. It's a nice idea, beautifully crafted, a very effective product demo. It even breaks new ground by being courageous enough to depict a multiracial couple in a very real way (not to take anything away from the Alf/Mike Piazza witfest). I should probably give it four stars but Goodby probably should've given me more than a Bronze Lion. 3 Stars
JW: There's a line in Almost Famous where Jason Lee asks, "Is it really that hard to make us look cool?" Well if you're a giant monolithic phone company, guess what, it is. Verizon tried it. Catherine Zeta Jones? I guess she took that gig before Chicago. Alyssa Milano. Even Carrot Top. Maybe he'll be in Chicago 2. Anyway, along comes this campaign from Goodby and guess what? AT&T is cool. Very cool. Before I even knew who did this spot, I loved it. It's smart, relevant, and the message hits you straight between the eyes. If you have something really important to say then say it on AT&T Wireless. The casting is great, the performances and the longing glances at old photos and other happy couples perfect. And I love the simple use of one electric guitar that cuts through more than a 30-piece orchestra ever could. Hats off to Elias. But mostly, a big Laurel and Hardy handshake goes out to the creative guys who came up with this idea. You've made this big honkin' gazillion dollar company as cool as VW, and that's very hard to do. 4 Stars