Guest Review

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Chris Becker

Chief Creative Officer

FCB/New York

Ty Montague

Creative Director

Wieden + Kennedy/New York

1. Peugeot "The Toys"

A streetscape filled with life-sized toy vehicles is shocked by the new car on the block.

Agency: BETC Euro RSCG/Paris CD: Remi Babinet CW: Remi Noel AD: Eric Holden Agency Producers: Simon Chater-Robinson, David Green, Carole Casolari Director: Philippe Andre /Wanda Composers: D. Labeau, G. Briere Song: "Can You Trust Me?"

CB: The spot is great. Simple, loud and big. When you're done messing around, get yourself a Peugeot. It's a no-nonsense, perfectly functional machine. Anything else is a toy. I love how I, the driver of the Peugeot, am the recipient of the envious glances from those who've settled for a toy. Music set a perfect pace and added the necessary attitude. "Playtime is over" is a great line and concept. Peugeot stands for serious functionality. I don't know if it's true or not, but I'm willing to listen. If Saturn hadn't been to this neighborhood first (the world in lyrical terms observed through the eyes of the car owner), I would have given the spot 4 stars. (3 stars)

TM: This spot gets off to a really promising start. We tour a real city populated by real people, all driving toy cars. It's well shot, nice eye for detail. I'm intrigued. And then we get to the point of the whole thing: the only truly serious car in the world is a . . . Peugeot? Hmmm. Porsche, maybe. Or Hummer. But Peugeot? Maybe you had to be from Europe? (2 stars)

2. NBA "Payton"

The L.A. Lakers' Gary Payton courts the object of his desire-the NBA championship trophy-by throwing pebbles against its bedroom window while professing his devotion.

Agency: Mother/N.Y., NBA Entertainment Director: NBA Entertainment

CB: The campaign is about passion, but it seems dispassionate in its conception and execution. It captures none of the excitement or attitude of the NBA. All the players in the spots I've seen sound like they're reading somebody else's script. Network promos capture the NBA brand essence better than this campaign. The whole thing feels wrong, and perhaps the worst sin: the comedy was bland. The crickets chirping in the suburban post-dusk are the perfect sound effect for the punchline. (One star)

TM: Everybody has been waiting to see the first work from Mother/N.Y. The wait is over. Or is it? The shared credits on this spot are confusing. It looks like this was some kind of co-production, with all the attendant complications, and if that's the case, it's not really fair to judge. (2 stars)

3. Sprint "Traps"

Business leaders learn that IT data security is important, when a demonstration with bear traps goes horribly wrong.

Agency: Publicis & Hal Riney/S.F. CDs: Jae Goodman, Mike Mazza CWs: Brian Ahern, Andre Ricciardi ADs: Lee Einhorn, Richard North Agency Producer: Cathleen Kisich Director: Baker Smith/Harvest

CB: I appreciate the attempt by Sprint to tie their business-targeted spots somewhat to the tone of the consumer campaign. But this one is a mess. I'm no IT guy, but the metaphor is confusing, and it isn't helped by a setup that's rushed in order to leave time for the hijinks; when the gag comes, it's not funny. It's just painful. (One star)

TM: Let me begin by saying I'm not a huge fan of metaphorical advertising. But explaining things like Sprint Data Services without resorting to metaphors is just plain tough. I like the agency that did this spot. I like the people who did this spot. I like the client that did this spot (I'm a customer). I did not like this spot. (One star)

4. Cotton "Floating Cotton"

Women can't help obsessing about cotton clothes, even when fighting over a cab, issuing a speeding ticket or breaking up with a boyfriend.

Agency: DDB/N.Y. CCO: Lee Garfinkel ECD: John Russo ACD: Judy Robinson CWs: Lee Garfinkel, John Russo, Pat Carella Agency Producers: Bob Nelson, Teri Altman Director: Gerard de Thame/HSI

CB: The insight that women have clothes on their mind may be stereotyping, but heck, it's true (at least with the women I hang out with). To claim that cotton has something to do with their obsession is pretty bold, but I buy it. I like the elegant branding device that takes us from one bit to the next, I just wish the bits were sharper. I give this spot one star for the bits and performances and three for the insight and branding device. That averages to two stars. (two stars)

TM: Instead of talking about this spot, I'd rather talk about Lee Garfinkel's guest review in last month's issue where he found a way to say only positive things about the work. Class act, that guy. (four stars)

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