Isn't the film fest category wonderful? It's almost as good as videogames. WongDoody comes through for the recent Seattle International Film Festival with a "New. Different. Things" campaign that mixes and mismatches genres in cinema quickies. So we get setups like gay samurais about to be struck by a comet, and a chainsaw-wielding maniac doing dance moves with a Merchant Ivory-type chick under a disco ball. Great slot machine graphics in the tagline, too.
Client: Seattle International Film Festival Agency: WongDoody/Seattle CD: Tracy Wong CW: Jonathon Ozer AD: Pam Fujimoto Agency Producer: Dax Estorninos Director: Jack & Carol Hodge/Alarming Pictures Editor: Kelly Vander Linda Effects: Modern Digital
Hot Sauce to Die For
Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce gets a morbidly garish graphic treatment sans the usual product shot, compliments of tiny Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., shop Honest Mechanics. Other ads feature the bottle slitting its throat and shooting itself in the head. "In a category that has been bastardized by every gut-burning pun in the book, we insisted that this campaign wouldn't fall into that wasteland," says writer Matt McNelis, who's freelancing on this gig, the main Honest Mechanic being Bil Dicks. "We chose a simple visual direction because, quite simply, we didn't want to look like all the other Technicolor puke in this category," he haughtily adds. "Our client thought the use of red silhouettes was brilliant because it was a deep and meaningful interpretation of heat and fire. We just thought it was cool because it looked like blood. When you eat this sauce, what you're really doing is inflicting a prison-style beating on your mouth. Some people have asked us what made the bottles kill themselves. We just tell them it's because Friends is off the air."
Client: Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce Agency: Honest Mechanics CDs: Bil Dicks, Matt McNelis AD/Illustrator: Bil Dicks CW: Matt McNelis
Dress For Regress
The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., takes an ad for a creative recruiter as a wry opportunity for some stylistic industry navel gazing. But how much truth lies behind these semi-stereotypes? Is Martin really the sartorial sore thumb of these shops? "If the images are taken too literally, the humor is lost," says AD Cody Spinadel. "We crafted them based on perception among creatives around the country, but location has a lot to do with it-Martin is not in L.A. or San Francisco. When our creative folks are in L.A. or New York or at an art gallery opening in Shockoe Bottom here in Richmond, you would never be able to pick them out of a crowd as 'Martin' people,' " says Spinadel. "But whether we like it or not, there probably is a perception out there that we're not trendy." (Shockoe Bottom? Sounds pretty hip to us. Could be a porn star.) "Folks see us as eager and buttoned-up and responsible. But it's really just for fun. However, [CCO] Mike Hughes was wearing a blue button-down shirt the day we first showed him this ad." The model, by the way, is Martin senior AD Mark Schruntek. Dude's a chameleon.
Client: Dick Gerdes Recruiting Agency: The Martin Agency CW: Joe Alexander AD: Cody Spinadel Photographer: Dwight Loew Print Producer: Jenny Schoenherr Art Producer: Julie Ahlman Digital Imaging: Lot 44 Stylist: Terral Bolton
Previous print for a new Crunch Fitness Superclub in Chicago, via DiMassimo Brand Advertising, proffered workout equipment as fresh and willing partners, with headlines like "Virgin" and "Pop my cherry." Now, tiny New York agency Garlic takes the concept to regional TV, with a cheap but effective spot that parodies late-night sexline ads with exquisite fidelity. Candlelight, rose petals, hot tubs, pillow fights, comfy couches and the requisite bimbo-esque VO, along with the loitering onscreen phone number, make for a delightful departure from the usual fitness scenarios in this category.
Client: Crunch Fitness Agency: Garlic CD/CW: Brian Wheeler AD: James Corbett Director: Mike Klar/Impulse Media Productions Editor: Matt Meyer/Impulse Media Productions
CAMPAIGN Sex and the City on TBS
Yeah, the brand spankin' new TBS version of Sex and the City may be somewhat sanitized for commercial consumption, but the advertising, from Cliff Freeman & Partners, still plays up the key ingredient of the title-no, it's not the city. On the TV side, two spots feature remarkably close junior versions of the show's protagonists making girl talk in the school cafeteria. The time machine aspect is uncanny; was it tough finding such good matches? "Casting was, as you might imagine, pretty extensive," recalls director Rick Lemoine. "We ended up with one girl from New York, one from Chicago and two from Los Angeles. It was particularly tricky because a mere physical match wasn't enough-the actors also had to exude the mannerisms of their later selves. It proved to be an elusive combo. In fact, the girl who plays the Sarah Jessica Parker role was the only one out of the hundreds we saw who I thought could do it. In addition to familiarizing them with their roles-some of them didn't watch the show, we're talking about 15-year-old girls-we had to deal with their physical appearance. We wanted to strike the right balance between the wardrobe and styling we all recognize as unique to each character, and make sure they still felt believable in what was supposed to be 1981. But it was great fun, and the girls were all terrific, smart and funny."
On the print side, a saucy "Multiple Choice" campaign, seen on phone kiosks, bus shelters and Times Square billboards, is also getting a run in national magazines. There were limits to how far these ads could go, however. ACD Dawn McCarthy notes that a "funky spunk" execution, one of Samantha's pet phrases, was shot down. Meanwhile, guerrilla tear-off flyer work features lines like, "Women seeking women. Four fabulous Manhattan girls looking for girlfriends to share highly embarrassing relationship stories with. And, fashion tips." An equally cheeky sticker campaign "pinpoints specific places that characters in the show had sex, like gym showers, men's bathrooms and backseats of taxi cabs," explains McCarthy. "Each sticker has an episode number in which that particular sexual rendezvous occurred. A big selling point running through the whole campaign is the 'From the first episode to the last' line. TBS has a unique offering in that they're running all six seasons in order, and we think all the work really hammers that idea into the potential viewer's head." Did Samantha really have sex with Yogi Berra? If so, we guess when she came to the fork in the road, she took it.
Client: TBS Agency: Cliff Freeman & Partners CD: Dan Morales ACD/AD: Dawn McCarthy ACD/CW: Laura Fegley AD: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts (flyers) CW: John Gargiulo (flyers) Agency Producer: Ed Zazzera Director: Rick Lemoineemail@example.com Editor: Gordon Carey/Filmcore
Two Paws Up
Kids say the darndest things, especially in this jewel of an SPCA spot, which is an absolute plum of a reel addition for all concerned. Themed "Pets are for life"-a highly disputable notion, incidentally, but never mind right that now-kids address the camera with lines like, "I'm cute now, but someday I'll grow up and you'll get tired or me"; "If I wet the bed, will you rub my nose in it?"; and "If you won't play with me, who will?" The presentation leads us to think it's an anti-child abuse spot, but titles finally steer it to pets, which remain quite unseen. Beautifully shot and edited, with Oscar-caliber line readings throughout.
Client: SPCA (Canada) Agency: Porkpie Hat, Halifax CD: Michael Scher CW: Michael Aronson Director: John Mastromonaco/Cenex Editor: Scott Blackett/Third Floor Editing Composer: David Krystal/Krystal Music
Torture Without Limits
Hey, move over FedEx and IBM, there's a new biz-to-biz passion playa on the block: Something called Siebel (and get this exciting tag: "Sales. Marketing. Service"). But the metaphorical notions of unprepared suits writhing at a meeting-presented as scenarios in which they're lowered into the pits of hell, drowning in the ocean and being dragged by wild horses-are great fun. Let's hope Siebel has plenty of money to throw at this idea, and this spot kicks off a series.
Client: Siebel Agency: Venables Bell & Partners/S.F. CDs: Greg Bell, Paul Venables CW: Aaron Stern AD: Tavia Holmes Agency Producer: Vince Genovese Director: Jake Scott/RSA USA Editor: Adam Pertofsky/Rock Paper Scissors Effects: A52/L.A. Music: Elias Arts
client of the month
The Fatty Golf Open (www.fattygolf.com) is a tournament for golfers 250 lbs. and over. No, really. The cheapo TV campaign features a fatso who seemingly yells "Fore!" but is actually yelling "Four"-he's ordering hot dogs-along with an overloaded-cart joke and a guy so supersized he can't bend over to retrieve his ball from the hole. "Among other things, prizes are awarded for heaviest foursome, highest blood pressure and ball hit closest to the buffet table," explains writer Sam Mazur, who isn't joking. It's all in support of children's charities, "but it's mostly a celebration of golf and food- not necessarily in that order."
Client: Fatty Golf Open Agency: Tucker Hampel Stefanides & Partners CD: Mike Rovner CW: Sam Mazur Agency Producer: Andrew Lippman Director: Tom Jones/Blip Editor: Bruce Ashkinos/Slingshot Music: Dave Wittman/Elias Arts
Ah, good copywriting. These modest ads for a magic store, featuring ultracheap stock from www.istockphoto.com, are sheer, well, magic. They were created by a Seattle freelance operation called Spearhead, started by Mike Roe. "Adults can be pretty cynical about magic shops," says Roe's collaborator, Jason Wood, whose day job is at Seattle's Hydrogen Advertising. "Most of us think it's a hobby for the pale and socially inept. Not true. But where's the fun in trying to prove that with logic? We found 'nonbelievers beware' was a better message." In the meantime-poof!-Roe has taken his talents to BBDO/Chicago.
Client: Seattle Magic Agency: Spearhead CDs: Mike Roe,Jason Wood CW: Mike Roe AD: Jason Wood
How does ESPN love its fans? Let them count the ways
In honor of its 25th anniversary, ESPN dubbed the summer of 2004 the "Season of the Fan," enlisting New York-based one-stop shop The Concept Farm to execute a campaign that combines grass roots marketing with traditional advertising and reality programming. Starting as a road tour, five crews traveled to sporting events across the country to film and photograph fans, and turned the compiled images into advertising valentines. While the television spots commemorate the art of tailgating and face-painting to sports anthems like "We Are the Champions" and Gary Glitter's "Hey" song, the dynamic print component samples from the 11,000 fan pictures submitted via ESPN's website as well as from The Concept Farm's road teams to make mosaics of sports stars, including the Williams sisters, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. As an extra flourish on the love note, fans who appear in the ads are notified as to where their ads will appear. Hey, it's better than wilted flowers.
Client: ESPN Agency: The Concept Farm/N.Y. CDs: Gregg Wasiak, John Gellos, Griffin Stenger, Will Morrison CWs (Print): Gregg Wasiak, John Gellos, Robert Waldner ADs (Print): John Gellos, Derek Montgomery Design/Graphics: James IovenoCW (TV): Gregg Wasiak AD (TV): John Gellos Director/DP: The Farmers/The Production Farm Editors: John Laskas, Michael Siedlecki, Cara Kramer Postproduction: The Post Farm Music/Sound: Penny Lane Studios/N.Y. Graphics: Brand New School
Thumbs-up for Grolsch
For the first time ever, Grolsch, the Dutch beer with that cool corklike thingie built into every bottle, has a U.S. TV campaign, called "Unplug." The debut :30 is based on a simple but effective visual conceit: two guys sit by a window in a bar, enjoying their Grolsches, while they watch the workaday stiffs in the street whiz around like insect automatons, in superfast motion. One poor sap from the crowd is suddenly plastered against the window, looking in at the chillin' drinkers like he was trapped in his own personal hell. Nice. But we'd just love to know how the beer drinkers open what Grolsch calls its "unique Swingtop bottle" so effortlessly with one thumb.
Client: United States Beverage/Grolsch Agency: The Observatory CDs: John Stingley, Mike Fazende CW: John Stingley AD: Mike Fazende Director: Wayne Gibson/Martin Jones Films Editor: Todd Hervey/Fuel Effects: Bob Thagard Music: Peter Sadlo/Kevin Teasley Sound Design: Rainmaker
saving precious rations
In another gorgeous piece of European pastiche, Belgian brew Stella Artois takes us back to the honorable battles of World War I, when commoners in the town pub would never betray a downed pilot to the enemy. Of course, unless the gaunt bartender can't bear to waste a drop of precious Stella. Forced to choose, he picks the pint. War is hell. And Stella is "Reassuringly Expensive."
Client: Stella Artois Agency: Lowe/London Creatives: Vince Squibb, Jason Lawes, Sam Cartmel Agency Producer: Charles Crisp Director: Ivan Zacharias/Stink Effects: Glassworks/London