The Antiques Roadshow might as well be a made-for-advertising concept; each appraisal is like a short infomercial for the product being assessed. Apparently we're not the only ones who noticed the show's affinity for product placement. BBDO began the trend with the spot for Celebrations candy playing on a Good Gift/Bad Gift theme; most recently, Sprint PCS has put its phone plan on the appraisal block.
BBDO's Antiques spoof
It's not often that the marketing for a product from Minnesota is too racy for New York City, but the Lamaur hair care company has devised a play on words that isn't sitting well with Manhattan's very own Grinch, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and his lieutenants. The tagline for the company's newest line of styling products, called b in10se (i.e., Be Intense), for the young and hip is "We give good head," which we find moderately funny, even if it isn't referring to any purported hair and skin benefits. Though the ads can be found in various teen zines, New York's public transportation authority, in a dramatic attack of good taste, has decided not to run them.
The recent state of the economy means that there are some freelance copywriters with time on their hands right now. For L.A. freelancer Andy Stern, that meant more time for his most important client: himself. Stern decided to buy a little ad space at the Belding awards, someplace that the bigwigs attending the event would be able to see while getting drinks and schmoozing. That's why he decided to post his little ad on the back of his own jacket. "One creative director came up to me and said, `I'm sold," he reports. "Another joked that it was the best direct response piece he'd ever seen, and it wasn't bad outdoor, either," laughs Stern. Stern, formerly with Lord, Dentsu & Partners, has most recently applied his skills to print work for Jack-in-the-Box, via Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Company. He hopes for more work, perhaps as the result of his stunt. "I'm planning to enter the jacket ad in next year's Beldings, in the self-promotion category," he says.
Babb in Toyland
Paul Babb wants to regress. After six years as senior partner and executive producer with O&M/L.A., he has left the agency to helm the new live-action division of Class-Key Chew-Po, the creators of Rugrats. So why would he leave the comforts of agency executive power for the Ka-Chew Saturday-morning-cartoon sensibility? "I wanted to go back to my first love: production," he says. "I wanted to get back to working with the visuals. At an agency, we're limited by the accounts that we have. Now, each day will be a different challenge; one day we'll be trying to get kids hanging upside-down on a roller coaster, and the next we'll get them playing coochie-coo with a bug."
Babb has had an illustrious career as a producer for FCB and as head of Paramount Images, the short-lived commercials division of Paramount Pictures; he has also been in touch with his inner child as director of advertising for Mattel. The new production company has not officially signed any directors as of yet, but negotiations are underway, he assures us.
Do You Copy?
Attention, copywriters: given your proclivity for Prada shoes and pricey dinners, you could probably use a little extra cash. Copywriterfinder.com wants you for its catalog of freelancers. The site is recruiting CW resumes and will organize them by region and specialty. We bet the "Instrumentation and Control Systems" specialists are an especially fun bunch.
Birth of a Brainchild
For those of you who thought San Francisco's ad market couldn't take another contender, meet Jef Loeb. The founder of the award-winning S.F. shop Katsin/Loeb has struck out on his own to form Brainchild Creative, a "virtual agency" with one full-time employee (that would be Loeb) and other creatives he hires for a day rate. Brainchild is not exactly a freelance team, nor is it an agency, explains Loeb: "The analogy we're working on is the film production model. Production companies are all about the project; agencies are all about the relationship." Loeb professes to be tired of agency culture, even the one that he created. "Agencies focus more and more on the raw economics, which forces you away from creative standards," he asserts. "[At Katsin Loeb] we had a great 12-year run, but we came to a juncture where we had to decide, did we want to continue to be creatively focused or to broaden the portfolio services? I wanted to spend every last dime on creative talent and Daniel [Katsin] took the other position. I figured 12 years was long enough anyway." Loeb does not seem to be nervous about his prospects. "My office is out of my garage, which worked really well for Steve Jobs," he jokes.
Survey Says . . .
Looking for your boss? Check the conference room. The
Creative Group, a Santa Monica staffing agency, reports that managers attend an average of 11 meetings per week. That's a lot of wilting fruit plates and tepid coffee.
Good Laughing Gas Mileage
The only thing a phone call to most car rental companies will get you is a an empty wallet and a whole lotta Muzak. Unless the company you call has Cliff Freeman & Partners as an ad agency. Getting put on hold at Budget Rent-a-Car is like having your own personal standup comedian wait in line with you; as you hold for your estimate, a voice announces that Budget customers have some words for you. Just as you've resigned yourself to perky testimonials, a routine more akin to Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" begins. The gems include, "When your feet smell really bad, do you wish your legs were longer?"' Grant Holland, one of the writers on the project, explains, "They just wanted something different for people who get stuck on hold, and something that would keep them on hold. It's more interesting than elevator music."
If you happened to be walking through Union_Square on May 17, you may have been accosted by someone besides the United Homeless Organization or the Live Nude Girls flyer guys. Wieden & Kennedy and the School of Visual Arts took the "Make Something" campaign to the streets, setting up a tower-like structure in Union Square Park to announce the sculpting extravaganza, and inviting passersby to use their creative powers on some clay. The CW_on the account, Ilicia Winokur, helped to distribute some of the 5,000 pounds of clay. "We didn't want to talk about art, we wanted to create art," she explains of the event's impetus. "At first we were just handing out the clay in bags, but then people started going up to the table to request it and adding to the tower. Some people would spend an hour and a half working on something," she marvels.
The 42nd Annual Clio Awards Show was held in Miami Beach on May 25. Advertiser of the Year was Guinness; director Tony Kaye was honored with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Grand Clio for television went to Brazilian agency W/Brasil, Sao Paulo, for its media promotion for client Revista E'Poca. Gold Clios included Goodby, Silverstein &_Partners' "What Are You Doing?" spot for Budweiser, Leo Burnett/London's popular John West "Bear" spot, and Ammirati Puris/Toronto's "Big Finish" for Eaton's department stores.
The Grand Clio in print went to a British campaign for Volkswagen Beetle with the tagline, "Fun on the outside, serious on the inside." Golds for print included BBDO/Canada for the Jeep "Stop Sign" ad, a Spanish campaign for Doctors without Borders from McCann-Erickson/ Madrid, and a French print and poster campaign for clothing retailer Kookai from CLM/BBDO.
For a complete listing, visit clioawards.com.
The Kelly Awards for magazine advertising were presented in Beverly Hills on May 22.
The Grand Prize of $100,000 went to the Volkswagen Beetle "Hey, There's a. . ." campaign from Arnold Worldwide.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won the Best Design & Graphics category with its Nike women's shoes campaign about making time for exercise.
With the words, "The song isn't `Born to be Status Quo'," Carmichael Lynch won the Grand Prize for Best Headline & Copy on behalf of Harley-Davidson.
For more information, go to kellyawards.com.
The Advertising Age Best Awards were announced on May 28. The overall award went to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for "Neighborhood," the story of a community in conflict over DSL space, for Pacific Bell.
In the Apparel category, the winner was Nike's "WNFL" spot, from Wieden & Kennedy. Leo Burnett won in the Grocery category with a spot cited for scorn by former CEO Rick Fizdale - the Rice Krispies Treats prosthetic limb commercial, "Commute."
The PSA favorite, an awards show darling, was the American Legacy Foundation's anti-smoking "Body Bags" spot from the Alliance, the team formed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Arnold Worldwide.
A complete listing can be found in the May 28 issue of Advertising Age.