Every dog has its day, but the sun has set, at least for a while, on Magic, the fetching pooch who has appeared in Old Navy advertising since its first TV commercials in 1997. Also a no-show in new Old Navy spots is former fashion writer Carrie Donovan. The ads for The Gap's discount chain instead feature Lisa Ling, co-host of ABC's daytime talk show "The View." The Gap creates its advertising in-house and tapped music video director Michael Ralston, who did The Gap's "Khakis Swing" spot, for the latest Old Navy work. Old Navy execs say Magic and Carrie will return in the future.
B&W gets witty in tobacco ditty
Brown & Williamson is sending more good vibrations over the phone lines. The cigmaker, which earlier offered people calling a phone number on Lucky Strike Filter packs a message saying "we are in love with you," now has a jingle on the line (800-578-7453): "Oh the tobacco plant is a lovely plant with leaves so broad and green. But you shouldn't think about the tobacco plant if you are still a teen. Because tobacco is a big person's plant and that is the way it should be. So if you're under 21, go and climb a tree. . . ." and so on. The song ends with a woman saying, "If you think that really sucks, we agree. Write a better song and we will use it." Spokesman Mark Smith says the tune from Red7e, Louisville, Ky., is an effort to have a little fun. He explains: "It's sophomoric, stupid and a way to kind of poke fun at ourselves."
Burnett tech unit to create a buzz
Leo Burnett Co. technology arm Leo Burnett Technology Group hopes to leverage the mother ship's reputation for brand-building prowess in a print campaign launching in two weeks. The ads suggest the San Francisco regional unit of TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group builds strong brands, something tech clients should consider amid the dot-com hype. "We're a brand agency that understands technology," says CD Bryan Birch. "We're not trying to be a dot-com agency; we want a balanced portfolio in technology." The office opened last August and already has some $80 million in billings.
Snyder game plan . . . beer fear
Dan Snyder's business path has twisted through direct marketing, advertising and pro sports. Next stop: retailing. After selling his Snyder Communications to Havas Advertising for $2.1 billion, Snyder turned his attention to his own latest purchase, the Washington Redskins. Now, insiders say, he intends to launch a line of Redskin-branded retail outlets. . . . At a panel discussion last week about beer advertising in Chicago -- home of agencies for Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Corona, Michelob and Miller Genuine Draft -- panelist Bob Merlotti, group CD for MGD at J. Walter Thompson USA, had drained the last of his Genuine Draft. Kevin Lynch, a creative at Arian, Lowe & Travis working on Wisconsin's Point beer (distributed by Barton Beers, western U.S. distributor of Corona), passed his friend a Corona. When Merlotti saw what brand it was, he recoiled, waved away the offending beverage and sat drinkless until he was handed a Genuine Draft. The other admen panelists also stayed true blue to their brews -- only drinking the brands their agencies promoted.M
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