One Show salutes knights of the realm

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The One Show bills itself as "the Oscars of the advertising industry," and this year it took another page from the Oscar playbook: THE BIG PRODUCTION. The theme, we surmise, was the quest for advertising's Holy Grail, which resulted in royal banners for agencies (the best was TBWA's featuring the face of Grady from "Sanford and Son"), musical numbers inspired by "Spamalot" and a smattering of monks. (At some point in the evening, someone encouraged those gathered to continue on their "crusades" for good creative, automatically placing us all on Osama bin Laden's "to do" list.)

Despite the theatrics, there are some differences between the Oscars and the One Show. One is that winners had to be reminded to pick up their awards. A persnickety character named Categoric, Duke of Move-It-Along hit the stage at one point and exclaimed, "When you get an award, come get it!"

Also absent was Hollywood's collective sense of self-love. While we have no doubt that ad creatives aren't lacking in individual ego, we overheard plenty of complaints of the show going too long, caught snippets of Statler and Waldorf-type critiques (that's a Muppets reference, people) from the balcony and caught the following comment from a fellow told he couldn't bring his drink into the auditorium: "But how am I supposed to cope?"

But cope they all did. To be quite honest, Adages enjoys sitting down and seeing and hearing the best work of the year in one sitting. But it occurred to our more mischievous side that it would be fun to run the Unilever "Client of the Year" reel at AWNY's Good, Bad and Ugly award show. Sure, the Lynx and Axe work was impressive, but we wondered two things: 1) How would a reel filled with nothing but T&A and sexual innuendo go over with AWNY?; and 2) Where the heck was Unilever's Dove "Real Beauty" campaign?

The "Best in Show" pencil went to Abbot Mead Vickers/ BBDO, London, for the "Noitulove" Guinness spot. But not everyone was overjoyed.

After the show, we overheard Yahoo's Jerry Shereshewsky picking the mind of McKinney Executive Creative Director and One Club President David Baldwin. "When are the guys without the biggest budget going to win one of these things?" Shereshewsky asked. Among other comments from the Ambassador: "We're still doing 1950s advertising" and "No wonder clients are bidding us against each other."

Baldwin, always the diplomat and a firm believer in being positive, said only "No comment."

Time for a bathroom break

In the great long-playing corporate battle between Microsoft and Google, chalk this one up for Google.

At its annual press event this week, Google showed the media its sophisticated side. Instead of candies on meeting-room tables, each place was set with small white dishes with a sun-like arrangement of an apricot center with almonds rays. Coffee was offered in French presses, not the usual industrial-size dispenser.

But what trumped Microsoft for Euro chic was its women's restrooms. Although the room looked utilitarian from all appearances, inside the stall was an individual bidet, with settings for front and rear, water pressure, oscillation, and, of course, air dry.

And, yes, we are easily impressed.

A hard-rocking staff

When some publications throw a party or host a fundraiser, they hire a band to entertain staffers and guests. When Guitar World throws a party, its staffers provide the bands. Adages dropped in on New York concert hot-spot The Knitting Factory to check out Guitar World's benefit concert to support the participation of Future U.S. (Guitar World's publisher) in the annual AIDS LifeCycle bicycle rides. The big draw for the evening was an acoustic set by Matthew Caws and Ira Elliot of Nada Surf. But the real fun was watching the Future U.S. bands. All 12 of them. Production Coordinator Hans Hunt on bass and vocals for Dirty Dick. Guitar One Senior Editor Mac Randall on guitar for the Grand Old Party. Perhaps the edgiest was Anna Blumenthal, a (we assume) mild-mannered advertising coordinator by day, but the front-woman for punk act the Anabolics by night. Our favorite had to have been Senior Music Editor Jimmy Brown and his band the Browns, made up of his wife and two sons. As Adages always says, "The family that plays Metallica together stays together."

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo

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