As Modernista co-founder Gary Koepke told Ad Age today, he and partner Lance Jensen made a
lot of good albums together. The agency's work reflected the
creative sensibilities of the shop's founders, particularly Mr.
Jensen's storied flair for music and popular culture.
While at Arnold, Mr. Jensen created some of the industry's best
known and loved spots for Volkswagen, spots such as "Milky Way" and
"Da Da Da" that were driven by music and mood. And while many other
agencies leaned heavily on comedy dialogue advertising,
Modernista's work tended to the visual and the visceral. Here, a
selection of some of the agency's notable work from its founding in
2000 to last year.
Modernista created the Gap's holiday campaign shortly after getting
the account in 2000. "Kiss" and "Snowflake" were a departure from
the "Everybody in" campaign that Gap had done previously in-house.
The spots were directed by Dayton/Faris, who worked with Mr. Jensen
on the famous Volkswagen "Milky Way" spot while he was at
Gap: Will Ferrell Forever in Blue Jeans
Modernista created notable Gap campaigns that featured celebrities
from across the entertainment landscape, from Juliette Lewis to
Daft Punk. Here, the agency showcases the musical talents and
foretells the superstardom of a certain "Saturday Night Live"
Gap: Give a Little Bit
Shaggy and friends perform a Supertramp classic in this holiday
campaign from 2001.
Of course the product was sort of a ticking social and
environmental time bomb, but over the course of its relationship
with Hummer, Modernista crafted some of the most memorable
campaigns in auto advertising. The shop worked with a who's who of
visual directors, such as Rupert Sanders, Fredrik Bond, the Snorri
Brothers and Daniel Askill, as well as storytellers such as Scott
Hicks and Noam Murro, to create a wide range of influential and
award-winning work. Some of the highlights are here.
A spot that basically plays up the destructive nature of the
Hummer: Big Race
A "Rushmore"-esque look at the go-cart race done Hummer
A video-game classic and the Hummer H2 star in this spot from
Featuring the immortal line "Threaten men in a whole new
In retrospect, a glacier is perhaps an ironically unfortunate place
to shoot a Hummer commercial. But the Snorri Brothers-directed spot
does looks good.
Napster: Own Nothing
The agency mined the music service's nefarious past in this 2005
campaign for Napster emphasizing the benefits of not owning
The agency lent some humanity to financial services company TIAA
CREF with a series of ads scored with a rendition of "Somewhere,"
from "West Side Story."
Animal Planet: Anthem
Here is a nature-porn-fueled anthem spot in 2005.