Top of the Charts: Kmart "Jimmy & Jenny"

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Prolific beatmaker Timbaland's hip-hop duet laces this Joe Boxer pitch with flavor and soul, hitting the target's pop cultural buttons with uncontrived authenticity. The spot is a flashy production, with fresh-faced leads and a legion of tightly choreographed dancers shimmying to Timbaland's electrified beat, all akin (along with edits, art direction and styling) to director Dave Meyers' work on such MTV hits as Missy Elliott's "Work It" (a song Timbaland produced). TBWAChiatDayNew York, senior creative Daniel Chu says teaming Meyers and the hitmaking producer avoids the hackneyed habit of plying overt weirdness at the youthful target. "In the times we're living in, with so much uncertainty, with so much stress, with TV constantly delivering bad news, it was time to put something out there that was fun and passionate," says Chu. "We weren't concerned about going below the radar. We wanted to attack it head on."

Meyers was a shoo-in for the job and senior agency producer Lora Schulson connected the dots between director, producer and agency. "Ten years from now, you could put on a Timbaland track and it'll still sound forward," claims Chu. "You can't say that about most of today's young hot producers. Tim produced the beats. I wrote eight short hooks that, when connected, form the song. And Timbaland sings the hooks. That's the extent of the collaboration. It was smooth. It was fun. It's definitely something we all brag about. But it was also work, and the work paid off when we saw the expressions on everyone's face the first time we played the finished song for people." Meyers and Schulson supervised the process, bringing hip-hop video choreographer HiHat into the mix, completing the synthesis of what's as much a visually addictive feelgood reprieve as it is a product-specific retail spot. Many have tried and failed to force hip-hop trappings onto marketing scenarios; this combination of A-list talent, sexy lyrics and approachability leaves pretenders in the dust. "Joe Boxer isn't a hip-hop brand," says Chu. "It's a pop culture brand, and hip-hop is a force in pop culture. Our audience doesn't hold onto barriers like us old folks."

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