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Gopher It!

When your team name is as goofy as the Golden Gophers, it may be difficult to inspire fear in your opponents -- but you can certainly instill something akin to ludicrous loyalty in your fans. Indeed, Fallon McElligott/Minneapolis manages to both mock and revere the University of Minnesota's Golden Gopher football team in a new campaign that plays like an ESPN SportsCenter mockumentary. The "Ever Seen An Angry Gopher?" pro bono work portays the golden gopher as a wild, vicious animal. And just what is an Angry Gopher? Says Fallon group CD Scott Vincent, "We hope that it's a Gopher that's fired up to play. It just doesn't seem like a ferocious mascot. So we made up the killer gophers."

The television spots are National Geographic-style vignettes observing the Gophers in the field. In one spot, Rodentologist Dr. Michael Victor Aaron (played by Vincent), and his team track a "herd" of Gophers. The scientists tranquilize a Gopher and tag him -- they paint his number on the back of his jersey-- then let the stunned critter rejoin his foraging buddies.

Agency: Fallon McElligott CD: David Lubars GCD: Scott Vincent AD: Craig Duffney CW: Allon Tatarka Directors: Scott Vincent, Fallon & Jerry Pope, Two Popes Film Producers: Lisa Keljik, Jenny Gadd Malmstrom (TV), Kirsten Taklo (radio) & Julienana Wilson, Fallon; Greg Pope, Two Popes Film Editors: Charley Schwartz, Fischer Edit; Erick Carlsson & Randy Kramer, Assembly Line Photographer: Kevin Ross Hedden Illustrator: Craig Smith Audio Post: Wow & Flutter

Don't bother thinking

In just one action-packed minute, FCB's "Apocalypse" spot for the new Sega Dreamcast manages to create a Japanese minimovie with shades of Mission Impossible, The Matrix and Blade Runner. Even with the English subtitles, we're not sure exactly what's going on in the spot, but lots of things blow up and there's a tough Asian chick in a cool leather catsuit and groovy eye makeup, who kicks some major ass. So never mind about the plot. Bring on that little hedgehog fella.Client: Sega Agency: FCB/San Francisco ECD: Steve Neely AD: Steve Fong CW: Brian Bacino Design: Rishi Shourie Director: John Moore, Headquarters Producers: Tom Wright (FCB), Andrew Denyer & John Malina, Headquarters Editor: Robert Duffy, Spotwelders Animation/CGI: In Sight Pix Digital Effects/Compositing: Sight Effects

Chortle combatThe Sprite "Obey Your Thirst" campaign is still lemony fresh. In a new spot entitled "Timmy's Dream," young Timmy answers his door to find the WWF's Sting has arrived from the Dream Come True Fantasy Camp. "You ready to wrestle?" he asks. Timmy and his camcorder-wielding parents are overjoyed. Before they start, Timmy takes an energy-inducing chug from a bottle of Sprite -- now he's ready. But too bad Sprite is just a soda. While the WWF star shows the boy who's boss, Timmy's parents look on proudly.Client: Sprite Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS/New York CCO: Lee Garfinkel ECD: Gary Goldsmith CDS: Dean Hacohen & CJ Waldman AD: Christopher Brignola CW: Jay Sharfstein Director: Hank Perlman, Hungry Man Producers: Liz Hodge, Lowe; Stephen Orent, Dan Duffy & Kevin Byrne, Hungry Man Editor: Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie Cutler Audio: Chris Drozdowski, Photomag

Salsa happens, a Web haunt for teens, features chat, daily horoscopes, shopping . . . and two new gross-out :30s from J. Walter Thompson and director Tenney Fairchild. In "Bird," two girls are having lunch outdoors, as one tells the other all about how she kicked her roving-eyed boyfriend to the curb. She's so focused on her story that she doesn't notice when a bird lets loose in her salsa. Her friend, who saw the whole thing, is too busy listening to mention it. The payoff is "Pisces: Skip the salsa." In the other spot, four buds are hanging out in a diner when they notice a horrid smell. After some debate, they decide it's the menu. And sure enough, after taking their orders, a sweaty waitress sticks the menus under her hairy, naked armpit. The payoff: "Need a new place to hang?"Client: Agency: J. Walter Thompson/New York CD: Bill Hamilton AD: Randy Freeman CW: Kevin Doyle Director: Tenney Fairchild, M-80 Producer: Suzanne Crowe Editor: Karen Kelley, MacKenzie Cutler Music: Rich Metin, World Beat

The bionic shoe

It's a good thing we never tire of '70s TV show parodies, because, like bell-bottoms, they keep coming back. This spot, from DDB/Dallas for Foot Action stores and Adidas, features Six Million Dollar Man action, as an average guy runs a department store perfume gauntlet of hot models who drone, "Care to try a new fragrance?" He runs, dodges and swerves, and just when you think he's through, another babe slides across the floor with a clear shot. She aims, but thanks to his superior footwear, he hurdles her and escapes the deadly atomizer.

Client: Footaction/Adidas Agency: DDB/Dallas CD/AD: Carl Warner CD/CW: Jim Hord Director: Dave Merhar, Visitor Producer: Chelle McDonald Music: JSM

Pulp fiction

In an outdoor campaign for Pulp, a new Canadian lifestyle magazine, Chicago's Arian, Lowe & Travis decided to give the magazine a history with a mischievous twist -- the ads feature fictional corrections of past articles. One especially noteworthy piece reads, "We recently published a feature on the Six Flags Over Texas theme park ('Fun Times' 1/99). However, the accompanying photos depicted Rwanda. Pulp regrets the error."

Client: Pulp Magazine Agency: Arian, Lowe & Travis, Chicago AD: Chris Harrison CW: Kevin Lynch Photographer: Bentley Quast

Sexy surprise

An intelligent lingerie ad. Now, that's exciting. TDA Advertising & Design manages to convey 'sexy' without shoving a supermodel in a too-tight teddy in our faces. Instead we see the effect wearing Sol lingerie has on the male species. And while some may not appreciate this less-titillating approach to selling lingerie, those who actually wear the stuff sure do.

Client: Sol Lingerie Agency: TDA Advertising & Design, Longmont, Colorado AD: Arty Tan AD/CW: Jonathan Schoenberg Photographer: Thomas Gugler

You may now mount the bride

Remember when you were younger, when someone said how much they loved something you'd shoot back, "Yeah, why don't you marry it?" Well, that's what Ranscombe & Co. said to their target audience for the Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show. The idea is great, but we're fairly sure a priest would refuse to do the ceremony.

Client: Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show Agency: Ranscombe & Co., Toronto CD: Jim Ranscombe AD: Jason Kinsella CW: Steve Parker Photographer: Huy Lam

Glace, glace, bebe

Yeah, we know those wacky French eat weird things like goose livers and snails, but a refrigerator? OK, we're kidding -- you need not parlez vous francais to figure this one out. The teethmarks speak volumes: Hollywood gum's new Ice Fresh is really cool and refreshing. There's nothing better for getting rid of frog legs breath.

Client: Hollywood Chewing Gum Agency: EURO RSCG BETC, Paris Creative Director: Remi Babinet AD: Thomas Jaussaud CW: Sebastien Aime Photographer: Jean-Noel Leblanc Bontemps

Shopaholics unite

Diesel's "Luxury of Dirt" dirty denim print campaign takes the guilt out of materialistic desires, as pouty models wax poetic over their love of shopping. In one piece, a scruffy tortured soul says, "First I was a combat pilot keeping peace. Then I was a doctor saving lives. Now I only want to go shopping." The work is campy enough to make even a philanthropist smile.

Client: Diesel Agency: In House & Paradiset, Sweden CD: Joakin Jonason AD: Tove Langseth CW: Jacob Nelson Photographer: John Scarisbrick

Pump up the ma'am

This smart and simple Nike ad has been deemed sexist -- by men. According to copywriter Josh Denberg, men, and only men, have called to complain.Says Denberg, "Women haven't had any problems with it. Their thinking must be, 'Why is this insulting to us? You're the ones having sex with plastic.'"

Client: Nike Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco CD: Rich Silverstein ADS: Paul Hirsch & Claude Shade CW: Josh Denberg Photographer: Kenji TomaA half-cent for your thoughts

Befitting the slogan "Because you're cheap and so are we," a new TV campaign for Cheap Tickets features the funny faux pas of frugal folk. In one spot, a woman puts a dollar in a blind man's jar -- then she reaches in and grabs some change. She smiles at the blind guy and cheerfully saunters away. In another spot, a little girl excitedly welcomes Daddy home after a trip. "What did you bring me?" she asks sweetly. Pop looks pensive for a moment, and then with much fanfare places the paper destination tag from his luggage on the little girl's wrist. "It's a bracelet," he explains proudly. "I got Mommy one too."

Client: Cheap Tickets Inc. Agency: Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica ECD: Rick Colby ACD: Michael Kadin CW: Ben Purcell Director: John Adams, Concrete Producer: Carol McCarty Editor: Morgan Griswold, Nomad

Smells like bean spirit

In sharp contrast to last year's glorified discomfort for Levi's "hard" jeans, DDB/Dallas is stressing comfort in its first work for J.C. Penney's Arizona jeans. The print campaign features teens in very embarrassing situations, including a girl sitting on the couch with her date as her dog comes over with her underwear in his mouth. Another ad features a guy dressed as a giant hot-dog working at the House-O-Weenies. Too bad his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend are his customers. The tagline: "At least part of you is comfortable."

Client: Arizona Jeans Agency: DDB/Dallas CCO: Jim Ferguson GCD: Kevin Sutton AD: Jay Russell CW: Wade Alger Photographer: Joseph LLan

DeVito/Verdi's new TV and outdoor print campaign for, an online college bookstore, goes for the academic lowest common denominator -- as any campaign with a tag like "Textbooks and stuff. Cheap." must. The print is slacker chic, and three of the six spots show moronic college students amusing themselves by burping the alphabet, lighting five-alarm farts and, our favorite, endlessly watching a lava lamp. The other three focus on the "cheap" aspect, including one hungry guy with no food in his apartment -- except his goldfish, which he ends up frying.

Client: Agency: DeVito/Verdi, New York CD: Sal DeVito ADS: Greg Braun, Eric Schutte & Dawn Slosberg CWS: Lee Seidenberg, Rob Slosberg & Eric Schutte Director: Jesse Dylan, Straw Dogs Producer: Barbara Michelson Editor: Glen Conte, Red Car Editorial

Football mom

The music is soft as a very pregnant woman and her husband are shown in a paint store, searching for the perfect shade of orange. She's all shy smiles as she sweetly explains "It's a little too red," while rubbing her protruding stomach. Everyone in the store is so helpful, and it's such a relief when she finally finds the right shade. Cut to Preggo Patty and her hubby, faces painted, as they scream their heads off at a Broncos game. It seems the Broncos are back in Denver and Visa is a proud sponsor.

Client: Visa Agency: BBDO/New York CCO: Ted Sann ECD: Charlie Miesmer SCD: Jimmy Siegel CS/AD: Phil Jungmann CS/CW: Michael Aimette CW: Cabot Norton Director: Erich Joiner, Tool of North America Producers: David Frankel & Anne Diffley Editor: David Lee, Crew Cuts

Fun with follicles

"People often ask me how I keep my hair so thick and curly," says a long-locked fellow in a crowded British pub. "It's a perm," pipes up a surly bartender. Cut to shots of Curly in cheesy modeling moves flinging his tresses about. Nope, it's not an ad for British Pert, but for Abbey National, a bank. So what's with the hair? "Abbey National is scientifically formulated to prevent hair loss," we're told. Still flummoxed? The next scene is a side-by-side comparison of an Abbey National and a Brand X savings booklet. Our guy is smiling with the Abbey National brochure (which is in "plain English"), but ripping his hair out by the roots in frustration with Brand X. "Abbey National, keeps my hair a part of me," he oozes.

Client: Abbey National Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, UK CD: Mark Wnek AD: Olly Caphorn CW: Dom Gettins Director: John Lloyd, Spectre Producers: Penny Nash, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, UK & Caroline Warner, Spectre Editor: Ian Weil Post: VTR

Oy! We're kvelling!

Birthright Israel is a non-profit organization that, in the words of Dweck Advertising creative director Michael Dweck, "sends Jewish college students to Israel for zilch." Dweck's Internet and print campaign has chosen to balance the less appealing aspects of being Jewish with the joy of a free trip to the Holy Land.

Client: Birthright Israel Agency: Dweck, New York CD: Michael Dweck AD: Darren Lim CW: David McDuffie Photographers: Len Irish, Dan Lipow & Israel Talby Typographer: Graham Clifford

It's so spokey

Borrowing from 1970s horror films, Hammerquist & Halverson are out to change Giant bike's 'vanilla' image. Meet Ekib, the eerie little guy who's obsessed with Giant bikes. Notice the 'number of the bike,' if you will, on his forehead. What's next -- the Texas Bicycle-Chain Massacre?

Client: Giant Bicycles Agency: Hammerquist & Halverson, Seattle CD: Fred Hammerquist ADS: Andy Nordfors & Mike Proctor CW: Matt McCain Photographer: Bob

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