The spot opens on an old lady who's waxing philosophical to her dog at a bar. "Is it true that dogs' mouths are cleaner than man's?" she wonders aloud. She's kissed her pet on the lips for 15 years, she says smugly. "I know where Tippy's mouth has been, and that's more than I can say for any man I've met." The reflective tag: "Abita. There's a grain of truth in every bottle."
Created by Cole Henderson Drake, Atlanta, the campaign stars three beer drinkers as they ponder universal truths, including a performance by director Tom DeCerchio, playing a paranoid deer hunter who believes the government is tracking him.
Created for a small brewery in Abita Springs, La., the spots attempt to carve a quirky niche for the brand, says CD/copywriter Denzil Strickland, who teamed with art director Dick Henderson. "We just wanted them to be anti-Budweiser," he adds. The spots were directed by Steve Eshelman at Crossroads Films.
How funny can an under-$5,000 local commercial be? Well, consider a simply hilarious :30 for a Wisconsin grocery chain called Schaefer's Foods, from Milwaukee's Birdsall-Voss & Kloppenburg. Picture a locked-down camera on a carton of Donald Duck orange juice and a glass of the product. A man's hand reaches into the frame, takes the glass out of frame. What follows is about 20 seconds of orgasmic duck moaning, straight out of a Disney film called "Deep Beak." The hand returns an empty glass to the table. Male (human) VO: "Donald Duck orange juice. It's that good." Supered tag: "Schaefer's. Over 1,000 brands under one nicely reshingled roof."
CD/writer Gary Mueller says the client expressed "a little apprehension," but the spot hasn't garnered any negative response. He owes the idea to Oregon-based VO talent John Armstrong, who was doing a job for Mueller a while back, and in between takes "he started doing this duck moaning amorously," Mueller recalls. Months later, when Mueller was looking over a list of Schaefer products to feature, there was the juice. "It was like, bam!" A light bulb lit up in his pants, you might say.
Other credits to AD Scott Krahn and director Craig Smith of Endless Productions.
"I wanted to make a commentary that everyone is getting too anal about design," says Jeffrey Keyton, VP-off-air creative at MTV, by way of explaining the logic behind the September 1994 Video Music Awards book, which boasts a pink fur cover, a backward intro and a color-by-numbers design so intricate "you'd never want to do it."
Addressing New York's Art Directors Club last month, Keyton and Angela Li, VP-on-air creative, shared some of the network's insights for its promos and graphics. The Video Awards book employs playful design, like a photo of cheese doodles, in reaction to stolid PC values, Keyton says. One page has paper airplane folds and the copy, "Fold me, fly me, forget me." "I don't care if you throw this out," he says. "It's disposable."