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Most self-promotion pieces get trashed faster than a special lifetime membership offer from the Squid of the Month Club, but when New York copywriter Adam Chasnow mailed this zinger early this year, almost 70 percent of targeted creative directors responded, including Dion Hughes at Angotti Thomas Hedge and Roy Grace at Grace & Rothschild.

Unfortunately, when Chasnow's boss found out, he too responded, summarily firing Chasnow for his "bad attitude."

DDB Needham/New York creative director John Staffen, among those duly impressed with Chasnow's chutzpah, hired him nine days later. "I hardly ever look at self-promotions," Staffen says. "But I found it unbelievably self-deprecating: to say that 'I f--ked up and I'm smart enough to realize it.'"

And after calling in Chasnow's portfolio, he adds that he was pleasantly surprised that it matched the caliber of the promotion. "People told me I was crazy," says Chasnow, who plans on entering the piece in the One Show. "But the same attitude that got me fired at McCann got me hired at DDB Needham."

Almost as clever as the Volkswagen "Lemon" ad.

Devising a parody for the Coors Light Channel was easy for FCB/Chicago ACDs Scott Larson and Brad Berg. They simply dipped into the well of their favorite childhood TV shows and came up with "The Six Million Dollar Can," the exciting adventure of a Silver Bullet.

"An ordinary beer can-barely alive," intones the VO, against NASA footage used in the original show opening. "We can rebuild it," as surgeons bend over the dented vessel. After complicated graphs and charts show the reconstruction of the bionic beer container, the can is next seen running on a treadmill, hurdling over walls and racing along what looks like Lee Majors' old stomping ground. "Taller, thinner, silver" goes the VO.

The client wanted to focus on the seemingly meaningless fact that Coors Light cans are taller and thinner than most beer cans, explains Larson. Directed by Kinka Usher of Stiefel & Co., the spot was shot on low-grade film stock, and then composited in post and tweaked for a grainy look, as a way of "keeping true to its cheesy '70s production values," says Berg.

Other agency credits to executive creative director Geoff Thompson and producer Scott Pacer Mitchell.

Editing by Matt Koniek at Avenue Edit in Chicago. The original television theme was adapted by New York music house Tomandandy.

Last year a spot created by Lowe & Partners/SMS for Hanson Industries spoofed "Citizen Kane." This year, it's "The Graduate." What is it with Hanson, a company that makes lumber, bricks-and film classics?

"Rocks and bricks may not be the most exciting category, but we can still bring a smile to people's faces," explains CD/writer Lee Garfinkel. Considering that Hanson just bought a plastics company, the film fits neatly into a spot that borrows one of its famous lines. The spot opens as a Dustin Hoffman lookalike named Ken circulates at his graduation party, receiving unsolicited career advice from drunk guests, like a man who says, "I have just one word for you Ken-plastics."

Finally, Ken escapes to a bedroom, where an Anne Bancroft clone is waiting to seduce him.

Other agency credits to writer John Brockenbrough and AD Rich Ostroff.4

A new promo campaign for PBS from Hal Riney & Partners/San Francisco is out to change public television's staid reputation as "being like Sunday School-good for you, but boring," according to art director Marcus Kemp. In fact, Kemp, along with writer David Tessler and creative director Joe O'Neill, says they wanted to illustrate that not only is PBS "more than opera and how-to shows, it has as much entertainment value as the competition."

Well, "Hard Copy" may be a stretch, but a dramatic new campaign that is airing on PBS stations, directed by Jeff Darling of Radical Films (formerly Sandbank West), does indicate that the programming is more stimulating than Bible verses. Each commercial shows snippets from PBS' more popular offerings, which are screened on a monolithic TV monitor that appears in striking settings reflecting the particular program: One spot shows Saddam Hussein ranting on the "MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour" from a TV in a desert battle scene, replete with burning tanks and choppers; another spot shows a scene from Ken Burns' "Baseball" series set in an eerily deserted stadium.

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