A Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes went to JBA Group's ad for Kadu surfer wear. Now-defunct Sydney agency Andromeda drove home the durability of Kadu shorts by showing it emerging from the stomach of a gutted shark. The surfer, apparently, didn't fare as well as the shorts. Said one Cannes judge: "This is certainly going to offend a lot of people."
Speaking of offensive ...
A print ad for Asia Television, Hong Kong's second-largest broadcaster, featured Adolf Hitler and created such a stir in the British colony a newspaper made a public apology for publishing it. An apology ad from ATV and agency Euro RSCG/Ball followed.
... and controversial figures
The Calvin Klein ads showing "waif"-model Kate Moss continued to make news in the U.S., and other countries. The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority asked for Obsession for Men ads to be yanked because of Ms. Moss' nude "childlike form." In Toronto, a poster for CK jeans never got approved by a city committee-because the poster was too large. Large?
For the ladies
Coca-Cola Co.'s spot titled "Diet Coke Break" turned into a real break for male model Lucky Vanous. The commercial shows female office workers eyeing him in his role as a construction worker, and the national media took notice, from Newsweek to "Hard Copy." By summer, a Diet Coke promotion was offering a free lunch "break" with hunk Lucky to some lucky consumers.
Furniture retailer Ikea earned high marks for its Deutsch-created "life stages" campaign this year, in which one spot featured two men living a gay lifestyle. It was believed to be the first such depiction by a mainstream advertiser.
Surreal role for Anna
MCI Communications and agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer more than lucked out after having selected 11-year-old New Zealand actress Anna Paquin for its networkMCI introductory campaign. Cast because of her role in the 1993 movie "The Piano," her work in the surreal information superhighway spots was filling the airwaves when Ms. Paquin picked up her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the movie.
Potatoe chip star
It's not often that former U.S. Vice Presidents wind up in TV commercials, especially ones breaking on the Super Bowl. But Dan Quayle was a natural for a big Lay's potato chip campaign, given his well-publicized tip to a spelling bee champion (shouldn't there be an "e"). The reaction: he's a better actor than speller.
AmEx vs. Visa, again
What would the year have been without another public spat between Visa and American Express. This year, a newspaper ad war erupted following AmEx's launch of its Optima True Grace Card. Visa went after the new card in print, and AmEx came back with the imitative tag: "Visa. It's everywhere you want to pay more interest charges."
The launch of Chrysler Corp.'s new Neon-our Product of the Year-has been attributed in part to an ad campaign that sought to make the small car "huggable" by way of a friendly, quirky "Hi" headline. Later, on outdoor boards, the Hi was given graffiti like touches, such as drawing in a "t" to spell the word Hit. Well, Milwaukee had just launched an anti-graffiti campaign, and saw the Neon ads as promoting what they were fighting. Dealers agreed to say bye to the boards.
These boards go back up
A company that buys life insurance policies of terminally ill patients put up an outdoor board in South Florida, but the business owner at the board's location objected and had the right to request its removal. It came down, but went back up for its full run after 3M explained the Page & Associates ad (the 1836 nude painting supposedly objected to hangs in the Louvre).