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Client: Beefeater

Agency: FCB/Leber Katz Partners,

New York

We get it. We shouldn't think of Beefeater as being so stuffy and stiff. It's more youthful. We've lost the guard himself, and are to believe that he's having a very good time ("sought after") somewhere without his clothes on. Did he leave some fish and chips in his pocket? Is that what the dog is after? What drama. Listen, I hope it works. 30

Client: Wonderbra Agency: TBWA/New York

I have the feeling that I would be more correct if I were offended by these ads. But the truth is, I'm not. I think they're a whole lot of fun. The success of these is not about the art direction or the clever headlines, but about a real understanding of what's so great about great underwear, and the importance of a little cleavage.

Client: Equal artificial sweetener

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago

Director: Herb Ritts, Ritts/Hayden

We all love Lauren Hutton: for her spunk, for what we take to be her honesty, and her graceful combination of age and youth. It's partly (but only partly) why I hate this commercial.

It's an example of the most gratuitous and cliched use of celebrity endorsement, one with no apparent connection between the product and the celebrity. Worse, somehow, is that it makes Lauren look silly, so we aren't even allowed the enjoyment of watching her. She seems not at all convinced about why she's talking about Equal, and, in fact, one could assume from this endorsement that the use of artificial sweeteners causes bad hair days. 30

Client: Clairol Agency: J. Walter Thompson/New York

Director: Thom Higgins, Dektor/Higgins & Associates

This commercial for Nice 'N Easy hair color succeeds where Equal fails for a couple of reasons. While it still uses a familiar tried and true format, it uses the personality of the "Seinfeld" character Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and not just her presence. It's also refreshing in light of all the other commercials we've seen with the rapidly becoming over-exposed "Seinfeld" cast.

Done badly, the parody, in which Elaine gives a stranger a hair color makeover on a bus, could have failed miserably and become just another bossy "Madge the Manicurist" spot, with some obnoxious shill forcing a product on unsuspecting victims. But this spot is so well done that it takes the parody over the top. It just catches you by surprise, and makes you like the product a whole lot, which is just what you're supposed to do. It's particularly good when you consider the rest of the silly, self-conscious work done in the hair care category.

Client: The Home Insurance Co. Agency: Kirshenbaum & Bond

Ironically, this campaign is about looking at the same thing twice, and that's exactly the feeling I had when I saw it. Haven't I seen other campaigns like this? Didn't I just see a very funny Nikon ad with the Loch Ness monster that used exactly this idea?

Putting that aside, I wish the ad had been executed better. This is about two different perspectives of the same view, but because of the uninteresting photography, these views are not worth looking at twice. Neither the images nor the copy add the twist that would be neccessary to make this campaign rise above its familiar format. 30


Client: Rolling Rock beer Agency: HHCC/New York

Director: Mark Coppos, Coppos Sato Thomas

I understand from painful experience the feeling of being trapped in the lifestyle-vignette-boy-meets-girl-box when selling beverages. Clients love it, and it tests well. But please, God, somebody invent a new way to sell beer.

What happened to the original Rolling Rock "Same As it Ever Was" campaign? That at least distinguished the brand and made it seem like a real beer that people actually drank. The one thing I always believed about Rolling Rock was that it was discovered, and not invented, but this work feels completely artificial. This campaign just doesn't seem like what creative people would do if they could

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