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Many videogames that might enthrall and terrify onscreen sink into a benign paralysis in print ads, explains Todd Tilford, creative director/writer at The Richards Group/R&D in Dallas.

This explains a series of macabre, evil-toned print ads for GT Interactive, the distributor of high-end games like the 3-D Doom II for Windows 95 (pictured here) and Hexen. "We wanted to take that essence of the game-the scariness and intensity of that-and try to reproduce it on that page," says Tilford.

To emulate the game experience, Tilford says they turned to the ghoulish photogra

phy of Anthony Artiaga, and satanic-flavored type or hand-scrawled lettering to limn dark copy. For instance, an ad for Hexen, which shows a series of cut-up photos of a man's face over a shot of a caped demon, is paired with the text: "The Book of Revelation foretells the violent end of the world. It paints a way too pretty picture."

The artsy ads are also an attempt to reach hardcore college gamers, Tilford adds, who "tend to tune out the moment they sniff a typical ad." Besides the usual magazine run, the campaign may also be given away as posters at gaming conventions and posted in a gallery in a Web site.

Other agency credits to writers Chad Rea and Bill Cochran, CD Terence Reynolds and designers Margaret Johnson and C.J. Wojciechowski.

New campaigns for the Vancouver Opera and the Utah Symphony both aim at bringing a little culture to the common man, or as Williams & Rockwood copywriter Jack Becker explains, "It's time to cast the net out to those who might consider an evening of entertainment to be going to a bar or watching a basketball game."

Drilling in the idea that classical music is fun, a series of playful print ads from Salt Lake City's W&R feature potential symphonygoers. Themed "How will it affect you?" one ad shows a young waitress, who suggests: "I think the 'Gilligan's Island' theme would work better as an arrangement for piano in C-minor."

A comic TV campaign, directed by Jim Edwards of Barking Weasel and created by The Richards Group and production company Beaucoup Chapeaux, Dallas, has a similarly unpretentious tagline: "If it's not opera, it's just not the same." The campaign spotlights oddball performers singing absurd off-key versions of various operas while loosely translated lyrics crawl onscreen. In one, a country singer drawls "Cosi Fan Tutti," an opera "'bout a coupla women run off with Albanians."

Also credit Richards Group writer Marshall Twinam and AD Jim Baldwin; and W&R writer Kurtis Glade, AD Scott Tulley, CD Scott Rockwood and photographer Michael

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