Published on .

Spleens and cadavers may not be images typically associated with outdoor gear, but then again, creatives at Elgin Syferd/DDB Needham/Seattle had the difficult task of enticing teens with their new JanSport TV campaign, which could be the agency's last work for the brand, as the account has been placed in review.

In a category clogged with frantic clips of kids roller blading and bungee jumping, copywriter Cheryl Van Ooyen and art director Matt Myers wanted to create "something more sophisticated and dark, a kind of twisted fairy tale that would combine both innocence and bizarre cruelness," according to Myers. Directed by Jesse Dylan of HKM Productions/Los Angeles, the stories are seen through the lens of a Viewmaster that clicks through a series of illustrated images; the resultis an odd yet visually appealing trio of commercials that center around the strange mishaps of a faceless character and narrator named Tim.

In one spot, Tim describes how he mistakenly delivers the Mayor's new spleen in a paper bag rather than a JanSport backpack, therefore allowing the organ to fall through the bottom of the flimsy sack. In another, he fails to wear his JanSport clothing and suffers the misfortune of falling asleep naked in biology class during cadaver dissection day, hence he's mistaken for a corpse, with predictably dire results. In a third, Tim stupidly opts for plastic bags over JanSport boots, cutting his feet as he walks through streets littered with broken glass en route to fix the town's electric chair. You'll hemorrhage laughing.

Credits also to CD Laurie Fritts and Seattle illustrator Jere Smith.

While the media may be saturated with Windows 95 ad campaigns, one of its best marketing efforts could well be a hidden bonus in the software itself. That's how Wieden & Kennedy creative director Steve Sandoz handled his chance to add a few creative touches to the Microsoft product.

The CD-ROM version of Windows 95 features an animated welcome from New York-based Bill Plympton and Joan Gratz of Will Vinton Studios, Portland, Ore. Plympton's color-penciled animated short is a quirky piece in which a series of windows open onto different scenes, while Gratz's clay-animated paintings resemble a fluid dream sequence, which starts when a cat jumps out a window into a lush garden.

"It had to have some vague reference to the notion of windows," Sandoz says, of the only guidelines he supplied. Their handmade animation styles help to add a human touch to Microsoft, he adds. Sandoz also commissioned Brian Eno to create a startup sound for the software, something Eno describes as an organic piece, inspired partly by his disgust with the cloyingly cheerful sound of the Mac's PowerBook.

Additional credits to type designer Philip Marchington, who fashioned the "Welcome to Windows 95" face, agency producer Jennifer Smieja and Will Vinton sound designer/composer Jamie Haggerty.

Nary a TV tidbit tickled our tonsils this month, so we thank our lucky slugs that a pair of creatives in Austin shot their pro bono campaign against Texas' proposed concealed-handgun legislation our way. The legislation would have just about everybody in Texas packing legal heat, or so client Texans Against Gun Violence will have us think, but we're more likely to laugh ourselves to death before some Wyatt Twerp in Dallas blows us away for asking directions to Tom Landry's house.

The poster campaign is the work of art director Paul Kwong and copywriter Mariella Krause, who freelance as Ad Squids. They met at Austin's GSD&M, where Krause still works, Kwong having moved on to a little local shop called Tocquigny Advertising. The ads have appeared in the street and have also been handed out to lawmakers in the capital, and, as far as Kwong knows, no "gun-totin' Texan" has yet used one for target practice. "We went with a humorous tone so people on both sides of the issue would actually read the ads," says Kwong, who notes the work also makes for great awards show ammo.

Another magnum headline is, "Don't just give him the finger, give him the trigger!" under an illustration of a female driver being tailgated by a man who's yelling, "Hey, get your sorry butt off the road!"

Other credits to illustrator A.J. Garces and photographer Tomas Pantin.

Most Popular
In this article: