Gee, another controversy over a Calvin Klein campaign -- what a shocker. The ads, featuring happy kids in undies, are hardly more salacious than family pictures passed around by proud parents. No matter. The self-appointed sex police have spoken, and the child-porn verdict was reached with all the certainty of Jerry Falwell outing a Teletubby. The New York Post even quoted unnamed 'experts' who thought they detected the outline of a boy's (skivvies-covered) genitals in one of the ads. What in God's name are they experts in?
A Concorde ride away, TV screens are lighting up with a Euro RSCG/Paris spot for Evian. It shows a passel of nekkid infants performing a water ballet (see below). It's cute, and a technical feat, and the spot drew warm responses from a big audience. In the U.S., heads would roll. Vive la France!
About those Klein ads: yes, the designer has definitely crossed the line in the past. The teen porn-inspired spots of a few years back were sleazy, even despicable. But that's not to say that Klein should forever be under suspicion, badgered by puritans whose minds are as dirty as they are narrow. If those very same Klein images said "Baby Gap," would they have caused this many hissy fits -- much less a media blitz?
In fact, the new ads may be controversial for all the wrong reasons. One mother of two saw nothing sexually inappropriate in them. Instead, she mused that the ads' perversion lies in the fact that "there are parents who feel the need to buy their kids designer underwear."Is that why they call them frogs? Evian and Euro RSCG/Paris show 70 birthday-suited babies frolicking in a swimming pool. It's like Esther Williams meets Nirvana, to the chorus of Marilyn Monroe's "Bye, Bye Baby." The point is that Evian is pure and full of minerals and that drinking it everyday, supposedly keeps you youthful.
CLIENT Evian AGENCY Euro RSCG BETC, Paris CD Remi Babinet AD Emilie Roy CW Valerie Chidlovsky DIRECTOR Jean-Pierre Roux, La Pac
Hey, did they airbrush her seat? Harris Druy Cohen unfolds a fun-in-the-sun series of Playboy parody centerfolds to sell the Sea-Doo GTX Limited. In other inserts, personal watercraft lounge in a bubble bath and on a rug in front of a fireplace. Plaything of the Month turn-ons include "The sun on my back . . ." Biggest turnoff: "That little button on my left handlebar."
CLIENT See-Doo AGENCY Harris Drury Cohen, Ft. Lauderdale GCD/CW Michael Cannon AD Sonja Olson PHOTOGRAPHER Sid Hoeltzel
Cramer-Krasselt's new campaign for Moen's PureTouch water system is deluged with humor. In one twisted spot, a severely dehydrated man watches as the purified water slowly drip-drips through a Brita-like filter pitcher, while his dog loudly laps up water from a bowl.
CLIENT moen inc. AGENCY Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago CD Marshall Ross AD Ted Jenkins CW Partick Hanna PRODUCER T.J. Beagen DIRECTORS Noam Murro, HKM (people) & Bob Grigg, ILM (tabletop) EDITOR Liz Tate, Avenue Edit MUSIC/SOUND Comtrack composer Manny Mendelson
Along with videogame makers, the new crop of Internet-related clients are offering some of the best creative opportunities in America. Butler, Shine & Stern has taken advantage of a freewheeling client called E-greetings to offer some very explicit examples of the clarity of enhanced e-mail.
CLIENT E-Greetings AGENCY Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito CDS John Butler & Mike Shine AD Jerry Underwood CW Alex Grossman PHOTOGRAPHER Manolo Garcia ILLUSTRATOR Dave Garvey
In a funny new Brawny spot, a little old lady topples a gigantic refrigerator to show the kind of mess this manly paper towel can handle. We have to admit, it makes Rosie and her quicker-picker-upper look like an old freezer bag.
CLIENT Brawny AGENCY DDB Needham/NY AD Andy Dijak CW Jay Taub PRODUCERS Steve Amato, DDB; Ursula Gabel & Michael King, Green Dot Films Director Brent Thomas, Green Dot Films EDITOR John Maloney, Red Car/NY SOUND Albert Ibbetson, Albert Entertainment music Ray Foote, Big Foote Communications
Sydney agency Clemenger and director Hank Perlman's new Australian-market mockumentary :60 for Cool Tang Doritos hilariously demonstrates the dangers of mixing dairy and spice. It features fiery flatulent cows, cows that speak Spanish, and more exploding bovines than are found in the entire oeuvre of Monty Python. Unfortunately, American Doritos babe Ali Landry isn't here to blow up.
CLIENT Doritos AGENCY Clemenger, Sydney AD Leslie ALi CW Josh Gold PRODUCERS Jo Howlett, Clemenger, Stephen Orent, Hungry Man, Andy Wallis, The Shooting Gallery DIRECTOR Hank Perlman, Hungry Man EDITOR Scott Grey, Guillotine
A Minneapolis freelance creative team has produced three outrageously clever POP posters for local used jeans emporium Tatters Alternative Clothing. Here we see the skeletal remains of Calista's jeans. In other ads, Monica's jeans are worn at the knees, while Tommy Lee's sport a banana-sized fade down one leg.
CLIENT Tatters Alternative Clothing AGENCY Freelance AD Dawn McCarthy CW Riley Kane PHOTOGRAPHER Mark LaFavor
Aiming to have the Beat era do for meaty munchies what the Swing era did for the Gap's khakis, BBDO/ Minneapolis has brought back the bop and bongos to sell Hormel pepperoni to kids. The spot takes place in a jazz coffee house setting and features a public school poet who manages to make lines like "For the true and artful snacker, it's a means to rock your cracker," sound as good as Kerouac. Almost.
CLIENT Hormel AGENCY BBDO/Minneapolis eCD Denny Haley AD Steve Michels-Boyce CW Karen Lokensgard PRODUCERS Patty Lum-Hughes & Amy Jo Schulteis DIRECTOR Leta Warner, Squeak MUSIC Hest & Kramer
According to the agency, Euro RSCG BETC, the theme of this Hollywood-brand chewing gum spot, which features a freaky garden gnome and Snow White bathing nude in a pond is, "Happiness comes to those who strive for it." OK, whatever, it's French, it's directed by Tim Burton, it's cool.
CLIENT Hollywood gum AGENCY Euro RSCG BETC cD remi Babinet AD Jean-Christophe Saurel CW Didier Barcelo PRODUCERS Anne Boucher, Euro RSCG, Michael Bodnarchek & Tim Harbert, A Band Apart, Deanne Mehling, Jigsaw; Sophie de la Motte & Laurence Charlot, Hamster Publicite DIRECTOR Tim Burton, A Band Apart EDITOR Brad Wetmore, Jigsaw visual effects Ring of Fire
New York's DeVito/Verdi is doing for Office Depot what Cliff Freeman did for Staples, with a new TV campaign that's funnier than Dilbert. The best of the three spots features an elderly couple cavorting happily on a boat, as a VO tells us how they're living the good life. It's a setup. The reason they're doing so well is "you left your credit card statement in the garbage can and they stole your number." The moral: Office Depot has paper shredders on sale.
CLIENT Office Depot AGENCY DeVito/Verdi, New York CD Sal DeVito ADS/CWS Rob Slosberg, Dawn Prestom & David Angelo PRODUCER Barbara Michelson DIRECTOR Rick Dublin, Dublin Productions
TBWA/Chiat/Day's new campaign for Kinko's comically illustrates the theme, "Sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it." The four-spot campaign shows how convincing a little extra help from Kinko's can be in non-boardroom situations. In "Proposal," after being initially turned down by his intended, a guy whips out a "love chart" and his potential earnings graph over the next 10 years, topped with a morphed projection of what their child might look like. The now convinced woman replies, "I like what you've done here, Craig."
CLIENT Kinko's AGENCY TBWA/Chiat/Day/LA CDS Chuck Bennett & Clay Williams AD Jason Stinsmuehlen CW Mark Abellera PRODUCER Sybil Hadfield DIRECTOR David Denneen, Atherton & Associates EDITOR Glenn Martin SOUND Jan Anderson, Nomad MUSIC Tommy Barbarella, Asche & Spencer Music
Bear with us on this one. Director Nicholas Barker has created a low-budget but high-impact satirical TV campaign about a nonexistent series of spots for the British toilet bowl cleaner Vanish. In one commercial we see how well the mythical commercial works, as a man is unloading an entire shopping cart full of Vanish boxes. The supermarket bag boy walks by and inquires, "Seen the advert, then?" Another shows two women sitting on a park bench talking about how funny the spot is. One tells of the first time she saw it; she was pregnant and a week late. "I laughed so hard me waters broke," she giggles.
CLIENT Vanish Tablets AGENCY WCRS, London AD Tom Burnay CW Stef Jones PRODUCER