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Ewen: Why, you may ask, are a planner and a creative guy writing a creative review together? Aren't planners the police force of consumer relevance, decimating all things fresh and unusual with such softly mumbled curses as, "It seems to extend the brand equity outside of its current perceptual framing"? (Translation: No one got it.) Or "I registered a degree of consumer dissonance between the intended communication and the received response" (Translation: They hated it). Well, sometimes great ideas start with an unusual insight; a thought about the brand that is the springboard for the work. We think it will be interesting to look at the work through this lens.

Little Caesars

Ewen: I guess the insight in this campaign must have been something like, "Remove all semblance of entertainment, because pizzas after all are a serious thing, food is the basis of life and life is no laughing matter. Ensure that commercials make generous use of the broadly used category cliches such as eulogies to product like, 'You're a good-looking tomato,' because then we will have the combined media budget of indistinguishable food ads everywhere working for us. Finally, keep the old tagline so that tracking study scores stay high." Genius.

Andy: Doing the next campaign after a great one like Cliff Freeman's classic work takes either unusual courage or some other extraordinary characteristic. I'd like to think that in this instance it was courage. Anyway, the hardest part isn't the glare of the footlights, it's that somebody who can kick your little advertising ass likely has already ruled out just about anything that's funny, surprising, interesting or insightful. Oh, well.

Agency Bozell/Detroit

Director Scott Burns, Tool of North America

Bugle Boy

Ewen: Bugle Boy, or was it Pringles, or maybe it was Cinnaburst chewing gum. Another brand holding up a pop musical mirror to the MTV Generation, once again failing to realize that their attempt at acquired cool would have much more relevance on the Lifetime network. Can it really be that old Peter Gabriel videos are still a source of creative inspiration?

Andy: I hate lifestyle advertising. I'd like to smash it like the senseless insect that it is. But it would be a lonely job, I suspect. Lifestyle advertising has become more popular than ever, wins prestigious awards and favorable reviews in all categories. Oh, well.

Agency DDB Needham/Los Angeles

Director Simon Blake, Chelsea Pictures

Direct TV

Ewen: No need for deep psychologizing here. We like sport, we like TV, we like the sport we like on TV when we like it. The metaphor of a supermarket works brilliantly to communicate succinctly what would normally involve a great deal of voiceovering exposition. Besides, Brett Favre sitting in the cold shelf like a joint of meat is pretty funny.

Andy: I like it too.

Agency Campbell-Ewald/West

Director Peter Darley Miller, Stiefel & Co.

Cliff Bar

Ewen: Pretty art direction and engagingly scribbled copy fail to mask the glaring absence of an insight or idea, and the eerily familiar tagline, "It's all real, it's all natural," is itself almost an admission to this. One is left wondering how it is that extreme niche products such as we think this is meant to be, have nothing to say. Is this a lapse of intellectual rigor or are we rapidly heading towards the United States of Generica?

Andy: I'm sorry. I was asleep. Did somebody die?

Agency Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco

Coalition for the Homeless

Ewen: Demonstrating the insight that we only give a shit about causes we can imagine being directly affected by, this campaign is both clever and executionally fresh. In a city where getting a better apartment is secondary only to eventually leaving it altogether, this campaign uses the device of seeming fly postings for the "large studio" the "prewar apt," to initially tease your interest and then to shock you with the information that their availability is due to impending eviction. They then use the familiar technique of downtown fly-posting ads -- a tear-off phone number -- to elicit a response. Great, thinking, fresh idea and wonderful media creativity. Trust a planner to pick a "direct response" ad as his favorite.

Andy: Ewen has always exhibited socialist tendencies.

Agency Hempel Stefanides

Andy Berlin is chairman, and Ewen Cameron is director of planning at Berlin

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