July 2007 - Top Spots

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Burger King "Inner Cowboy"
In an effort to promote its new Western Whopper, Burger King and the minds of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky have delved into the mysteries of the mustache—from cowboys to Burt Reynolds, this form of facial hair is widely seen as the sex symbol's sex symbol. Here, director Aaron Ruell delivers the Western Whopper's magical mustache effects on prepubescent boys, old ladies and wiener dogs, all to the toe-tappin' pluckings of a manly banjo, compliments of Beacon Street Studios.

Tide "Interview"
In this Silver Lion-winning spot at last month's Cannes fest, a poor schlub with a bad haircut is loudly interrupted by the humongous stain on his shirt every time he speaks at a job interview. The stain's operatic gibberish gleefully distracts the interviewer to such a degree that he probably doesn't even notice the haircut from hell—but still, that stain is a sure employment killer. "The stain is endearing because his heart's pretty malicious but he's cute at the same time," claims Saatchi/New York ECD Leo Premutico. "The jibber-jabber he speaks just fits his personality." Fellow ECD Jan Jacobs also points to director Calle Astrand as a key ingredient. "His off-the-wall Swedish sensibility brought a lot to this. It's his voice behind the stain, and he threw a little Swedish in there."

MTV "False Teeth"
The proliferation of '80s nostalgia has poked its neon-hued nose in every facet of popular culture in recent years—from fashion to facial hair, it's enough to make one gag on the Me Generation's spoon. Then along comes this charming spot from Y&R/Buenos Aires. As an endearing collection of old people watch their false teeth throw down on a single tear-coaxing cover of Alphaville's "Forever Young," we almost forget just how cynical we are about this whole trend in the first place. Director Augustin Alberdi turns the cheese up to 11 and complements the tune with washed out film and a quiver of music video effects not done so fine since Queen and Freddy Mercury's mustache rocked it in "Bohemian Rhapsody."


Renault "Fisherman"
Ever feel like there's a giant puppet master pulling the strings of society? Some might say it's God. Here, Renault points to a giant, bearded fisherman sporting a forest hat and other mossy garments. Director Eben Mears tapped VFX shop MassMarket to full effect, as the otherworldly behemoth casts his line deep into the city and lures unsuspecting humans into his trap with a bright and shiny car.

Mail On Sunday "Battle"
Looking to promote the unifying features of the Mail on Sunday's magazine inserts, BBH/London copywriter Matt Waller and art director Dave Monk turned to the age-old battle of the sexes for inspiration. "We liked the idea that these two magazines brought a bit of peace and quiet on Sunday, but for the rest of the week it was total carnage," says Monk. "We set the ad in a vast battlefield for scale but we thought it might be funnier for both armies to be clad in normal clothes rather than traditional armor and give them everyday appliances as weapons. Like Braveheart with spatulas."

U.K. Dept. of Transport "Rev, Rev"
To spread the word about greener driving practices, the client teamed up with Leo Burnett/Londond and effects house MPC for this ode to the engine. Instead of different shapes and colors of cars, it's just the engines chugging around to demonstrate advised techniques, such as properly inflating one's tires and keeping the revs down, which saves on fuel. MPC postproduction supervisor Jake Mengers says he hadn't realized how closely the VFX driving practices would be scrutinized by the client. "They toned it down a bit—where we first had a car slamming the brakes on at the lights, then screeching off, they would say we couldn't have it screeching so much or braking so hard. We had to be so accurate, even about things that would never cross your mind on the creative level—like one of the engine belts happened to be rotating the wrong way."
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