What's the Big Idea?

By Published on .

Red Ball Tiger/San Francisco has a simple rule: if you sell your idea, you direct it. So Greg Wilson, founder of the $75 million agency, as well as CD/Writer, shot a 21-spot campaign for the K&G chain of discount designer clothing stores, and did it his way, with a nod to NYPD Blue. The K&G spots feature a tough but sympathetic veteran detective and two younger colleagues who are developing a squad room romance. And they all have this compulsion to buy new clothes and comment on each other's purchases from K&G. A suspect is even released when he flashes time-stamped K&G receipts as alibis.

Wilson conceived the 11 :30s as acts comprising a single running script. As the romance deepens, the characters acquire new outfits for stakeouts and undercover assignments. Wilson cast actors to play the cops after a failed attempt to cast real detectives, but he hired K&G employees to play secondary roles, including one suit salesman who discovers he harbors deep fantasies as a small-time crook. (He nailed the performance as a perp twitching in the interrogation room after only five takes.)

The additional 10 :15s are blooper outtakes, which Wilson believes add credibility to K&G's claim to sell designer clothes at 30 to 70 percent off retail. "People always say they're looking for the mistake that makes a spot look great," says Wilson. "This time we wanted real mistakes. I figured we'd get enough shooting 11 spots in three days."

Creative director and copywriter: Greg Wilson Art director: Paul Collis Producer: Lynn Cary Director: Greg Wilson Executive producers: Peter Abraham and Andrew Halpern, Fusion Films/Santa Monica Editor: Bob Jenkis, Crew Cuts West/Santa Monica Music: Walter Werzowa and Justin Burnett, Musikvergnuegen/Los Angeles

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