Guest Review

Published on .

Ted Sann

Vice Chairman/CCO, BBDO/North America

Chairman/CCO, BBDO/New York

Bob Scarpelli

Chief Creative Officer, DDB/U.S.

Chairman, DDB/Chicago


A guy is holding a Blimpie sandwich while apparently entertaining a woman in his apartment. She notices his goldfish and asks to feed it. The fish, however, burbling the word "Blimpie," leaps out of its bowl and swallows the guy's sandwich whole. Cut to the usual tabletop sandwich prep, then to the fish, back in its bowl, with the Blimpie stuck in its face lengthwise. The guy, peering in wonder, gets the sandwich wrapper slapped in his face.

Client: Blimpie International Agency: The Kaplan Thaler Group CD/CW: Tom Amico CD/AD: Eric David Agency Producers: Lisa Bifulco, Tim LeGallo Director: Charles Wittenmeier/Form

SANN: We did a goldfish commercial for Pepsi about five years ago. The fish was accidentally flushed down the toilet. I guess he didn't die. It's nice to see he's still getting work. 1 star

SCARPELLI: I have to admit that I have never been to a Blimpies. I'm a McDonald's guy. The Big Mac, fries, large soft drink, supersized. Having said that, there is very little in this spot that would make me want to try Blimpies over my McDonald's for lunch. The "fish, animal or any other non-human craves the product" executional device is an old one. If you're going to use it, you at least have to bring a new twist to it. Here, it's not brought to life in any new way. The "performances" of the people and the fish are way over the top, although I'm not sure subtlety would have helped. The animation isn't terrific. The music is odd. The one thing I did like about this spot is the food. It looks pretty good. Not good enough to make me want to pass up my Big Mac for a Blimpies sub, but pretty good. 1 star

2. KMART "Wisdom"

Vignettes of pseudo-real people talking about money, over folkie guitar music. Lines include: "I've got money. I'd like to keep it that way." "You don't really learn about economics in school; you learn it in life." "The receipt is my report card." "You want extra income? Don't spend as much." This is intercut with supers: "Kmart value." "It's not what you spend." "It's what you get." "Kmart. The stuff of life."

Client: Kmart Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day/N.Y. CD: David Lowe AD: Andrew Golumb CWs: John Patroulis, Gail Barlow Agency Producer: Laura Ferguson Director: Spike Lee/40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

SANN: I think Sy Syms said it best: an informed consumer, etc. This is a thoughtfully produced segmentation study. In these tough times, I guess it makes sense: avoid the middle man, just go directly from planning to film. The strategy's a little naked here. Maybe if they put pie charts behind the people . . . 2 stars

SCARPELLI: We all know that Kmart has much bigger problems than their advertising can solve. However, I think this new campaign can go a long way in positioning Kmart properly in the marketplace. Portraying Kmart as a place that sells the basic things that all families need at prices that the average family can afford is a good idea. It strikes me as a much more honest, believable and straightforward attempt to revive this brand than anything they've done with Martha Stewart or Jaclyn Smith or Bob Hope or any of the other celebrities or celebrity-endorsed lines they've used in the past. I don't know if their sales results bear that out or not. While they're not breaking any new ground here and the "homilies" seem a bit labored, at least they're attempting to realistically convey how the Kmart brand and the Kmart stores fit into their customers' lives, and how they help solve their customers' problems. And they're doing it in an engaging way, thanks to TBWA/Chiat/Day and Spike Lee's look at "The Stuff of Life." Advertising alone isn't going to solve Kmart's problems, but this work is at least giving customers some real-life reasons to go back to the store. 3 stars


This all-CG spot features a drummer sitting at his kit in the great outdoors on what appears to be a green mini-representation of the Earth. He takes a drink of Starbucks' new Double Shot and instantly finds his groove, as music by veteran rockers Yo La Tengo kicks in. VO: " . . . An invigorating blend of espresso and cream to get you going."

Client: North American Coffee Partnership Agency: Fallon/N.Y. ECD/CW: Kevin Roddy ADs: Jeff Hale, Dave Mashburn Agency Producer: Mark Sitley Designers: Psyop

SANN: SNL's "Schprockets" meets brand management. Behind the nice animation and score, you can see Popeye's anchor popping off his overinflated bicep. Spinach Grande. 2 stars

SCARPELLI: First of all, I admire the Fallon team's decision to resist the obvious temptation to do a Double Grande Triple Espresso Mocha Latte-injected, frantic, frenetic spot for a coffee product called Double Shot. That would have been too easy. And completely wrong for this brand. Second, I applaud their decision to make this an animated spot rather than attempt it in live action. That would have been way too "Coffee Achievers." Does anyone else remember "Coffee Achievers" besides me? The laid-back, cool style of animation they've chosen, plus the Yo La Tengo track, make the product seem subtle and sophisticated. Just like Starbucks, or at least what I think Starbucks wants to be. There is also something about the way the drummer subtly kicks into a quicker beat that communicates the benefit of that little extra kick a Double Shot gives me better than any voiceover line could. Overall, I like this spot, although I must say that the redundant voiceover line at the end left me a little empty. Maybe next time I should have a biscotti with that. 2 stars

4.LEXUS "Wind God"

An animated wind god (effects by The Mill) is blowing a hell of a storm on the water, about to capsize a sailboat, when he spots a Lexus tooling along the highway. The god spits some nasty gusts, rolling what appears to be huge bales of hay at the car and toppling telephone poles in its path, but the Lexus powers on through and finally races right into the god's face, seemingly destroying him. VO: "Every Lexus sedan comes with a VVT-i engine for power when you need it."

Client: Lexus Agency: Team One CCO: Tom Cordner GCDs: James Dalthorp, Jack Fund AD: Tito Melega CW: Josh Stern Agency Producer: Beth Hagen Director: Mehdi Norowzian/Chelsea Pictures

SANN: I think it might have worked better for a breath mint, but on the other hand it was quite educational. At least now I know where the wind comes from. 2 stars

SCARPELLI: When I first saw this spot on the air, the opening sequence really caught my eye. I think it's a phenomenal special effect. Really cool. The film looks great. Then they introduced the car. Unfortunately, there is nothing special about the way the car looks or acts or feels. It looks nice, like a lot of cars in car spots look nice. But the spot just doesn't make me feel like I'm behind the wheel of a really cool car battling the elements. It doesn't make me feel like I want to be behind the wheel either, which it should. And that's a shame. I don't know if "more power" is really the payoff here (it seems more like a handling story to me), but I do know that this could have been a lot more powerful. The idea and the writing and the music all could have been so much more dramatic, because this spot just doesn't knock the wind out of me like it could have. 2 stars

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