Guest Review

The Truth, "Industry Recall"

Agency: Alliance (Arnold Communications/Crispin Porter + Bogusky) Director: Pete Favat, Playback

Tulley: The spot opens on Robert Fitzgerald, tobacco industry chairman. He tells us that due to the evidence linking tobacco to cancer, addiction, heart disease, etc., the industry is pulling all tobacco products from the shelves. Then a super comes up, "April Fools," followed by The Truth logo. Maybe it was the creative director in me, but I saw the joke coming. But that's OK, because I still remembered it. Personally, I prefer anti-smoking ads that are a little harder hitting - like a lot of the other spots The Truth has done. But I do admire the fresh approach.

Scher: I love the idea of an April Fool's Day ad. I just wished I was fooled. As soon as the spot came on with the "April 1, 2001" super, it was clear what was going on. If I hadn't been inundated with The Truth ads and if the setting were more formal, maybe I would have believed this was a real PSA. Still, it's a clever spot that works perfectly within the campaign.

Ikea, "Organized Neighbors"

Agency: Carmichael Lynch Director: Gary McKendry, Go Film

Tulley: A couple are in their living room when the wife looks out the window at the apartment across the street. Noticing a perfect-looking, neater-than-neat room with a perfect-looking, neater-than-neat wall unit, the wife says to her hubby, "I wish we could be that organized." The hubby replies, "People like that never have fun. They're uptight." Just then, the couple who live in neat-ville come running in. The hubby is in his boxers, and the wife, wielding a whip, is dressed like a dominatrix. I loved this spot. And not just because I'm into housewives in leather. It's memorable, surprising, and turns one of the most boring products into something fun.

Scher: Great casting. Great timing. A simple, funny idea, well executed. It was a nice surprise the first time I saw it, but like the other spots in this campaign, I enjoy seeing it each time. It's unusual to see a dominatrix joke that doesn't come off like a bad student ad. The "get organized" strategy seems very effective. It got my butt out to Ikea the weekend the campaign broke.

Nintendo, "Girl Talk"

Agency: Leo Burnett Director: Sean Mullens, Headquarters

Tulley: A trashy, blonde rock `n' roll babe in short-shorts talks on the phone about how she partied really hard last night with Conker, the squirrel who stars in the raunchy videogame Conker's Bad Fur Day. Conker is in the background puking his guts out. I wish it were funnier, although 14-year-old boys probably love this spot. I don't really see a big idea here, but when you're dealing with a videogame about a hung-over squirrel, maybe doing something 14-year-old boys will love is the only idea you need.

Scher: This spot has probably sold quite a few videogames. My guess is that suburban adolescent boys find the commercial really edgy. Not being one of them, I just find it kind of yucky. Even so, some of the art direction and the logo treatment are pretty cool, and inventing a story about the characters outside of the videogame gives the product lots of personality.

Pepsi, "Britney"

Agency: BBDO/New York Director: Joe Pytka, Pytka

Tulley: Cashing in on the Britney Spears craze, this cola video shows Britney starting out as a Pepsi employee, then stripping off her work clothes revealing her usual tight pants and tank top. It then shows a bunch of people watching her video on TV. It's basically just a bad Britney video, even though her fans will probably love it. The funny parts just aren't that funny, and I'm sick of that song already. Maybe if Bob Dole got up and danced with Britney, it would've been better. Then again, maybe not.

Scher: This is what I call a client-masturbation spot. The message is, We think our product (or in this case our new spokesperson) is the greatest thing on Earth. Seeing adult men drooling over a teenage girl singing about cola didn't do much for me. I didn't vote for the guy, but I still feel disappointed every time I see Bob Dole's sellout ass promoting some stupid product.

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