A multimedia campaign from Mullen relies on childhood curiosity to spark interest in a new PBS series on evolution. The ads pose a series of "Why" questions about the world as it is, with evolution, and PBS, apparently holding the answers. For the TV work, ironically directed by former Devo de-evolutionist Gerald Casale, three disparate ideas were executed in unusual ways to represent the topic's scope. One :60, shot in b&w, asks "Why should we care when another species dies?" We go back in time to the days of the sideshow flea circus during which a tightrope-walking flea plunges to its death before horrified onlookers when someone in the audience thoughtlessly sneezes. A documentary-style spot features a greased-pig contest to raise the question, "Why did humans emerge as the dominant species?" Another spot shows average-looking men singing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On." ("Why bother with men when cloning is a more efficient form of reproduction?") In addition, Mullen is raising questions with guerrilla actions like toilet sanitation bands in motels, imprinted with, "Why is a squeaky clean environment the dangerous one?"- referring to antibacterials, which make surviving strands stronger. "The idea was for people to encounter ideas about evolution in odd and unexpected places," says creative director Jim Garaventi. Sorry, creationists, there's no opposing view here, this is PBS.
Client: WGBH, Boston/Clear Blue Sky Productions, Seattle Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass. Chief Creative Officer: Edward Boches CD/AD: Greg Boker CD/CW: Jim Garaventi Producer: Alyson Singer Production Co: Picture Park, Santa Monica Director: Gerald Casale Exec. Producer: Raub Shapiro Editor: Owen Plotkin/Editing Concepts, NY Music: Mutato Muszika, LA
FUN WITH REAL VIDEO
New York's Curious Pictures has created a new campaign for U.S. Trust and The Martin Agency, featuring animation techniques first used for Avenue Amy, the shop's cool-chick-in-the-city series, which aired on cable's Oxygen network. The compelling spots, which laud the virtues of trust funds, were created with digital video of testimonials shot against green screens that was then rotoscoped in stylized pastels under the supervision of Filmtecknarna director Jonas Odell. Interpretations of what were originally print ads, the spots are reminiscent of recent Earthlink work - just a little more earthly.
Client: US Trust Agency: The Martin Agency Agency Producer: John Noble CD/CW: Alon Shoval AD: Mark Braddock Production Co: Curious Pictures/Filmtecknarna Director: Jonas Odell/Filmtecknarna Producers: Leila El-Zein/Boo Wong Animators: Vanessa van der Baan, Sarah Browder, Birgit Rathsman, Piet Suess, Molly Schwartz, Kyle McCulloch, John Han, Joon Park, Per Helin, Oscar Wahlberg, Stefan Anderson, Louise Olausson Editor: Mike Elliot/Mad River, N.Y.
THE CIVILIZED JUNGLE
Appropriately filmed in Ft. Lauderdale, this plush new U.K. campaign for Schweppes Ginger Ale captures the lazy lifestyle of luxury beasts in various situations; at a chic nightclub with an animal-only policy; at ease in a swanky apartment building; and lounging, bubbly soda in paw, by the pool. The fetching computer-animated characters include a pimped-out crocodile, a tuxedoed orangutan, a leopard narrator with an upper class drawl, and his rambunctious sidekick - an elephant named Eddie with a habit of spraying his friend's "dry-clean only" suit. The spots close with the mischievous tagline: "Schweppes Ginger Ale; just a little more bite."
Client: Schweppes Agency: RKCR/Y&R Director: Who directing team Production Company: Great Guns London/Santa Monica Executive Producer: Laura Gregory Agency Producer: Sally Wood CW: Derek Payne AD: Richard Dennison Editorial Company: Charlie Uniform Tango/Dallas Editor: Gigi Cone Welch Postproduction: MPC/London Colorist: Frank Voiturier Visual Effects: Glassworks/London Animation: Ludo Fealy Audio Post: The Tape Gallery/London Sound Design: Noise Box/London
Industrial Light & Magic reigns in CG in more ways than one in the XM Satellite Radio campaign, from TBWA/Chiat/Day/Los Angeles. Ten spots, redolent of the Magnolia falling-frogs scene, feature musicians and objects crashing to earth, each highlighting a different genre of satellite programming. One :30 drops B.B. King through a barnyard roof; another throws Snoop Dogg into an office. David Bowie tumbles into a dusty motel room and says, "I'll never get used to this," baby blues aimed skyward. The non-celeb spots include records raining on kids in a parking lot and a truck driver caught in a storm of cellos, trombones and pianos. At the end of each spot an XM tuner cycles through the channels until it rests on the appropriate genre. The campaign is meant to set XM apart from its competitor, Sirius, not explain the technology behind digital satellite radio. It also ignores XM's requisite hardware: a $300 device that will be sold as both an aftermarket product and installed in new cars via partnerships with manufacturers. Creative director Lee Clow says such explanations are redundant. "Everyone understands the concept of radio. We're trying to convey that something bigger is coming, and it's coming from out there." Several spots feature original music, including a brief, twinkling lick off Bowie's new album, but music doesn't take center stage in the campaign. "It's a teaser," says Clow. "We took the anti-MTV route."
Client: XM Radio Agency:TBWA/Chiat/Los Angeles CD: Lee Clow AD: Bill Kauker CW: Brett Craig Producers: Richard O'Neil/Dan Connelly Director: Dante Ariola Sound Designers: Randy Thom/Bob Edwards DP: Toby Irwin Composer: Jonathan Elias Editor: Tom Muldoon Production Co: Propaganda Films Post: Nomad Editorial Sound Desing: Skywalker Sound Post EFX: Industrial Light and Magic Music: Elias
Hey, there's a new Fox Sports campaign, and you know what? It's funny! Tagged "Beware of things made in October," three spots examine the repercussions of assembly line workers who distractedly watch baseball playoffs while they fail to properly assemble. In one spot, a suburban garage becomes the site of a potential nailgun massacre, with a howling family and neighbors diving for cover as the trigger-happy weapon sprays wildly. Another features a malignant leaf blower spewing flames as it's attached to the back of a mild-mannered man trying it out in the store. The third pulls the old "the steering wheel comes off in your hands while the ignition is stuck in full throttle" trick, in a motor boat aimed at a raft full of sunbathers.
Client: Fox Sports Agency: TBWA/Chiat/SF ECD: Chuck McBride ADs: Eric King/Jeff Labbe Writers: Scott Wild/ Eric King/Jeff Labbe Producer: Betsy Beale Production Co: Harvest Films Director: Baker Smith Producers: Bonnie Goldfarb/Lauren Bayer Post: Lost Planet Editors: Hank Corwin ("Nailgun") Paul Martinez ("Boat," "Leaf Blower").
MADE IN THE SHADE
The latest installment of Nike's "Play" campaign is a serene, almost Zen-like answer to the sweaty heroics normally associated with running. This :60 tracks a young woman as she jogs through New York, exploiting various fixtures of the concrete jungle to stay cool. She dashes through long shadows cast by tall buildings, and sprints in the shade of a low-flying airplane. She runs alongside a delivery truck and plays hopscotch under a freeway overpass. Most of the shadows, as you'd expect, were added digitally by Method Studios (see p. 37) .
Client: Nike Agency: Wieden & KennedyPortland CDs: Dan Wieden/Hal Curtis CWs: Kash Sree/Mike Byrne ADs: Andy Fackrell/Monica Taylor Agency Producer: Andrew Loevenguth Director: Frank Budgen Production Co: Gorgeous/Anonymous Producers: Paul Rothwell/Alicia Bernard Canadian Production Co: Steam Films Producer: Ken Eggett Editor: Russel Icke/White House Editorial Producer: Sue Dawson Music: Elias Music Post: Method
No longer limited to print and posters, Curious Pictures and Hempel/Stefanides have breathed life into photographer/designer Butch Belair's grossly distorted (yet strangely sexy) big-eyed beauties, for Steve Madden shoes. The spot follows two snarky protagonists, one bizarrely walking a big-eyed chick on a leash, as they cross paths, giving each other the once-over for hipness and fashion status. They both pass, since they're wearing Maddens. The :30 was labor-intensive but relatively simple to produce, says director David Kelley. After taking background digital stills, including street scenes and rooftops, Kelley's team composited shadows and reflections, and combined pixilated photos with 2-D animation. The result is like an anime flip-book, with cut-and-paste grittiness and schizoid music. "It was great to work without a film crew, Winnebagos, 50 PAs," says art director Tom Kane. "It was just David, Butch and a digital camera."
Client: Steve Madden Agency: Hampel/Stefanides Agency Prod: Jean Muchmore AD: Tom Kane Production Co/CGI Facility: Curious Pictures Directors: David Kelley/Butch Belair Editor: David Kelley Producer: Josh Porter 2D Animators: Naomi Nishimura/Roger Wasson Music: Human
DON'T BE GUN SHY
In a chillingly hallucinatory playdate, BBDO/New York captures the potential tragedy of firearms in the hands of children in a new gun control PSA. A little boy finds his father's pistol beneath the mattress during a game of Army, and the rest is expressed in the horrified reactions of his mother and sister after they hear the gunshot. The spot features a VO by actress Julianne Moore on behalf of the ASK ("Asking saves kids") campaign, in which parents are urged to inquire, "Is there a gun where my child plays?" Over 40 percent of homes with children have a gun in them, according to the sponsors, who offer tips for making sure your kids visit gun-safe homes at askingsaveskids.com.
Client: PAX/American Academy of Pediatrics Agency: BBDO/New York COs: Ted Sann/Al Merrin CD: Barry Udoff CW: Barry Udoff/Al Merrin AD: Richard Karnbach Production Co: HKM Productions Director: Michael Karbelnikoff Music: Sunday Editor: Tim Sherry, P.I.G.
GLOBAL HOT SEAT
Three commercials for the Slovenian edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire are generating as much buzz at European awards shows as the program itself originally created in the U.S. One spot features a woman asking for a loaf of bread in a bakery. She's suddenly faced with four choices, presented Millionaire style. The customer requests to use her 50/50. Cut to a Millionaire promo graphic with voiceover. This snagged the Grand Prix at the Golden Drum festival - the Eastern European answer to Cannes. Another spot features a hefty woman marrying a rather ungainly guy with (obviously phony) beaver-like teeth. When she says "I do," she's asked if that's her final answer; when she hesitates, it's suggested that she ask the audience. Again, we're denied the payoff. The third spot features a couple going at it hot and heavy in bed, in an apartment over the bakery. When the guy asks if she wants to go for the "big one" after having had three, she slaps him across the face - then asks if he could call a friend. The baker downstairs, whose ceiling has been wildly shaking, is hopefully eyeing his phone. We bet he got the call.
Client: POP TV Agency: Luna, Slovenia CW: Uros Gorican CD: Stojan Pelko Production Co: NORA, Slovenia Director: Saso PodgorsekPOP TV Agency: Luna, Slovenia CW: Uros Gorican CD: Stojan Pelko Production Co: NORA, Slovenia Director: Saso Podgorsek
This Pepsi poster campaign from BBDO/Toronto takes a soda straw poll, and Coke loses. Although the competitor's logo was erased for reasons of "decorum," as the creatives put it, the horrified straw makes it amusingly clear that life isn't necessarily so good, after all - at least not without "joy" in it.
Client: Pepsi Agency: BBDO/Toronto CDs: Jack Neary/Michael McLaughlin/Scott Dube/Ian MacKellar AD: Scott Dube CW: Ian MacKeller Photographer: Cutis Lantinga Production House: SGL Studio Production Manager: John Rodrigues Digital Retoucher: ReBecca Nixon
Arnold's latest Where's Waldo-style work for the New Beetle makes for a compellingly quirky followup to the award-winning "There's One" campaign. The ads consist of three close-in shots of what seem to be nothing in particular - but for the ostensibly natural Beetle renderings they contain, replete with hand-written captions marking the date and place. Above we see a Beetle-shaped lemon wedge resting on the side of a glass with "Seen at lunch with Wade, Boston 4/19/01." Another has the car's familiar profile crushed into ice by snow boots; "Found at the Condo, Winter Park, CO 3/31/01. " Yet another is a Beetle-esque crack in a wall with "Seen at the mall, Edison, N.J., 1/7/01." Group CD Alan Pafenbach says he rejected any scenarios that didn't look authentically "found" enough, like footprints on the beach.
Client: Volkswagen Agency: Arnold Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Ron Lawner Group Creative Director: Alan Pafenbach CDs: Paul Renner/Dave Weist AD/Photographer: Paul Renner CW: Dave Weist Production Manager: Stephanie Kailher
This take on the old cross-dressing two-step opens with a beefy fella, clearly an unlikely transvestite, trying on high heels in an upscale clothing store. He attracts considerable attention, none of it good, from the other shoppers as he tries on gloves, earrings, purses and flowered dresses. A female VO says: "No matter who you are, or what you're into, isn't it nice to know that you'll be accepted?" The tone of the spot changes radically when the man exits the store, snaps on a pig snout, and jumps into a convertible filled with similarly dressed men. A male voice takes over, explaining that the Redskins' biggest fans, the Hoggettes, shop only where Visa is accepted. The ad closes with the Hoggettes at the stadium, sucking on cigars and jiggling their flowered bellies, and the seasoned tagline: "Visa: it's everywhere NFL fans want to be."
Client: Visa Agency: BBDO/NY Chief Creative Officer: Ted Sann EVP/ECD: Jimmy Siegel CD/CW: Jordan Allen CD/AD: Susan Levine Producer: Deborah Johnson Production Co: MJZ Director: Jonathon David Music: Face the Music Editor: Karen Kourtessis, Crew Cuts
PIG IN A JOKE
Pork is an inherently funny product, and the folks at Bozell/Chicago had a rib-splitting good time coming up with fresh ways to insert the other white meat into common food phrases, for the 2001 National Pork Board campaign. The lines seen here are among the half-dozen that made the final cut, and can currently be spotted gracing trucks on heartland highways and on billboards around Manhattan and Chicago. According to copywriter Faron Greenfield, only one rhyme, "Mary had a little pork," was too ribald for the Pork Board. "Maybe next year," he says optimistically.
Client: National Pork Board Agency: Bozell/Chicago ECD: Mike Powell ADs: Laura Zynda/Paul Dabrowski Writers: Faron Greenfield/Tim O'Brien
The 105-year-old New York Advertising Club is dusting off its retro image with a new logo and a six-part print campaign that features advertising bigwigs in decidedly unbusinesslike positions. One ad asks "What does an agency go through to get a client?" and shows Donny Deutsch preparing to jump through a flaming hoop held by Leslie Winthrop, president of AAR Partners. Although Donny declined the AD's request to wear a poodle suit, he did allow the use of his conference room for the above dominatrix ad, which poses the question: "Who makes better lovers, creatives or account people?" The mistress seen digging her spikes into the mahogany is actually Hill Holliday's executive VP Ruth Ayres. A former standup comedian, Ayres is no stranger to bright lights but says leather isn't her fabric of choice. "It took a damn hour to stuff me into that suit," she gripes. Another ad features Tom Mooney of Headquarters trying to impress a young professional with a pyramid of martini glasses. The parodies were created gratis by The Ad Store, and the talent donated their time to convince Gotham's industry that the Ad Club is an insider establishment.
Client: The Ad Club Agency: The Ad Store CD: Paul Cappelli Writer: Brian Flatow Producer/AD: Christopher Markham Photographers: Roger Moenks/Laurent Alfieri
The latest batch of off-the-wall Geico spots, from The Martin Agency, are among the funniest yet. In one, a squirrel darts in front of a car, causing it swerve off the road and crash. The camera follows the squirrel, which launches into an exuberant high-five routine with a pal. Another spot trails a woman who has lost her wheels (presumably due to high insurance rates) as she picks her daughter up from school. She tears through the streets, with a "My child is an honor student" bumper sticker affixed to her rear. She "pulls up" in front of the school and honks an airhorn, as her mortified daughter looks on. A third spot even manages to squeeze a giggle out of yet another Crouching Tiger parody by sending dowdy salesman sailing through the air, as they practice ancient insurance traditions.
Client: Geico Auto Insurance Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. "Squirrel" and "Wuxia" CD: Steve Basset CWs: Joe Lawson/Raymond McKinney AD: Ty Harper "Car Pool" CW: Anne Marie Hite AD: Claiborne Riley Broadcast Producer: Steve Humble Director: Traktor Producer/Production Co: Jeff Miller, Partizan, Los Angeles Editor: Paul Norling, Filmcore, Santa Monica Music: Asche & Spencer ("Squirrel" and "Wuxia") Elias ("Car Pool") FX: Sight Effects
THE JET SET
Suppose you won $10,000 and the use of a private jet for a week. Where will you go? What will you do, who will you bring and most importantly, what will you wear? Fantasy answers are provided by this print and web promotion for Evian's "Summer Upgrade" contest. The ads, like the prize itself, are whimsical yet sophisticated- the work of advertising newcomer Monsieur Z, a ringer from the realm of editorial art. The Flash web tie-ins, which ran through September on Evian.com, animate the same "jetiquette" themes, including the suggestion to "wear flats when dancing during descent of your private jet."
Client: Evian Agency: Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG CD: Michael Lee AD: Chuck Tso CW: Josh Rubin Illustrator: Monsieur Z
To the delight of Japanese television viewers, Dentsu/Tokyo has added two spots to its ongoing five-year-old comedy campaign for a temporary staff service. In keeping with the previous ads, the new spots portray young people frantically calling Staff Services to escape heinous - and hilarious - job situations that mock traditional Japanese boss worship. Both :30s take place on a golf course, with a gaggle of men positioned to make their boss' ball land in the hole. In one spot they lift the green like a giant blanket after his errant shot; in the other, they dive into the water to save his wretched slice, and the proud retriever throws it on the green. In every spot in the campaign, one dissenter escapes the pack and runs screaming to call Staff Services on his cell, looking tremendously relieved when they answer. Earlier spots from this popular campaign feature memorable images of Japanese businessmen dressed in Playboy bunny suits and high heels.
Client: Staff Service Co. Agency: Dentsu/Tokyo CD: Giichi Tanaka CWs: Kei Suzuki, Shinichi Satou, Ryouji Matsuoka, Nanami Koide, Nobutake Sera, Tomoyuki Michiyama, Takashi Okada Production Co: Nittenalti Creatives
Potlatch Paper goes "The Full McCoy" in a whimsical promotion for the latest addition to its McCoy line, the apparently exhibitionistic uncoated. This tongue-in-cheek riff on The Full Monty features blurbs from faux critics - "Now I've seen it all," and "Gives new meaning to `the money shot' " - and compares various grades in the McCoy series with lines like, "If you've got it, flaunt it," for uncoated, and "Has never taken it off, and never will," for the more demure gloss. McCoy velvet, meanwhile, is "A bit of a tease," while silk "Will try anything."
Client: Potlatch Paper Concept and Design: Carmichael Lynch Thorburn Photography: Neil Brown, Neil Brown Studio, L.A/Peter Carter/Kevin Peterson, Push Studio, Minneapolis