The Work

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Stare Masters

Crunch's slogan is "No Judgements," but its advertising is easy to judge: it's intriguingly offbeat, even by the standards of the usually edgy health club category. These Sandra Scher illustrations showcase the unexpected benefits of time at the gym, including practical skills like jar-opening, utensil control, and, of course, egg-balancing.

Client: Crunch Fitness Centers CD: Carol Holsinger CW: Phil Gable AD: Sandra Scher Illustrator: Carol Holsinger

The Color of Money

The silent blue men that have morphed from an off-Broadway production to a national franchise are now lending their silent wit to Intel commercials. In the most visually arresting spot in the campaign, the men of Blue Man Group paint the Intel logo on a large white wall. One man rappels from above, clinging to a paint roller. The second fills a catapult with green paint-filled cannons and shoots the balls in a line. The third man one-ups his colleague, pouring a bucket of green paint over his head and catapulting himself at the wall, where he sticks for a moment - and then slides down.

Client: Intel Agency: Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer CD: Walt Connelly/Larry Silberfein AD: Walt Connelly CW: Larry Silberfein Director: David Kellogg Production Company: Anonymous Effects:Method Studio, Santa Monica Editor: Marc Langley, The Firm

Dentally Disturbed

A scruffy guy plods to the bathroom for his morning toilette. With his back to the camera, he stands in front of the mirror and stretches his neck and arms, setting off a disconcerting series of pops and snaps. Cut to a shot of a very small toothbrush resting on the sink. If a picture says a thousand words, the next shot, of his face, is a detailed expose on rugby violence, the centerpiece being his single bloody tooth. This visually jarring spot announcing the new rugby season is the creation of Miguel Hernandez and Isabela Ferreira, Miami Ad School students who interned at KesselsKramer. The actor actually has only one tooth. "We found him in Ugly Casting Book, Volume II," says Hernandez. "He had gotten his picture taken 12 years ago and this is the first work he had since then."

Client: Ascrum Amsterdam Agency: KesselsKramer Creative: Miguel Gomez Hernandez/Isabela Andrade Ferreira Director: Johan Kramer Prod. Co.: KesselsKramer DP: Lex Brand Sound: Vonk Amsterdam on Export Agency: HHCL & Partners CD: Al Young Creative Team: Jonathan Thake/Lee Tan Producer: Richard Packer Director: Bak Smith Production Company: Tate & Partners

Letter Lovers

Letterforms: Bawdy, Bad & Beautiful is a testament to the artistic possibility of type. Included are illustrations from such design luminaries as Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, and Fred Woodward. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2000, by Steven Heller and Christine Thompson, 192 pages. 1) Stefan Sagmeister 2) Yee-Haw Industries 3) Paula Scher 4) Cahan & Assoc. 5) Spot Design 6) James Victoire 7) Paula Scher

Motion Capture

While most couture houses feature the same four models with identically bored expressions, the new ads from Marithe & Francois Girbaud fight against the sullen norm in ads for their flex-friendly sportswear. This beautiful print campaign about movement is more than a bit reminiscent of the paintings of Francis Bacon crossed with the Futurists.

Client: Marithe & Francois Girbaud Agency: Air Paris CD: Francois Girbaud AD: Tho Van Tran

Career Suicide

This ad may look like a plug for a second-rate vacation resort, but its inconspicuous copy reveals a darker side. This reclining beauty with the serene expression conjures up memories of warm summer sun and tropical drinks. E-deltacom refuses to let those pleasant thoughts linger too long, though. The headline explains that Denise, aforementioned reclining beauty, did not partner with web host E-deltacom. The noir punch line reads, "And now, Denise is dead."

Client: E-deltacom Agency: Peter A. Mayer Advertising CD: Josh Mayer AD: Kendall Lamar/Dave Hotstream CW: Justin Bonura/ Jackie Terrebonne Photography: Jackson Hill

Auto Focus

Pioneer takes obsession with automotive sound systems beyond high school parking lots and into the mainstream. In a new print campaign that includes Pioneer's home and auto electronics, audio hardware shows up in unlikely places. "It's the passion for the equipment that started the brainstorming for this campaign," explains AD Sakol Mongkolkasetarin. "Pioneer makes stuff that you want, not stuff that you need. "

Client: Pioneer Electronics Agency: BBDO West CD: Ken Mandelbaum AD: Sakol Mongkolkasetarin CW: Michael Barti Photographer: Heimo/Rick Chou

This must be the bike ET used

It might actually be easier to carry this bike than to ride it. Crispin Porter + Bogusky adds to its arsenal of quality bike advertising, a tradition that began with the award-winning Shimano work. In this print work for the ultra-light Schwinn, the featherweight bikes get blown around like dustbunnies.

Client: Schwinn Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky CD: Alex Bogusky AD: Tony Calcao CW: Rob Strasberg Computer Artist: Milan De Vito Photographer: Hunter Freeman


When humans are no longer necessary to provide the chow, that old "man's best friend" myth will be quickly debunked. This skillful cat will not long be constrained by a leash or cage, either. Cole Valley Pets, a local San Francisco pet store, panders to owners' pride with its tagline: "Everything for the above average pet."

Client: Cole Valley Pets Agency: Cornyn + Partners, San Francisco CD: Chris Cornyn/John Cruz CW: Chris Cornyn AD: John Cruz


FCB reprises its award-winning campaign this holiday season with a new round of hokey songs from the sweatered menfolk. It's like a meeting of the Rotary Club crossed with a local performance of The Sound of Music. In one spot, the men concoct an absurd acronym, EMAHTSKCBLVDT, to stand for all of their products (electronics, music, auctions, and so forth). In another, a squad of couch potatoes relax in easy chairs to brag that "I didn't even write the card." The fun of this campaign is often in the details, from the choreographed leg-swing at the end of the easy chair spot to the ever-present accordion accompanist.

Client: Agency: FCB Worldwide CD: Tom O'Keefe/Matt Reinhard CD/CW: Pat Durkin AD: Ron Lim Directors: Adam Cameron/Simon Cole Production Company: Headquarters Composers: Roger Wojahn/Scott Wojahn Editor: Avi Oron, Bikini Editorial

United We Apologize

United's new TV campaign uses type and muted background music to cut through the usual clutter. In our personal favorite, the airline apologizes for the outrageous delays of the past year. Anyone who has waded through the endless armies of surly airline bureaucrats in crowded terminals understands the appeal of these understated commercials. CD David Lubars notes that apology commercials must be conceived and realized quickly to catch consumers when the remorse is still relevant. "It was really a matter of turnaround. These things are very topical and timely. If you go through the usual timeline, you really miss the point," Lubars explains. He claims the requisite apologetic tones did not hinder the agency's creativity. "We try to make our apology advertising feel like it's from the heart as opposed to putting a slick guy in a suit up there," he says. And what a relief United is no longer rising.

Client: United Agency: Fallon/Minneapolis CD: David Lubars Creative group head: Tom Lichtenheld AD: Tom Lichtenheld CW: Rob McPherson Prod.: Kate Talbott Editor: Yu & Company, LA Music: Wow & Flutter, Mpls

Small Talk

No one ever claimed that bar conversation is a form of quality discourse, but the teenagers on Party of Five could talk circles around the guys in this spot for a talk radio station. They run through the gamut of small-talk openers, but they can't come up with anything better than the variant forms of "How's it going?" (and they try each and every variation on this theme). When one conversationally-challenged guy turns to try out his opener on the women sitting next to him, she's already heard enough to know it's worth paying for her own drink rather than trying to communicate with this moron. The station promises to offer its news-deprived listeners some content for their conversations.

Client: KEX-1001 Agency: Nerve, Portland, Ore. CD: Craig Opfer AD: Jay Fawcett CW: Craig Opfer/Geoff Rogers Producer: Kristine Masta

Service with a Squeeze

A customer and a DirecTV technician stand in front of the man's house while the installer goes over the final details of the service. The burly soon-to-be satellite viewer nods thoughtfully and signs the contract. As the technician extends his hand for the customary shake, the new owner is overcome with emotion; he reaches past the handshake into an embarrassing full embrace. Just wait till he tries watching TV during a thunderstorm.

Client: DirecTV Agency: Deutsch CD: Eric Hirshberg AD: Mike Bryce CW: Mark Musto Director: Chris Hooper Production Company: Tool of North America Editor: John Hopp, Jigsaw Music: AdMusic Sound: POP Sound

Better Off Fred

In an above-ground swimming pool, a stout man lounges lazily on his rubber raft. A voiceover introduces him as Fred, and compares him to a thesis paper, of all things. Imagine our surprise, and Fred's, when a giant octopus rises from the pool and devours him. "There goes Fred," chirps the announcer brightly. "Darn." Enter the Iomega zip disc, which can replace Fred/thesis papers because they've been backed up. "Welcome back, Fred," says the VO as the new Fred clambers clumsily back onto his raft.

Client: Iomega Agency: Publicis & Hal Riney CD: Mike Mazza AD: Joe Kayser CW: Michael Barti Agency Producer: Julie Shannon Production Company: Traktor Director: Traktor Editor: Dick Gordon, Mad River Post Music: Asche & Spencer

Radio City

A young woman sits on a New York street corner. As a squealing fire engine approaches, she dons her headphones to silence the blaring street. Though at first all goes quiet, she realizes that the street is ripe for a soundtrack, and whips out her MP3 player. For a woman arguing with the firemen, "La Traviata." For a swaggering policeman, "Rawhide." And, as three Chanel-clad matrons, arms linked, hail a taxi, Motley Crue belts, "Girls, girls, girls." She returns to her apartment to make a CD entitled, "Broadway and Grand St." Cute idea. Too bad trying to drown out the sounds of New York with headphones must be making her deaf.

Client: Hewlett-Packard Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners CD: Steve Simpson AD: Jennifer Ward CW: Mike McKay Director: Antony Hoffman

Next of Kim

Tired of downloading porn? We didn't think so, but for a slight change of pace, check out the new Lil' Kim website at, which is as raunchy as the star herself. A picture of Kim sprawls across the opening page, with a demure fleur-de-lis graphic that creeps slowly across her bare stomach. As the mouse runs over the headings, fuchsia silhouettes of the diminutive rapper flash in a dancing pattern.

Client: Lil' Kim Agency: KSK Films Executive Producer: Manny Kivowitz Designers: Alan Bibby/Warner Barnes AD (Atlantic Records): Bec Stupac

Outdoor Score

On its first paying project, the Martin offshoot BooneOakley hit the publicity jackpot, including national press coverage and irate phone calls from the Republican party. The creative team erected this billboard on a North Carolina highway on a Friday with a picture of Dubya along with the Gore logo. BooneOakley kept quiet about the scheme until Monday, when the banner for appeared with the words: "Today's job opening: proofreader."

Client: Agency: BooneOakley CW: David Oakley AD: John Boone

Just Plane Insane

"Some people like to climb mountains," begins a wind-blown man. "I like to build planes. In the air." Other crew members come on-camera to give their testimonials about the glory of building a plane mid-flight. The plane itself is only partially constructed, with large sections open to the air - but it has a full load of passengers. "We're not just building a plane up here," declares one woman. "We're building a dream." As parachutes fall from the plane in the background, the screen reads: "In a sense, this is what we do. We build your digital business even while you're up and running." Fallon won widespread acclaim last year for the EDS spot "Cat Herders," but few could remember the company, or its purpose. This spot provides a memorable metaphor for its digital consulting business. It also redefines the notion of economy class.

Client: EDS Agency: Fallon/Minneapolis CD: David Lubars AD: Dean Hanson CW: Greg Hahn Director: John O'Hagan Production Company: Hungry Man Editor: Gordon Carey, Filmcore

Losing Focus

In this simple, effective (as if we needed convincing) spot for RCA's crystal-clear television, a movie theater preview begins to roll. The voiceover starts with its predictable hype, but the screen footage remains oddly fuzzy. We can make out a figure walking, and maybe a glimpse of a villa, but the images remain blurry well past the point of artsiness. Cut to a new voiceover, asking, "You wouldn't put up with a less than perfect picture here. Why do you at home?" as the words come into focus.

Client: Thomson Consumer Electronics Agency: Lowe Lintas Creative Group Head: Niko Courtelis CW: Doug James AD: Kevin Watkins Producer: Colleen O'Connor Production/Direction: Stock Footage Editor: Clayton Hemmert, Crew Cuts

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe

Ambulance-chasing may be a thing of the past if personal injury lawyers can peddle their rhetorical wares at the scene of the crime. This inventive guerrilla campaign for the D.C.-based law firm Cohen & Cohen includes ads on uneven sidewalks, constructions sites and, of course, wet floors. But what if someone trips over the warning sign?

Client: Cohen & Cohen, P.C. Agency: Last Tuesday Creative AD: Chad Grandey CW: Mick Sutter

Fun for the whole henhouse

Perdue may have the healthiest chickens, but this German radio station seems to have found the most lively poultry around. The tagline reads, "Antenne Bayern affects more than just your ears"; apparently it also affects your cafeteria lunch. Not to mention the crosswalk signals and children in utero. No wonder Germans are known for their vivacity and humor.

Life is a Highway

For most people, driving feels like a waste of valuable time. For BMW drivers, each kilometer is precious. Or so goes the thinking behind this illustrated print campaign from SCPF in Spain. The juxtaposition of the rough drawings and the sleek automobile suggest a romance that car ads cannot show with flashy photos alone.

Client: BMW Agency: SCPF, Barcelona/Madrid CD: Toni Segarra AD: Marion Donneweg CW: Toni Segarra/Marion Donneweg Illustration: Marion Donneweg Photography: Ricardo Miras

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