Office Max "Rubberband Man"

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While this year's office-set spots made fun of the doldrums of work by mocking workplace politics (Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts) and annoying caricatures (Lipton), DDB/Chicago effectively turned the office into a fun place to be, thanks to some fabulous casting and a classic '70s track from the Spinners. "Rubberband Man" opens with the track's twangy baseline, while we see a ball of rubber bands rotate like a disco ball on a mail cart. As the music builds, the man himself-an afro-sporting charmer in shirtsleeves and a tie-struts and dances through the office helping colleagues in need, who include a woman deluged by papers and a man covered in copy toner. Don Pogany, DDB group creative director, says that the track was integrated early in the writing process and helped to develop the plot. "We were looking for a guy who would be in an office, just like somebody from our supply center," he says, emphasizing that the spot is based on the DDB offices. "We though it would be funny if he were a rubber band man. So the song was instantly connected to the idea and helped define it." The effect is a bounce-in-your seat party, in which a box of rubber bands or a new office chair serves as a pleasant surprise instead of a mundane necessity. By the time the man breaks it down next to a row of cubicles to show his moves, he's already dispensed numerous products and refilled the company first-aid box. The lyrics "Oh, Lord, this dude is outta sight/Everything he does/Seems to come out right," emphasize his helpfulness, but also lend some attitude."We were aware of the fact that there's OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples, and the lines start to blur between them sometimes," Pogany says. "So we wanted something that would make OfficeMax stand out a little bit. The song was one consideration. The other was that we wanted to shoot in an out-of-store environment." Pogany adds that the spot helped position the brand well enough that a sequel using the same song will be released at the end of the month, this time with a twist. Because the track was licensed early in the process, the spot was filmed MOS with the track piped in for dancing. From pre-production on the second spot, Pogany says that he's not sick of the song yet. "Now it's got a different context," he says. "It used to be a nostalgic blast, and now I've got a definite picture in my head for it."
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