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Frank DiGiacomo was a copywriter for 14 years at several agencies before opening a production company with his cousin, Ron Travisano, and he has a theory about the life cycle of teams that sounds pretty familiar. "They start out with a period of getting to know one another, of exploring," he explains. "Once they've decided to stay together and become comfortable with each other, there's typically a period of high productivity. This is usually followed by a period of predictability, which comes about because you start to think the same way." You know the cliche, finishing each other's sentences, that sort of thing. Many people find this charming, but Frank views it as the beginning of the end. "This is when the work starts to get ordinary, and that's when it's time to break up the team."

Tell that to Chuck Bennett and Clay Williams. These two guys have been together for four years, and they not only finish each other's sentences but they start them as well. If you ask us, they're nowhere near ready to break up-in fact, it looks as though they're just hitting their stride. Recently upped to group CDs at the newly energized TBWA Chiat/Day, they brought us Nissan's Mr. K, those dynamite "Dream Garage" teasers and a campaign for the bunny which is running in test and is hysterically funny-too bad we can't talk about it here.

Bennett and Williams are one of a half-dozen teams profiled in this issue, which we've largely devoted to examining what makes good teams clique (har-har). And while I'd have to agree with Frank's team-dynamic analysis, there are nevertheless examples of duos that have managed to continue to find inspiration and motivation in each other's company. Two of them are included in Cathy Madison's look at legendary teams: Bob Barrie and Jarl Olsen, who recently collaborated on a campaign for The Minneapolis Star-Tribune at Fallon McElligott, and Chris Wall and Susan Westre, those former Apple stars who've been reunited with ex-boss Steve Hayden and are working on IBM for O&M.-Anthony Vagnoni

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