Best Spots: Visitor’s View

Ron Lawner
ADWEEK sent me about 60 spots to review, and I’ve commented on a dozen or so. It’s not that the other 50 spots weren’t good. They were, for the most part, solid (if you know what I mean). We all have experience doing that kind of work. I just don’t think we have to talk about it.

HONDA:
SFX: ’70s spy music up.
Visual: Man disappears behind bookcase.
Visual: Man appears in high-tech garage.
Visual: Man pushes button.
Visual: Man gets unusable car (twice).
VO: Late for work?
Visual: Man can’t get garage door open.
VO: Try the new Accord V6 coupe.
Comment: I hate it when I don’t get it.

CALIFORNIA MILK:
The milk campaign (above, left) is wonderful. A town without milk is very fresh work.

JACK IN THE BOX:
Hot babes on a runway in one spot. Hot, wet babes onstage in the other. They sing and dance to the praises of the spicy chicken sandwich. Jack (as in the box) hates the ads. I like them.

US UNWIRED:
Visual: Vultures. This spot is saying that cellular communications is dead and that US Unwired is what’s next. Whatever that is.

SNICKERS:
I love the “Not going anywhere for a while?” campaign from Snickers. Funny, attention-getting spots that (it seems to me) are based on a smart strategy.

HBO:
This campaign does a great job (without the expected lineup of movie clips). Smart. Fun. Beautifully produced.

MERCEDES-BENZ:
Working on a car account has made me very aware of car advertising. Mercedes in particular has caught my attention with some funny and well-produced spots. The strategy is very clear: Mercedes are not just for older, wealthy, stuffy people. Sure.

LEVI STRAUSS:
Levi’s is looking for a new agency. What do you want me to do? Pour grease on the fire?

CALIFORNIA PRUNES:
An animated Cleopatra (Rosie O’Donnell) complains about her day to animated Antony. I’m glad the raisins don’t have to watch this.

EQUINOX:
Husband dumps wife No. 1 for younger woman. Ex-wife shows up at ex-husband’s hospital bed. (He’s not looking too spry.) She flashes a great-looking body. He flat-lines. Revenge is sweet. So is this spot.

NIKE:
Whenever I think I’m getting a little tired of the Nike stuff, they come up with spots like Jordan Incorporated’s “Make the logo bigger.” I laughed out loud.

Ron Lawner is managing partner and chief creative officer at Arnold Communications in Boston. His accounts include Volkswagen, Ocean Spray, Titleist, Bell Atlantic, Century 21 and The Hartford.