Creative: Best Spots April

APRIL Cold cereal is hot these days, especially sugary product intros, like Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch. Not only does RBC add zing to an iconic brand, it milks fresh advertising approaches. In the past, says Thomas Hayo, associate creative director/art director at J. Walter Thompson in New York, “We had to be careful what kind of people we put in [cereal ads]. They had to be serious, wholesome characters. But since Raisin Bran Crunch is a new brand, we wanted to go against the rules, do something quirky and offbeat.”
Targeting breakfast-skipping men and women 18-35-not the usual kid demo-the two-spot campaign claims, “Breakfast is back.” In “Milkman,” the eponymous fellow agrees to breakfast with an ugly, scantily clad woman because she’s eating the cereal. “Slackers” portrays a group of sleepy frat guys who wake up just to chow down on bowls of RBC, then go back to bed. “Our fear was that viewers would call [RBC] the cereal of ugly people or people who don’t shower,” Hayo says. “But the reaction has been positive, and the cereal is selling better than expected.” In RBC’s future, look for more ads with entertaining situations not normally associated with the morning meal.

1. Cadillac Seville STS
Agency: DMB&B, Troy, Mich. CD: Jon Parkinson AD: Alan Rado CW: Rob Hendrickson
Agency prod.: Leslie Rose Prod. co.: X-1 Films Dir.: Nick Lewin Editor: Jonathan Del Gatto, Red Car Music: Walter Werzowa, Musikverneuegen
“Sir, I need your vehicle. I need to get to 84th and Adams,” says the law-enforcement official to a motorist, who is waiting at a red light. The FBI guy is Puddy (Patrick Warburton)! Taking the wheel, Puddy drives through alleyways, past abutments, over wet roads. It seems Puddy is a big fan of Cadillac’s Northstar system. After the Seville narrowly misses a bridge stanchion, the motorist says, “That was close.” “Trust me,” says our hero. “I’m with the government.” Best Spots trusts him: Someone please just give this guy his own sitcom and let the money start rolling in.

2. California fluid milk processors advisory board
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein AD/dir.: Tom Routson CW: Tom Miller Agency prod.: Jan O’Malley
Prod. co.: Tool of North America Editor: Adam Pertofsky, Rock Paper Scissors Music: APM
Sound effects: Rock Paper Scissors, 48 Windows
At the kitchen table, mom tells her two kids to drink their milk. “I don’t want milk,” says the boy. “Milk’s for babies.” The younger sister concurs. “Mr. Miller never drinks milk,” says the son, hammering home his point, “and look at him.” A picture of vigor and health, Mr. Miller is tending his garden in the next yard. The Divine Mr. M waves hello to the kids and starts to lift the wheelbarrow-only to see his arms rip off at the shoulders. (Amputation humor!) Screaming in horror, the kiddies drink up.

3. corona
Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas CD/AD: Jimmy Baldwin CW: Mike Renfro Agency prod.: Rob Handy Prod. co.: Nyrdle Agency prod.: Peter Nyrdle
Editor/sound design: Doug Bryan, Post Op
While the Corona campaign is always visually stunning, this simple commercial throws technology to the wind-literally. The camera opens on an aqua-green translucent ocean (Mexico?), then slowly pulls back to reveal an icy bottle of Corona, a hot blonde sitting in a beach chair and a male hand skipping stones on the sea. After a couple of impressive tosses, the man’s pager starts beeping. Yep. The pager gets chucked, bouncing three times on the ocean’s surface before settling into its watery grave. The ad, like the beer it sells, goes down easy. The tagline: “Change your whole lattitude.”

4. E*Trade
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F.
CDs: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein AD: Jeremy Postaer CW: Gerry Graf Agency prod.: Cindy Fluitt Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Bryan Buckley
Editor: Ian MacKenzie, MacKenzie/Cutler
Music: Big Foote
A young man tries to win a raise from his geezer boss, who completely zones out during the kid’s spiel. “I like Jujubees,” thinks the old guy, a bowl of the fruity candy on the table in front of him. “I like the reds and the oranges the best. They are the kings of all Jujubees. The greens and the yellows-they’re like peasants. Maybe someday they’ll rise up and have a Jujubee revolution.” The kid finishes his pitch, and the geezer offers him a Jujubee. “Make your own raise,” is the tagline. “It’s time for E*Trade,” says the VO.

5. fox sports
“Troubled Childhood”
Agency: Cliff Freeman and Partners, N.Y.
CD: Eric Silver AD: Jason Gaboriau
CW: Steve Doppelt Agency prod.: Maresa Wickham
Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Bryan Buckley
Editor: Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie/Cutler
Ever wonder what voiceover guys-with their baritone voices and stiletto deliveries-look like? Fox Sports offers an outrageous glimpse of its main man, whose familiar voice is easily recognized by any sports fan. Promoting the irreverent network’s baseball coverage, he says, “Only the Fox Saturday Game of the Week brings you batter hit zones, so you can see where batters like their pitches. I couldn’t hit the ball wherever it came in ’cause I’m worthless and weak. I was shunned as a child because I was different. And now, all I want is for someone to hold me and make me feel special-as special as the Fox Saturday Game of the Week.” After all the pictures of baseball players in action, our hero sits on a stool in front of a studio microphone-dressed as a little boy, in shorts and blond wig, holding a giant lollipop. Probably more information than you need to know, but it’s still a funny baseball promo.

6. gatorade
“Michael Vs. Mia”
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago
CD/AD: Joe Burke CD/CW: Danny Schuman
Agency prod.: Jeff Felter Prod. co.: HSI
Dir.: Sam Bayer Editor: Angus Wall,
Rock Paper Scissors Music: tomandandy
The ubiquitous Michael Jordan takes on women’s soccer studette Mia Hamm in a number of sports-basketball, soccer, fencing, tennis, track and field and judo. It’s all Gatorade-fueled, of course, and Hamm, with her psycho intensity, steals the show. Never a Chicago Bulls fan, Best Spots views MJ-even in retirement-as the villain. It’s always nice to see him get his butt kicked, even if it’s just in a 30-second spot.

7. General Electric
“Lucky day”
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative officer: Ted Sann ECD: Al Merrin Sr. CD/CW: Barry Udoff ACD/group CD/AD: Richie Karnbach Agency prod.: J.D. Williams Music prod.: Rani Vaz Prod. co.: HKM Productions Dir.: Michael Karbelnikoff Editor: Tim Sherry, PIG Music: Sunday Productions
A man is involved in a spectacular car crash, and the VO says, “Believe it or not, this is your lucky day.” Surrounded by doctors and nurses, he’s wheeled into a hospital room with GE’s new LightSpeed, “the fastest diagnostic scanner in the world.” The VO guy claims the LightSpeed can scan a person for injuries in “just over 30 seconds,” not the usual 20 minutes. The dramatic, fast-paced spot has a happy ending, of course, and it ends with a question: “Does your hospital have [a LightSpeed]?” GE seems to want to build grassroots support for its new technology, but, seriously, how many viewers are going to contact their hospital about this?

8. Home depot
Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas CD: Gary Gibson AD: Mike Gustafson CW: Mike Fisher Agency prod.: Harvey Lewis Prod. co.: 1/33 Productions
Dir.: James Dalthorp Editor: Jack Enrietta, Video Post & Transfer Sound design: Chris Bell
A man steers his Scotts rider mower down the stairs, over a small patch of grass and back up the stairway. Meanwhile, the VO describes the mower’s features, like “a cast-iron front axle.” “You’ll wish you had a bigger yard,” the VO concludes. Where would a civilized city guy be without his 54-inch, 24-horsepower rider mower? It’s a simple idea, nicely done.

9. Jack In The Box
“Breakfast At The Box’S”
Agency: Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif. CD/AD/CW/dir.: Dick Sittig Agency prod.: Nancy Koch Prod. co.: Editor: Brendan O’Carroll, Oasis Music: Wojahn Brothers
On vacation with his family, Jack in the Box -the man with a Ping-Pong-ball head-asks his normal-headed mother what’s for breakfast. She wants a Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich. “Mommmm,” he complains, “the nearest Jack in the Box is 100 miles away.” “Did I ever tell you how difficult your birth was?” replies Mom. The guilt-ridden son complies. Yikes! Jack does have a pointy nose.

10. Kellogg’S Raisin Bran Crunch
Agency: J. Walter Thompson, N.Y. CD: Alan Platt AD: Thomas Hayo CW: Ronald Wohlman Agency prod.: Jill Rothman Prod. co.: Tate & Partners Dir.: Baker Smith Editorial: MacKenzie/Cutler Music: Duotone
Working his daily rounds, a milkman goes about his business-until a brutally ugly woman comes to the door. “Good morning, Johnny,” she says. “Want to join me for breakfast?” A look of horror crosses his face, but then he sees a box of new Raisin Bran Crunch on her kitchen table. “Yes, I’d love to, ma’am,” says Johnny. “Breakfast is back”-with a vengeance.

11. La Quinta
“Pulled Hammy”
Agency: Publicis, Dallas Co-chairman: Seth Werner ECD: Steve Feldman CDs: Mike Washlesky, Brian Gross AD: Lee Einhorn CW: John Kearse Agency prod.:
Kelly Scott Prod. co.: Fahrenheit Dir.: Neil Tardio Jr. Editor: Ron Sussman, Red Car Music: Non-Stop
Replete with fast-paced music and an anchorman, this ad mimics a network sports break. “It’s been a full month since La Quinta superstar Sarah Highland pulled a hammy chasing down a customer who’d forgetton his credit card,” he says. “Let’s check in on the rehab.” And there’s Sarah, working out on the stationary bike, jumping rope, swimming in the pool. It’s a good way to showcase the hotel chain’s facilities and dedicated employees.

12. L.L. Bean
Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass. CD: Edward Boches AD: Greg Bokor CW: Jim Garaventi Agency prod.: Alyson Singer Prod. co.: Striper Films Dir.: Daniel Barber Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music: tomandandy
With top-notch outdoor photography, this ad follows a canoeist on his nature journey. VO: “Go seek out the trails. Go seek out the meadows. Go seek out the acres of unpaved roads and find the ones that have your name on them. L.L. Bean. Start here. Go anywhere.”

13. Mastercard
Agency: McCann-Erickson, N.Y. Deputy CDs: Joyce King Thomas, Jonathan Cranin AD: Chris Cereda CW: Eric Goldstein Agency prod.: Kelly Long
Prod. co.: Palomar Dir.: Melodie McDaniel
Editor: Adam Leibowitz, Go Robot Music: Big Foote
A pretty woman gets on mass transit and everyone looks at her. But it’s not her beauty drawing the stares. It’s her seafoam bridesmaid dress: $200; her seafoam-dyed shoes: $90; and her manicure in seafoam: $11. Priceless? A friend worth wearing seaform for. Another winning spot in a winning campaign that may live forever.

14. Nike
“Chan Ho”
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
CDs: Chuck McBride, Hal Curtis AD: Jeff Labbe CW: Canice Neary Agency prod.: Donna Portaro
Prod. co.: Partizan Dir.: Traktor Editor:
Doug Walker, FilmCore Music: Hum
“All my life, I wanted to be the Korean Nolan Ryan,” says Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park. “Now I want to be the Korean Big Mac.” Park can talk the talk, but he’s not as good at walking the walk. After taking a couple of practice swings, he can’t even get the weighted doughnut off the baseball bat. A little-league pitcher adds the necessary facial expressions/angst to complement Park’s failed hitting antics.

15. Oxford Health Plans
Agency: Merkley Newman Harty, N.Y. Chief
creative officer: Marty Cooke AD: Alison Brown CW: Troy Torrison Agency prod.: Susan Macy Prod. co.: Wild Life Pictures Dirs./editors: Eidur Snorri, Einar Snorri Music: Michael Carroll
This simple spot shows kids-a multiethnic PC mix-playing on a swing set. The camera angle is skewed, mesmerizingly odd. “Shouldn’t we be satisfied with the way things are?” asks the VO. “Maybe. But what if there’s something better out there? There’s only one way to find out.” As one of the kids leaps off the swing, the word “dare” appears on screen. The tagline: “Oxford Health Plans. There is another way.”

16. Polaroid
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein AD: Margaret Johnson CW: Steve Payonzeck Agency Prod.: Khrisana Mayfield Prod. Co.: Radical.Media Dir.: Frank Todaro Editor: Bob Frisk, Phoenix Editorial Music: Trivers/Myers Music Sound Effects: Andy Newell, Ear Wax Mix: Crescendo
Some entrepreneurial kids devise a money-raising scheme-they send Polaroid greeting cards, with gold-digging messages and pathetic-looking photos of themselves, to relatives. For example: “Dear Great Aunt Edith: Camp is fun, but I need money for arts and crafts. I miss you. Love, Billy.” In their war room, the campers plot strategy, stuff envelopes and rake in the dough.

17. Powerbar
“A Grave Mistake”
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
CDs: Chuck McBride, Hal Curtis AD: Andy Gray
CW: Brant Mau Agency prod.: Jennifer Fiske
Prod. co.: Big Eye Films Dir.: Breck Eisner Editor: Peter Wiedensmith, Joint Music: Machine Head
While a funeral procession wends its way toward a mausoleum at the top of a hill, a pallbearer begins to lose his grip. He struggles to hold on, then gives up the ghost. The casket hits the ground, and the corpse pops out. It’s all downhill from there, as screaming mourners jump over the rolling body on its journey to the bottom of the cemetery. Hilarious! Need extra energy? Eat a PowerBar.

18. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
“Kids Talk”
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago CD/AD: Kurt Fries CD/CW: Tom O’Keefe Agency prod.: Tony Wallace Prod. co.: Ebel Productions Dir.: Bob Ebel Editor: Mark Jepsen, Swell Music: Ohio Express
Some cute kids say some not-so-cute things. “Dad lost his paycheck at the racetrack.” “Mom’s a lot older than she tells people.” “My little brother was an accident.” “The neighbors are hillbillies.” Quaker Chewy Granola Bars to the rescue! Eating these things, the kids are “too busy to talk.” “Chewy stops the chatter” is the tagline. It’s an interesting marketing ploy, one that is unanimously endorsed by all Adweek editors who’ve experienced the joy of parenthood.

19. Slazenger Golf Balls
“As Good As It Gets”
Agency: J. Walter Thompson, Atlanta ECD: Michael Lollis CD/CW: Scott Nelson Sr. AD: Bill Pauls Agency Prods.: M.L. Strausburg, John Briley Prod. Co.: Means Street Productions Dir.: Steve Colby Editor: Steve Cox, Outback Editorial Composer: John Adair, AdMusic
This Spot Showcases The Most Stunning Scenery In The World-the Irish Coast, Where Golfers Battle Par And The Elements. The Course Is Green, The Sky Is Gray, The Sea Is Blue, The Photography Is Spectacular And The Music’S Just Right. It’S All Worthy Of The Final VO: “This Is Where The Game Was Born. As Long As You’Re On The Edge Of Golf History, You Might As Well Take Your Best Shot.” Not Your Usual Golf-Ball Ad.

20. Snapple
Agency: Deutsch, N.Y. Partner/ECD: Kathy Delaney Group CD/AD: Craig Markus Group CD/CW:
Cheryl Van Ooyen Agency prod.: Susan Curbow
Prod. co.: Headquarters Dir.: Joe Public
Editor: Richard Gordon, Mad River Post
“At Snapple, we know the pressure facing young fruit today, how easy it is to go bad,” says the on-camera narrator. “That’s why … we’ve created a place where good fruit can come and get even better … to interact with other fruit they would never meet on the outside.” At Snapple’s home for wayward fruit, bananas, strawberries, peaches, raspberries and lemons frolic in the grass, listen to music and learn new skills.

21. Snickers
“Lost At Sea”
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative officer: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer CD: Wil Boudreau ACD: Rick Midler ADs: Phil Jungman, Cabot Norton CW: Mike Aimette Agency prod.: Deidre Henchy Music prod.: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Hank Perlman Editors: Ian MacKenzie, Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie/Cutler
Dressed in black, a woman looks forlornly out to sea. “So many years hoping for his return,” she says. “Am I a fool? Perhaps. But still, I wait for you …” In her locket, a picture of Gilligan. She’s gonna be more than a while.

22. Volkswagen Golf
“Crazy Guy”
Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative officer: Ron Lawner CD/AD: Alan Pafenbach CD/CW: Lance Jensen AD: Tim Vaccarino CW: Shane Hutton Agency prod.: Paul Shannon Prod. co.: Epoch Films Dir.: Phil Morrison Editor: John Hopp, Jigsaw Editorial Music: Styx
Sitting alone in his car in an empty parking lot, a man talks to himself and makes mime-like gyrations. Insane-asylum jail break? Nope. When his friend opens the car door, music cascades out-“Mr. Roboto” by Styx! The two men drive off, singing proudly. The VO promotes an eight-speaker stereo, now standard on the Golf.

23. Western Union
“Three-Hour Tour”
Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS, N.Y. Chairman/chief creative officer: Lee Garfinkel Vice chairman/ECD: Gary Goldsmith ECD/AD: Earl Cavanah CW: Jonathan Pepoon Agency prod.: Anita Smith Prod. co.: Concrete Dir.: John Adams Editors: Eric C., Kane Platt, Chinagraph
Thirty years later, why are we so fascinated with Gilligan’s Island? For men of a certain age, being stranded with Ginger and Maryann on a desert isle is the Holy Grail, and the show’s theme song is more easily recited than any childhood prayer. Since Tina Louise is incommunicado these days, Dawn Wells must carry the torch. And here she is, hawking money grams for Western Union on an Oprah-like show. It seems her boyfriend cheaped out, forcing her to take a “three-hour tour” instead of a full-blown cruise. Maryann’s revenge? She dumped the cad for “a professor.” We always knew the castaways were messing around, but one question lingers: The Skipper and his little buddy-what’s up with that?

24. wishbone vinaigrette
Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas, N.Y. ECDs: Roger
Bentley, Rob Feakins Group CDs: Gary Goldstein, Glenn Kaplan ACD/AD: Mark Shap ACD/CW: Amy Sacks Agency prod.: Jill Meschino Prod. co.: Will
Vinton Studios Animator: Joan Gratz Music: Big Foote
Pushing Wishbone’s seven new vinaigrette flavors, this ad offers gorgeous animation. The drawing is so lush, the viewer can almost taste the dressing. The animation changes seamlessly at the end, with Roy Lichtenstein-style “dot” art overtaking the screen.