Creative: Best Spots Of July

Best Spots of July

The product of a March 2000 merger between two new-economy companies, Whittman-Hart and USWeb/CKS, marchFIRST, an Internet professional services company, needs to get its name out there. The first step? A four-spot branding campaign that chronicles great “firsts” in history: first lunar landing, first man to the South Pole (Norwegian Roald Amundsen), first woman to wear a miniskirt and first Cubist exhibition. Each ad is “a statement of empowerment,” says David Baldwin, executive creative director at McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C. “The power lies in the viewer’s reaction to the event.” In each spot, that reaction-a look of amazement, shock, confusion-is captured by the camera. For instance: In “Upside Down Head,” children point, woman stare and men argue about Cubist paintings, which profoundly changed the art world in the early 20th century. A graphic reads: “Here’s to being first.” Then, a cryptic tagline: “marchFIRST. A new world. A new way.” “This campaign is designed to generate talk about a first-of-its-kind company,” says Baldwin. “We want people to go to and learn more.” Shot in Paris to cope with the actors’ strike, the $1.5 million campaign targets both new-business clients and potential employees. “I’m glad we avoided the outrageous, pull-your-pants-down mentality of most dot-com advertising,” says Baldwin. “Now we have to tell more of the story and start new conversations.”

Bounty Paper Towels

A toddler wants a drink of orange juice. He opens the refrigerator, takes out the juice and, since he’s too small to place the carton on the counter, he puts it on the kitchen floor. The kid walks over to the counter, grabs a plastic cup and places it next to the carton. The big moment has arrived. The little guy starts to overturn the carton (which is almost half his size) and whoosh-the O.J. cascades out, flooding the kitchen floor. Of course, the kid drains every last drop. VO: “Life is messy. We’ll help you clean it up.” Tagline: “Bounty: The quilted, quicker picker upper.”

Title: O.J.
Agency: Jordan, McGrath, Case & Partners/Euro RSCG, N.Y.
CD/CW: Ilon Sprecht
AD: Barbara DiLorenzo
Agency prod.: Trish Walker
Editor: Claudia Walker, Moon Dog Editorial
Music: Jean Marie Salon

Country Hearth

In a bucolic setting, a father and daughter sit by the side of a lake. “Daddy, can we feed the duck?” the little one asks. “Sure,” says Dad, ripping a piece of bread from his sandwich and tossing it at the fowl. The duck catches the morsel, then sinks like a stone to the bottom of the pond, his beak raised like the bow of the Titanic before going under. VO: “Some whole-grain breads are just too heavy. Try Country Hearth bread. Whole-grain taste that’s hearty, not heavy.” Oh yeah, the duck. No, it doesn’t drown. Spitting out the bread, the critter rises from the depths like Godzilla heading to Tokyo.

Title: Duck
Agency: Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis
CD/AD: Jac Coverdale
CW: Troy Longie
Agency prod.: Jenee Schmidt
Prod. co.: Tool of North America
Dir.: Erich Joiner
Editor: Jim Stanger, Channel Z
Music: Wow & Flutter

ESPN SportsCenter

Goofing on the pro athlete’s penchant for tattoos, ESPN anchors load up on the skin art. “All of us have mentors, somebody we look up to,” says Dan Patrick. “A tattoo is a way of paying tribute to that person.” Stuart Scott has a picture of Curt Gowdy on his left bicep. David Lloyd has Chris Berman etched onto his chest. Linda Cohn sports a full-length painting of Harry Caray on her back. And Trey Wingo pays homage to Dick Schaap. “It’s our little way of saying, ‘Thanks,’ ” Patrick explains. Just think: If the tattoo trend lasts, the next generation of sportcasters will all burn the bearded countenance of Dennis Miller into their flesh.

Title: Tattoo
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, N.Y.
CD: Stacy Wall
AD: Matt Stein
CW: Kevin Proudfoot
Agency prod.: Gary Krieg
Prod. co.: Hungry Man
Dir.: David Levin
Editor: Dave Koza, MacKenzie Cutler

Eveready Energizer e2

On a playground, five children make a beeline for the merry-go-round-a whirling ride that reminds viewers of a certain age of swing sets and monkey bars. Pushing hard, the squealing kids get the merry-go-round up to ramming speed. Super: “Power this alive … now available in a battery.” VO: “e2 from Eveready … a whole new battery with a heart of titanium that lets you take power to the next level.”

Title: Merry-Go-Round
Agency: DDB, Chicago
Chief creative: Bob Scarpelli
GCD: Paul Brourman
CD: Chris Hunter
CD/AD: Mike Willeford
ACD/CW: Debbie Klonk
CW: Mary Beth Adduci
Sr. prod.: Karim Bartoletti
Prod. co.: Satellite Films
Dir.: Josh Taft
Editor: Stacy Levan, The Lookinglass Co.
Sound design: Stephen Dewey, Machine Head
Graphics designer: Amy Beresford, Industrial Light & Magic

At the bank, a receptionist buzzes her boss, a loan officer, on the intercom. “Mr. Robinson,” she says, “there are two men here to see you.” Then she whispers, “I think they’re gay.” Mr. R. goes into action: He dumps his flowers in the trash; displays his family photo; puts two X-rated videos, including “Nurses in Bondage,” on his desk; and turns on a neon sign that reads, “100% Heterosexual.” The Gay Financial Network is “a more welcoming financial world.” Didn’t this ad air during the Republican convention as part of the GOP’s celebration of diversity and compassionate conservatism? Perhaps not.

Title: 100% Heterosexual
Agency: Mad Dogs & Englishmen, N.Y.
CD/ AD: Nick Cohen
ADs: James Dawson Hollis, Vivienne Wan, Prisca Ekkens
CWs: Jaimie Palmiotti, James Robinson, Emily Reed
Agency prod.: Sandi Bachom
Asst. prod.: Letitia Jacobs
Prod. co.: Villains
Dir.: Jeffrey Fleisig
Editor: Jerry Fried, Red Car
Music: Hugh McCracken


Juxtaposing the familiar laments of those affected by diarrhea with visuals of people on the run (so to speak), this ad asks and answers the question: “Can Imodium really change your life?” VO: “You might still find yourself … in the bathroom (visual of a woman leisurely taking a bath), pulling into a rest stop (car stops at a scenic overlook), stuck on the sidelines (father playing baseball with his kid), having one of those days when you just can’t leave the house (couple swinging in a hammock). Isn’t it time to feel like you again?” Tagline: “Restore your self.”

Title: Stuck In The Bathroom
Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners, N.Y.
Chief creatives: Lee Garfinkel, Gary Goldsmith
Creative group head: Glenn Kaplan
AD: Francoise Olivas
CW: Alison Zucker
Agency prod: Geoff Kelly
Prod. co.: Edge Films
Dir.: Ken Nahoum
Editor: Beth Cramer, Red Car
Music: Russo Grantham

Jack in the Box

Hit the road, Jack. Which is exactly what our hero does in this hilarious ad, a comedy classic. “It’s the food that makes an Italian vacation so special,” says Jack, adding, “I’ve learned so many things here. I learned that in Italy, the food isn’t called Italian food. It’s just called food.” Motorbiking around Rome, he visits the sights and meets the locals. And if the actors’ strike continues, this could be the first stop on Jack’s world tour.

Title: Italy
Agency: Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif.
CD/CW/Dir.: Dick Sittig
ADs: Barney Goldberg, David Grassman
CW: Robert Goldenberg
Agency prod.: Fiona Forsyth
Prod. co.:
Editor: Brendan O’Carroll, Oasis
Music: Wojahn Brothers

Linens ‘n Things

Meet the mom from hell. In a store, she embarrasses her son by telling anyone within shouting distance that he’s a pimple-faced loser. VO: “Get everything you need for college, so you can leave home as soon as possible.”

Title: Mom
Agency: DeVito/Verdi, N.Y.
CD/Dir.: Rob Slosberg
ADs/CDs: Chris Turner, Scott Kaplan
Agency prod.: Barbara Michelson
Prod. co.: Udirect
Editor: Charlie Cusumano, Mad River Post


In early 20th-century France, a new painting incites controversy. Women and children stare at it, men violently argue about it and one guy even covers it with his coat. Even the cleaning lady gets into the act. Super: “The first Cubist exhibition.” An Internet professional services dot-com, marchFIRST offers “a new world” and “a new way.”

Title: Upside Down Head
Agency: McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.
ECD: David Baldwin
AD: Philip Marchington
CW: Lisa Shimotakahara
Agency prod: Cathy Jenkins
Prod. co.: Satellite Films
Dir.: Jhoan Camitz Editor: Frank Snider, Ohio
Edit Composer: Gordon Cyrus, Lax Entertainment


Models dress up in wild outfits, which mimic fruits and vegetables (pineapple, broccoli, carrot, grapes, strawberry and pear). Super: “Introducing the season’s freshest looks.” It’s a funny ad for this supermarket chain.

Title: Fashion Fresh
Agency: Ron Foth Advertising, Columbus, Ohio
CDs/CWs: Ron Foth Jr., David Henthorne
ADs: Ken Waldron, Gene Roy, David Shultz, Emily Lloyd
Agency prod: Ted Gordon
Prod. co.: Platinum Productions
Dir.: Ron Foth
Jr. Editor: Martin Nowak, Platinum
Music: JSM Music

People Support

With a Muzak version of Cream’s “White Room” playing in the background, a man lives in an all-white apartment. Everything-the walls, rugs, cabinets, countertops, even the goldfish-is white. The doorbell rings and a package is delivered-a red white-noise machine. VO: “Next time, get all your questions answered before you buy online.” can help.

Title: White on White
Agency: BBDO West, S.F.
CD: Ken Mandelbaum
AD: Michael Kadin
CW: Jim Lesser
Agency prod.: Tammy Smith-White
Prod. co.: Stiefel & Co.
Dir.: Noam Murro Editor: Doug Walker, FilmCore
Music: Elias


VO: “Gotta blemish? Try the pHisoderm blemish patch. Stick it on and all night while you sleep, the patch fights those nasty blemishes.” Visual: the clash of the titans. A guy in a white suit (good patch) beats up a guy in a red suit (evil blemish). The spot promises visible results by morning. Tagline: “Sleep it off.”

Title: Patch vs. Blemish
Agency: North Castle Partners, Stamford, Conn.
CD: Jon Iafeliece
AD: Kit Campbell
CW: Steve Tredennick
Prod. co.: Crossroads
Dir.: Steve Eshelman

Purina ONE

If dogs could talk to their owners, this is what they’d say: “I will never ask what you plan to do with your life … I will never tell about the things you haven’t accomplished … I’ll never worry about where we’re going.” VO: “No relationship is like the one with your dog (ain’t it the truth?). Tagline: “Purina ONE: How great relationships are fed.”

Title: No Worries
Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners, N.Y.
Chief creatives: Lee Garfinkel, Gary Goldsmith
Sr. AD: Pat Epstein
Sr. CW: Jonathan Pepoon
Sr. prod.: Diane Jeremias
Agency prod.: Susan Dulepski
Prod. co.: Bravo Zulu
Dir.: John Mastromonaco
Editor: Eric Pomert, MacKenzie Cutler
Music: Ad Music


At 10:38 p.m., it’s the counting-sheep show at Ted’s house. But Ted and the missus recently purchased a Serta mattress. “It’s so comfortable,” he says to the mutton, “we don’t need you anymore.” But the insomniac neighbor does. So the sheep saunter over to the next house.

Title: neighbor
Agency: Doner, Southfield, Mich.
ECD: John DeCerchio
ECD/CW: John Parlato
AD: Kenny Sink
Agency prod.: Dan Barbieri
Prod. cos.: RSA, Aardman
Animation Dirs.: Thom Higgins (RSA), Michael Wright (Aardman)
Editor: Lee Cowan, Hyena Editorial

Taco Bell

Dead dog walking. Make that riding-in a van with five guys. Passing a hitchhiker, the Chihuahua says to pull over. The hitcher wears a hockey mask and a slaughterhouse apron, but he’s carrying a bag of chalupas. “He looks OK to me,” says the mutt. Final shot: the Chihuahua and Jason alone in the van, riding off into the sunset. Adios, amigo.

Title: creepy-now
Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.
CDs: John Shirley, Rich Siegel
AD: John Payne CW: Gary Pascoe
Agency prods.: Michelle Burke, Sam Baerwald
Asst. prods.: Blythe Barger, Debbie Airey
Prod. co.: MJZ
Dir.: Jonathan David
Editor: Frank Effron, Venice Beach Editorial
Music: Elias


VO: “When the weekend comes, many of the men and women of Texaco trade in their hardhats for coaches caps.” With thrilling photography of young people participating in baseball, soccer, swimming and fencing, this ad is a nice tie-in to the Summer Olympics.

Title: playing Field
Agency: BBDO, N.Y.
Chief creative: Ted Sann
Sr. ECD: Michael Patti
Sr. CD/AD: Ted Shaine
CD/CW: Tom Darbyshire
Agency prod.: Gene LoFaro
Music prod.: Melissa Chester
Prod. co.: Headquarters
Dir.: David Cornell
Editor: Sherri Margulies, Crew Cuts
Music: David Horowitz


Visual: A long camera take of corporate types in an office building. VO: “Look at these guys: network TV programmers. They decide what we watch and when we watch it. Who needs ’em?” Visual: TV exec gets thrown out a window by two black-shirted thugs. Tagline: “Tivo, TV your way.” It’s a good, edgy commercial.

Title: network executive
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F.
CDs: Rich Silverstein, Jeff Goodby
AD: Peter Nicholson
CW: Harold Einstein
Agency prod.: Cindy Fluitt
Prod. co.: RSA/Independent
Dir.: Chris Smith
Editor: Adam Pertofsky, Rock Paper Scissors
Music: Fluid


Using Visa, a fellow purchases an antique lamp on eBay to match the one his wife already has. He goes home to tell her, but she has a surprise of her own. She sold her lamp to some schmuck on eBay for $500. It seems Visa is eBay’s preferred way to pay.

Title: buy (ebay)
Agency: BBDO, N.Y.
Chief creative: Ted Sann
Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer
ECD: Jimmy Siegel
AD: Phil Jungmann
CW: Mike Aimette
Agency prods.: David Frankel, Sarah Spitz
Prod. co.: Tool of North America
Dir.: Erich Joiner
Editor: Karen Kourtessis, Crew Cuts