Creative Briefs

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Very different spots from Hallmark come together at the piano.

In the silver Lion-winning “Music Professor” from Young & Rubicam in New York, a girl charms her curmudgeonly piano teacher with a surprise birthday card. Current promotional spots from Leo Burnett in Chicago, meanwhile, feature the “Linus and Lucy” piano theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas. In live-action renditions of Peanuts gags, a man sighs “Good grief!” at his dog and a pro football player snatches up the ball just before a kick.

Burnett creative chief Cheryl Ber man says one strength of the brand is its ability to reflect a range of emotions. “[Consumers] allow us to push it because we’re Hallmark.”

Shox Value at Nike

Wieden + Kennedy’s premise for a $15–18 million integrated Nike Shox campaign—that the shoes emit a distinctive “boing” for each individual who wears them—was put into action by Danetracks, a sound design shop in West Hollywood.

“I saw it as creating an audio logo,” says Danetracks owner Dane Davis, whose credits include The Matrix but still admits to being a tad intimidated by working on a brand with one of the most recognizable logos in the world. Two spots broke on Thanksgiving; additional spots will run through December.

Most difficult was an upcoming spot in which the chaotic boings of runners on treadmills merge into a single rhythm. “It was like a musical composition,” Davis says. Boings synchronized to the runners’ steps didn’t sound right, so they were manipulated to work together. “We call it cheating,” says Davis. But it was essential in a campaign with no additional music.

Creating the composite boings required about 600 different recordings from sources as varied as an Indonesian musical instrument, a CD bounced off the bottom of a shoe and people saying “boing.” Davis scaled back the voice element in the final versions. “It was too scary,” he says.

Shox Value at Nike Hoop ScoopThe Truth HelpsBringing Up the RearPeople

Hoop Scoop

Seattle SuperSonics players again raid their fans’ neighborhoods in a new TV campaign from WongDoody in Seattle. The hoopsters scrimmage with grade schoolers, crash a wedding and lead seniors in a dance class. The spots this season include almost the whole team instead of just a few stars. Creative director Tracy Wong says working with them instead of actors is part of the magic. “It’s not for the faint-hearted,” he says. “Sometimes it doesn’t work, but when it does, it comes across very genuinely.” Separ ately, McKee Wallwork and Henderson in Albu querque, N.M., also uses kids and seniors to pitch the Lady Lobos of the University of New Mexico. In the TV spot, twin girls compete for a fresh cookie Grandma has lobbed into the air. As the winner savors the moment, the loser is unconsolable. “She just wanted it more than you did, dear,” says Grandma. The tagline: “Get into women’s basketball.”

The Truth Helps

Let it not be said that Fallon doesn’t believe in truth in advertising. The Minneapolis shop’s recent campaign for online trading network Archipelago posits a world with no secrets: Info mercials reveal products to be worthless; dating service customers admit they’re obsessive; and a lovable loser says he’s good at “looking busy” on the job while playing games and downloading porn. The honesty theme is reminiscent of Fallon New York’s award-winning campaign for FX’s The X Show, although Scott Vincent, group creative director on Archipelago, offers one distinction. “Theirs is more hyperbolic,” he says. “That’s a land where guys say exactly what’s on their mind all the time.”

The show is called Cold Feet, but Bravo is in hot water up to, well, its ass. The cable channel is 2-for-2 in ticking off print media for using that word, and its image, in its ads. To promote Cold Feet, a British comedy debuting on Bravo in December, GWhiz Entertainment in New York offered a print ad showing a naked man with a rose protruding from his buttocks. TV Guide outright rejected the ad, and many TV inserts have asked for a revised version, say Bravo officials. Curiously, no spot cable reps have objected to a TV spot showing the Cold Feet character, naked and with said rose, serenading a love interest. Bravo’s first bum rap came in October 1999, when the Chicago Sun-Times rejected an ad for Bravo’s Louis Theroux’ Weird Weekends that proclaimed Theroux to be a “bad-ass wrestler.” The paper ran the ad after it was altered to read “bad-a**.”


FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, named Steve Vranakis interactive creative director. He will head creative efforts in interactive and oversee the interactive portions of many FCB accounts. He previously held the same post at Wight, Collins, Rutherford, Scott in London, working on such brands as BMW, Sega Dreamcast and Orange.