Creative Briefs



Road Warriors

Take my drink … please.

The privilege of being the designated driver puts friends and lovers at odds in two car commercials. In a Porsche spot that broke last month from Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, two Irish curmudgeons start an increasingly boisterous argument in a pub. Cut to the road, where the annoyed passenger waves away the smirk of the driver.

A Volkswagen spot called “Party” from BMP DDB, London, has a similar theme. A couple getting dressed for an evening out engage in a calm but intense debate over who will get to drive. The ad was a runner-up for a Pencil at the 2000 British Design and Art Direction Awards.

Extraordinary Vision

The Art Directors Club has announced this year’s inductees into the New York association’s Hall of Fame. Joining fellow laureates such as Annie Leibovitz, Lee Clow and Andy Warhol are commercial director Joe Sedelmaier, type director Ed Benguiat, artist and graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo and film titlist Pablo Ferra.

Sedelmaier is perhaps best known for directing comedy classics such as Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign and FedEx’s “Fast-Talking Man,” widely considered pioneering work in the use of humor. “Back then, comedy was put down in advertising,” the director has told Adweek. “It was thought that it really didn’t work. People would remember the jokes but not the product. We had one of those fortunate circumstances where the client and the agency were really with it.”

Benguiat, an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, has designed more than 600 fonts and played an integral role in establishing The International Typeface Corp., the first licensing company for type designers. Yokoo’s posters for actor Ken Takakura’s gangster films are some of the best-known examples of his work, which blends fine art and design. Ferra, an innovator in motion type design, has created titles and trailers for films such as Good Will Hunting, Married to the Mob and Dr. Strangelove.

The black-tie induction dinner will be held at The Art Directors Club Gallery on Nov. 2.

Extraordinary Vision Stars and Strife Scary ThoughtHero WorshipThe Price Is Right

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists last week officially launched a boycott of Procter & Gamble, one of the nation’s top advertisers, with star-studded rallies in New York, Los Angeles and Cincinnati. The move is aimed at drawing attention to the company’s use of nonunion actors during the 5-month-old strike. Separately, negotiators for the actors’ unions and the ad business, called together by federal mediators, are scheduled to meet again in New York on Oct. 19. That is sooner than expected, says John McGuinn, chief negotiator for the advertising industry’s Joint Policy Committee. “I think people started looking at their calendars and realized how quickly this year is coming to an end,” McGuinn says. “We’re really hopeful that this will be it.”

Few things go together better than Halloween and candy. And yet, surprisingly, a new 15-second TV spot for M&M’s from BBDO, New York, marks the first time M&M/Mars has advertised one of its brands with a Halloween theme. The spot, which broke last week and will run through the end of the month, shows cherished M&M characters Red and Yellow arriving at a raucous Halloween party. Expecting to be invited in, they are mistaken for trick-or-treaters instead. “We’re staying with a consumer trend, which is more parties during Halloween and having M&Ms used at the party occasion,” says Jeff Rome, general manager for M&Ms.

It was only a matter of time before an advertising agency cast Lance Armstrong as a superhero. In a new print execution from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, for Giro bicycle helmets, the Tour de France champion appears on a mock magazine cover, surrounded by Captain America, Spiderman, Iron Man, Wolverine and the X-Men. Shot in a comic book emporium by Boston-based photographer Brian Wilder, the ad, says copywriter Ari Merkin, is designed to have people wonder, “Is Lance with Marvel Comics by mistake? Or does he belong there?” The ad is running in publications targeting bike enthusiasts, including Velo News and Mountain Bike.

Bertelsmann Music Group last week launched OnePrice CDs.com, a new online music service, with a print, TV and radio campaign from Hanft Byrne Raboy & Partners. Using the tagline “Play us first,” the campaign strategy works off the “skepticism and revisionism in e-commerce,” says Adam Hanft, president and managing partner of the New York shop. “What if everything in the world was one price?” print and TV ads ask. In one TV spot, subway commuters are all wearing fur coats; in a print ad, Ferrari cars are lined up at a fast-food joint. The campaign is set to run through the end of the year. “We want to be the destination of choice for music,” Hanft says.