In a business where every company is literally a fly-by-night outfit, reliability is crucial. But this presents a couple of problems for ads. First off, reliability isn’t a sexy attribute. One can’t easily build an exciting sales pitch around it. More than that, though, “reliable” may bring to mind other qualities that people in fast-paced businesses (i.e., lots of potential UPS customers) will find downright negative: stodgy, plodding, stick-in-the-mud, etc. This ad’s headline evokes the brand’s Boy Scoutish air even as the state-of-the-art irony gives it modern overtones. The allusion to UPS drivers is smart in another way. Don’t forget, their 1997 strike was one of the few in recent years where public opinion came down clearly on the side of labor. Consumers feel good about those people, so UPS might as well make the most of that sentiment.
Agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York
Client United Parcel Service, Atlanta
Creative Directors Niko Courtelis, Adam Goldstein
Art Director Andrew Golomb
Copywriter Doug James
THE THYMES LIMITED
Even with a Frenchified ending, the word “repair” always seems better suited to auto-body shops than to one’s skin. And who among us enjoys being addressed as a wreck? This ad makes the term more palatable, though, as it promotes a line of products designed to “revitalize the skin and refresh the senses.” The headline’s mom-and-pop approach helps subdue one’s suspicions that a “repairitif” must be the product of either witchcraft or chemistry. (But why does the problematical Father get bigger billing here than the nurturing Mother?) The photo-free visual treatment helps set the brand apart from others in the market. In fact, it conveys an elegance that can hardly be generated in proximity to a photo of someone dabbing glop onto her face. Given the nature of the product, it also seems prudent to omit the usual photo of a model who has yet to see the wrong side of age 23.
Agency Gabriel Diericks Razidlo, Minneapolis
Client The Thymes Limited, Minneapolis
Creative Director/Copywriter Tom Gabriel
Art Director Wayne Thompson
The moral of this headline would seem to be: “Don’t drink and speak.” Doesn’t “elsch” sound like a comedian’s attempt at a Dean Martin impersonation? Anyhow, it should help people remember the name of the brand, otherwise known as “that beer with the elaborate bottle-cap gizmo.” Pronunciation aside, the headline’s claim is a sensible one. It doesn’t provoke the skepticism likely to greet a claim that Grolsch is better than anything else. We’re willing to believe simply that it’s different from anything else. And in the beer category, “different” is nearly as good as “better.” Drinkers intent on asserting their individuality will see Grolsch as a useful prop.
Agency Gearon Hoffman, Boston
Client Seagram, New York
Creative/Art Director Jon Pietz
Copywriter Eivind Ueland
Photography Jody Dole
VLASIC HAMBURGER STACKERS
Products often have distinct personalities, and a brand asks for trouble if it tries to play against type. Pickles, of course, are comical. A pickle commercial that attempted to be serious or heartwarming would look ludicrous. With goofy cha-cha music and a swerving camera, this one wisely plays to the temperament of the product. First we see the burger with the small pickle. Then the camera swings to show the one with the huge pickle. And again, big then small. And yet again, impressing on us the superiority, for burger-garnishing purposes, of the larger variety. As the camera settles on the big-pickled burger, the familiar (some would say too-familiar) Vlasic Stork pops up to intone, “Duh!” And in a flourish of pseudo-Cartesian logic, a voiceover concludes: “Bigger pickle. Better burger.” In its self-mocking style, the spot lingers on the product long enough to warm the heart of any brand manager–but without boring the audience. Rather, you come away with a sense of this as a fun product, even if you haven’t been yearning for more pickle with your burger.
Agency Foote, Cone & Belding, New York
Client Vlasic Foods, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Exec. Creative Director Ted Littleford
Group Creative Director (copy) Sandy Greenberg
Group Creative Director (art) Terri Meyer
Copywriter Gerald Cuesta
Art Director Howie Ronay
Senior Producer Ida Lew
Production Company Michael Schrom & Co., New York
Music Company Michael Carroll, New York
Director Michael Schrom