If you’re climbing Everest, you choose “mountainwear” that will help you ascend and descend in one piece. For those who enjoy the outdoors in less rigorous ways, apparel has as much to do with expressing a personality as with clothing the flesh. Nordica taps into that sensibility in positioning its MountainWear line as “rugged apparel and footwear. For those in the mountains–and those with the mountains in them.” That last phrase broadens the audience to include those who merely wish they often ranged above the tree line. Makers of off-road vehicles thrive by selling them to people who seldom leave the tarmac, so why can’t makers of off-road shoes do likewise? Meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt the brand to flatter the city-slicker side of its target reader. No matter how much he yearns for mountain rambles, the fellow in the photo surely relishes his status as a professional success who can buy fancy ties with which to trace his doodles.
Planet Design, Madison, Wis.
Nordica unit of Benetton Sportsystem, Bordentown, N.J.
With a clever headline and visual, this ad might have quit while it was ahead. Instead, it heaps more praise on the wine than a reader can easily digest in one sales pitch. Though the headline and copy total fewer than 100 words, the ad works in all of the following terms: great, finest (twice), perfection, devotion, excellence, extraordinary, passion, love (twice). No doubt Kenwood does take extraordinary grapes and, guided by its devotion to excellence and the passion of its winemaker, mature them to perfection in the finest oak barrels. And the headline’s humor signals that we’re not to take all this talk of love/passion/devotion too seriously. Still, there’s a point beyond which such a concentrated dose of laudatory language becomes cloying. That’s particularly true of a category like wine, where part of the fun comes in forming our own judgments. We don’t want too much prepackaged judgment foisted on us.
Glass/McClure, Sacramento, Calif.
Kenwood Vineyards, Kenwood, Calif.
Kyle Toyama, Brantley Payne
Steve Mick, Geri Broder
The scene: an elementary school classroom. The forbidding teacher has her back to the kids as she writes on the blackboard, thus emboldening one boy to peel an orange and sneak sections to his classmates. Thanks to the one-of-a-kind fragrance of a freshly peeled orange, though, the teacher suspects something’s up. She wheels menacingly on the kids, but then cracks an orange-peel smile to reveal that she, too, has been indulging in surreptitious citrus. The tagline: “No one can resist a Sunkist orange.” The natural implication of such a sentence is that one ought to be resisting. In other words, it’s the sort of line you’d expect in a commercial for fudge cake or some other delicious-but-bad-for-you treat. That’s a smart, counterintuitive approach. We expect to see a fruit positioned as wholesome–which we’re apt to interpret as meaning it’s not especially tasty. Presenting the orange almost as a forbidden fruit, this spot refreshes our appetite for it.
Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles
Sunkist Growers, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Assoc. Creative/Art Director
RSA USA, Los Angeles
Some brands are welcome to banter with us. Others seem presumptuous (or worse) when they do so. A campaign for fledgling JetBlue Airways asks us to go 30,000 feet up in the air with a company we’ve never heard of. Is this a good venue for wisecracking? The ad gets our attention, but it does so by framing our first encounter with this airline in hostile (albeit jokingly hostile) terms. The tone of the campaign gives JetBlue the aura of a feisty upstart, while its real claim to fame is (as the company proclaims to the press) that it’s “the nation’s most heavily-capitalized start-up airline,” the “first mega start-up.” In other words, this is a discount airline with the wherewithal of a solidly established one. You can enjoy the low fares without risking your life. That’s a significant selling point. And, indeed, the ad says JetBlue flies new planes. But that point doesn’t register with us as it might because the brash tone is more what we’d expect from Fly-a-Wreck Airlines.
Merkley Newman Harty, New York
JetBlue Airways, New York
Executive Creative Directors
Marty Orzio, Andy Hirsch, Randy Saitta
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