Faux Ads Turn Real

Crispin Porter + Bo-gusky’s upcoming “Choose freedom” campaign began as illustrations in a newsmagazine.

Last fall, Time editors, wrestling with the free fall in domestic air travel after Sept. 11, commissioned the Miami shop to create “mock ads” that would get people flying again.

“Living in Miami, we saw the far-reaching effects of reduced travel and tourism every day,” said CP+B spokesperson Katie Kempner. “We decided to give it a shot.”

Art directors Mark Taylor and Amee Shah and copywriters Ari Merkin and Scott Linnen created the work, which appeared in Time’s Notebook on Oct 29, 2001.

“We got a lot of favorable response,” said CP+B president Jeff Hicks. “People saw our name in the fine print and began tracking us down. They wanted copies and posters of the ads.”

One of the agency’s vendors, Clear Channel Outdoor in Phoenix, agreed to display Merkin and Taylor’s ad (a jet whose wings become the “V” in a “Victory” headline) gratis on billboards in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Memphis, Tenn., and Columbus, Ohio.

The Travel Industry Association then teamed with CP+B to place the Shah/Linnen ad (a sour-faced boy whose bare chest reads: “Nobody went anywhere and I didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt. And we all surrendered the freedoms our forefathers fought for and everybody just gave up and stayed home”) in magazines.

Outside, Men’s Health, New York, Real Simple and Velo News are among the periodicals that will run the ad at no charge.