Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won the gold at the 1998 APG-U.S. Account Planning Awards with a Nike campaign based on a fictional girls’ basketball team (the Charlestown Cougars) shot in a documentary style. Goodby, Silverstein reports that the campaign was so successful, teenage girls were asking, “The Cougars are real, right?” [“Hoop Dreams,” July 13]. I wonder how these girls would feel if they knew they had been duped.
My questions to the industry: Is this type of “created reality” acceptable when it results in misunderstanding? Does the campaign honestly meet the objective of reconnecting Nike “with consumers at the most pure level”? Despite the fact that to win the award the work had to be reviewed by some of the finest strategic minds in the U.S., does the campaign reflect strategic planning at its best?
My personal feeling is that a line has been crossed, and we have to be very careful how we proceed. Am I alone?
Senior account planner, MacLaren McCann, Toronto
There have been many pieces praising Arnold Communications’ Volkswagen campaign [“Beetlemania,” July 13]. And justifiably so. But I’ve been waiting for someone to state the enviable and obvious goal (at least to me) that they’ve really achieved.
It would surprise me if there are many–if any–on Arnold’s team who are old enough to have actually lived through Doyle Dane Bernbach’s revolutionary VW campaign. Yet, they’ve done their homework, and, in doing so, have avoided the all-too-easy trap of echoing DDB. They’ve also accomplished that elusive objective we all strive for: They’ve nailed the soul of the brand. You can’t ask more of advertising than that, except for sales. And it seems they’re getting those, too.
Creative director, The IAC Group, Miami
For the Record
In the APG-U.S. Account Planning Awards special section [July 13], the credits for the Nike girls’ basketball campaign and the Nike skateboarding campaign were reversed. For Nike girls’ basketball: Sue Levin, women’s brand director; Chris Zimmerman, U.S. advertising director; Nancy Monsarrat, category advertising director; Debbie Carter, category advertising manager. For Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: Pam Scott, planning director; Diana Kapp, account planner; Jeff Goodby, creative director; Karin Onsager-Birch, art director; Jeff Huggins, copywriter; Rene Cournoyer, account director; Sarah Thompson, account manager. For Nike skateboarding: Chris Zimmerman, U.S. advertising director; Nancy Monsarrat, category advertising director; Erik Burbank, category advertising manager. For Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: Kelly Evans-Pfeifer, account planner; Rich Silverstein, creative director; Jon Soto, art director; Al Kelly, copywriter; Brian Hurley, account director; Max Hegerman, account manager; Lyn Woodward, assistant account manager.
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