Mixed Blessings

Inside Story, Self Assured, Chipping In
Most bicyclists know the name of the brand, but they aren’t quite sure what the products look like. Shimano American, which is based in Irvine, Calif., makes component parts for bikes. So when Miami’s Crispin Porter Bogusky sat down to draw up a campaign, the agency wanted to turn the client inside out. The “visible bike” ad (above) shows off Shimano’s products, which usually go unnoticed by casual observers. It just so happens that the advertisements are trying to stir baby-boomer consumers’ memories of “visible man”-a popular educational toy a few decades back.
What women want are good relationships and self-reliance. So says new market research by Self magazine. A survey of 18-to-49-year-old women by Roper Starch Worldwide for the Condƒ Nast publication sought answers to timeless questions about happiness. Nine out of 10 women defined “well-being” as a feeling of comfort and security, and 78 percent said they found it when they are surrounded by family members and friends. The next three most common answers hit closer to the magazine’s self-reliance theme: the ability to care for themselves and their kids (74 percent), fulfillment at work (72 percent) and taking care of their own health (69 percent). And you thought happiness was elusive.
In the personal computer business, microchip speed is what separates the women from the girls. So a series of new advertisements by DDB Needham for the self-styled “world’s fastest microprocessor” focus on little else. The ads are simple in substance but striking to look at. (One is below.) So far, the ads have broken in a few high-end computer trades and soon will appear in cyber-bible Wired. The Alpha chip was developed by Digital Equipment Corp., Mitsubishi and Samsung.