New Campaigns

Client: NEC America, Melville, N.Y.
Agency: Evans Advertising and Public Relations, Dallas
Creative Director: Kim Smith
Art Director: Susan Shalowitz
Copywriters: Kim Smith, Chris Smith, Kenny Osborne

In a new trade campaign for NEC’s pagers, Evans is challenging dealers to learn more about the NEC products they sell. Four full-page ads concentrate on four components: pagers, merchandise displays, accessories and dealer instructional manuals. Each ad highlights one of those categories, with the other three noted in sidebar portions of the pieces. The pager ad, for instance, is headlined, “They haven’t invented the person we haven’t invented a pager for.” In the ad featuring point-of-sale materials, a play on words is invoked, “NEC pagers now come with a full-color display.” NEC marketing director Charlie Speights said, “We believe this new campaign to be a highly effective vehicle to gain dealer awareness and interest in our comprehensive dealer support kit.” According to agency senior vice president Kevin Mote, the campaign was designed to “cut through the clutter” of trade ads. The series broke this month and will run throughout the year, according to Evans, a division of the Salt Lake City-based EvansGroup. –Glen Fest

Client: Akia Corp., Austin, Texas
Agency: Bam!, Austin
Creative Director: Mike Bevil
Copywriter: Aaron Hulsizer
Art Director: Mark Scholes
Photographer: Andrew Yates

To differentiate the Austin, Texas-based client’s direct-sale equipment ads from numerous others in personal computer publications, Bam! highlighted what separates Akia Corp. itself from most other PC brands: size. Selling computer systems under the “Mystique” brand name, Akia models are available in small, sleek designs, including a flat-panel liquid crystal display monitor that saves consumers loads of desktop space while still delivering a full-blown 233 MHz or higher package. For Akia’s computer notebook ad, the tagline is: “The perfect notebook for people with weak arms, small budgets, and tight deadlines.” According to agency principal David Bernert, Bam!’s advertising challenge was difficult because “they sell direct so the ad must function as their ‘store.’ It has to have pictures of systems, it has to list a bunch of configurations, it has to have prices, it has to have a big 800 number.” Shooting the computers in black-and-white, then toning the images for the print ads was part of the style used to accent the equipment on page. The company’s logo was also made to stand out by adding a greenish hue. The work is appearing in PC Magazine, Computer Shopper and other publications. Bam! has also created ads for Austin-based Power Computing. –G.F.

Client: Wilsonart International, Temple, Texas
Agency: The Maxfield Group, Irving, Texas
Creative Director: Ric Delzell
Producer/Copywriter: Chris McIntyre
Art Director: James Madsen
Director: Cynthia Hall

Technological advances have brought us not only faster computers and compact discs, but thinner countertops. Well, at least from Wilsonart, according to a new television ad that compares the company’s “sophisticated and attractive” eighth-inch surfacing favorably against the half-inch brand sold by competitor DuPont. With a narrative boost from actress Sally Kellerman, the client touts its new, thinner and more durable countertop–dubbed SSV Solid Surfacing–as a result of technological progress. The 30-second television spot begins with close-ups of a vinyl record and a room-sized, 1950s-era computer, before cutting to a scene with a modern notebook computer. “That was then,” says Kellerman. “Today, high technology is all around us, even in your kitchen.” The commercial also plays on sophistication through an elegant home setting in which a woman prepares a fancy meal on her SSV countertop, a backdrop to the tagline, “All the advantages, without the high price.” Targeting homebuyers as well as professional builders, remodelers and bath and kitchen dealers, the 30-second spot is airing on national cable channels like HGTV, A&E and Lifetime. The ad will also air in limited spot markets, according to Maxfield. –G.F.