New Campaigns: Southwest

Agency: Rick Johnson & Co., Albuquerque, N.M.
Client: New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque
Creative Director/Copywriter: Ron Salzberg
Art Directors: Mark Chamberlain, Kelly Marshall
Producer: Sterling Grant
Director: Tim Galles
Although a “serious” campaign was set for production, a brainstorming session resulted in a quick-turn change to a more humorous approach to marketing the 1997 New Mexico State Fair. The agency created “the fair’s biggest fan,” a pudgy spokesman for the standard fare who would also highlight new attractions to draw more visitors. Along with the traditional turkey legs (which the actor beats on a bass drum), the fair has new features like the NBA Jam and the NASA Space Expo. In the ads, the fan also performs animal imitations, bucks an imaginary pony and re-lives the excitement of a roller-coaster ride from the safety of his breakfast table chair. “The State Fair is new, the State Fair is New Mexico, but don’t worry, we still have your old favorites” touts the tagline on each of the four 30-second spots. -Glen Fest

Agency: Richards/Gravelle, Dallas
Client: California Federal Bank, San Francisco
Creative Director/Copywriter: Doug Rucker
Art Director: John Payne
Copywriter: Gary Pascoe
Production Company: Straw Dogs, Santa Monica, Calif.
Humor is the common denominator in a TV, radio and outdoor effort that broke last month for Cal Fed. Airing in four major California markets and in Las Vegas, a 30-second TV spot shows a redheaded man who has trouble getting noticed until he walks into a Cal Fed location, where he is showered with attention. The spot’s tagline, “You’ve got our attention,” is also used in outdoor and radio executions. The campaign is the first branding work from the agency since July, when Cal Fed agreed to a $1.2 billion takeover by First Nationwide. (FN’s branches were converted to Cal Fed, which had stronger brand recognition.) “Our task was to carve out an identity for Cal Fed in the most competitive banking markets in the nation,” client vice president of advertising Bonita Morgan said. -Steve Krajewski

Agency: McGarrah/Jessee, Austin, Texas
Client: Seiko Communications of America, Beaverton, Ore.
Creative Director: Doug Irving
Art Directors: Bryan Jessee, Tim Cole
Copywriter: Matt McCaffree
Commuters exiting the Lincoln Tunnel are getting an eyeful as part of the New York-area launch of Seiko’s Message-Watch. An ad painted on a wall outside the tunnel gives drivers the illusion they are looking through a window at a negligee-clad woman using a telephone. Another nearby image shows a MessageWatch bearing the woman’s instructions to an unknown recipient: “Come home.” Additional print executions appear in more traditional venues, such as on phone kiosks and in The New York Times Magazine. One ad carries the headline, “Secret agent watches have come a long way since you were a kid. For starters, now they’re actually real.” Another boasts, “Introducing the watch that’s way ahead of its exact atomic time.” The ad plugs additional product capabilities-receiving e-mail and phone messages, tracking stocks and checking sports scores. Radio ads support. The watch will roll out with ad support to additional markets including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle at a later date. -S.K.