What’s New: Portfolio

AGENCY McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.
CLIENT Fieldcrest Cannon, Kannapolis, N.C.
MEDIUM shelter, bridal magazines

Hope dies hard for house-proud consumers. No matter what they do, their rooms never look remotely like the ones in the decor magazines. But they cling to the notion that the next purchase will be the transforming one that makes it all hang together. This ad skillfully addresses that yearning. “Our colors are enough to make even white bathroom fixtures downright playful.” If you saw these towels displayed on a rack, your mind could too easily fast-forward to the day when they’d be faded, mildewy and balding-like the towels you’ve got now. Arranged in such an unutilitarian manner-and with the cue ball as proxy for bathroom porcelain-they somehow create an aura that’s fresh and hopeful. “Yes,” you say to yourself, “these will make my life more elegant!” The playfulness of the ad also defuses the anxiety people feel about making The Wrong Choice. In so doing, it restores a sense of fun about exercising your taste-whether you’ve got much or not.

AGENCY Thompson & Co., Memphis, Tenn.
CLIENT Seabrook Wallcoverings, Memphis, Tenn.
MEDIUM interior-decoration magazines
ART DIRECTORS David Steinke, Pat Powell
COPYWRITER Lauren Ossolinski

This is one of those happy cases in which an off-the-wall visual does more than grab the reader’s attention. As far as interior decorators are concerned, a supplier should cover their backsides. The photo signals that Seabrook is an imaginative outfit, not a passive middleman in the supply chain. Terse copy loses no time in driving that point home. “You need unique colors and designs. And you need them on time. That’s why you should call Seabrook. We’ll give you more than samples. We’ll give you solutions.” There’s nothing elliptical about the language here. Readers are treated, implicitly, as busy professionals who haven’t the patience to wade through cutesy, soft-sell copy. The longest sentence in the ad is all of a dozen words. The average length is a shade over seven words. The resulting staccato effect isn’t lyrical, but it fosters an impression that Seabrook won’t waste your time.

AGENCY Hanft Byrne Raboy Abrams & Partners, New York
CLIENT Panasonic, Secaucus, N.J.
MEDIUM business magazines
CREATIVE DIRECTORS Doug Raboy, Heni Abrams
ART DIRECTOR Bruce Goldstein

The tough part is reading the copy as it circles the head of Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport. At first, the wraparound has you reading right to left-fine for Hebrew, not so hot for English. The fact that it’s set all in caps, on a background of varying shades, doesn’t help. If you do manage to read it, copy rewards your efforts with the news that Telenium is “not just a phone. It’s the future.” Oh. You could lose patience before grasping that Telenium works as a cordless when you’re in and a cellular when you’re out. If you dial the phone number, though, things liven up. A blast of klezmer music introduces a voice whose accent would put Jackie Mason to shame. “Hello, dere! Shalom, my friends. Rabbi Rappoport here. Look, if this is the Messiah, call me direct. Everyone else, you should listen and loin.” After more along these lines-“You’d have to be meshuga not to buy one!”-he tells you to press 1, “unless this is Shabbat. Then you don’t press buttons, nothin’!” The rabbinical schtick may or may not persuade you to buy a phone, but it certainly makes the point that Panasonic differs from its competitors.

AGENCY Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York
CLIENT The Rockport Co., Marlboro, Mass.
MEDIUM 30-second TV
CREATIVE DIRECTORS Richard Kirshenbaum, Bill Oberlander
ASSOC. CREATIVE DIRECTORS Jennifer Solow, Tim Godsall, Richard Yelland
COPYWRITER Richard Yelland
PRODUCER Laura Silverstone
PRODUCTION CO. Johns + Gorman, Hollywood, Calif.
DIRECTOR Ramaa Mosley

As a goateed man skateboards down a rural road, on-screen type says he’s comfortable “breaking stereotypes.” A moment later, we learn that he’s a pastor. Once, this mix of elements would have been rare enough to generate interest. Today, iconoclasm is a commodity the world has in surplus, like those mountains of butter and lakes of wine. I’d be more intrigued now by someone who fulfills a stereo-type-say, by a pastor whose hobby is reading the Bible. Anyhow, the spot closes with more type, urging us to “be comfortable. uncompromise. start with your feet.” The word that sticks out is “uncompromise,” which puts one in mind of “uncompromising.” That word has such synonyms as “inflexible” and “unyielding,” neither of which sounds like a quality you’d want in shoes. In short, what we have here is a rather edgy sales pitch for comfort. It’s interesting, but it’s not persuasive. The same goes for print ads that show a financial guru who’s comfortable being wrong, a gaunt “ultra-marathon mountain bike racer” who’s comfortable pushing himself too far. The campaign comes closest to relaxing in a TV spot that shows a guy scaling a wall for sport. Turns out he’s a repairman for the phone company. In this case, the surprise ending isn’t pointed; it’s just comfortably amusing.

What’s New submissions should be in the form of proofs, slides or (for TV spots) videotape. Please list creative director, art director, copywriter, agency producer, production company (and its location), director and illustrator or photographer. Describe the media schedule, including break date for the ad. Preference will be given to the newest work. Materials cannot be returned. Send submissions to: What’s New Portfolio, Adweek, 1515 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036.