By Mark Dolliver
TIMEX IRONMAN TRIATHLON
Some readers will feel this ad commits sacrilege as it compares the glove worn by Lou Gehrig during his 2,130-game streak to the Timex ‘worn by Tommy Credidio the day he swam 6 consecutive laps in his neighbor’s pool without coming up for air once.’ They’ve got a point: It does impose a flatness on the world to put a great athlete’s feat on a plane with the ordinary guy’s small triumph. But that’s a trade-off people seem happy to make these days: If our heroes must be diminished so we can feel special, so be it. Pandering to the consumer’s self-importance is a sin only if it’s done ineptly, and this campaign accomplishes it with skill. No beauty by classical watch standards, the Ironman Triathlon looks less ungainly when seen in the company of Gehrig’s glove or Jacques Plante’s goalie mask. The target audience will enjoy the snippets of sports lore. And by making the watch an accessory to the reader’s own reveries of athletic glory, the ad makes it far more enticing than it could be if sold merely as a timepiece.
AGENCY: The Hughes Agency, Norwalk, Conn.
CLIENT: Timex Corp., Middlebury, Conn.
MEDIUM: Consumer Magazines
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: David Grigg
COPYWRITER: Jeannie Credidio
PHOTOGRAPHER: Brett Wills
BOEING PERSONNEL RECRUITMENT
When a recruitment ad has the feel of an image ad, it can give a clearer sense of the company’s character. But it also invites you to try on the self-image of someone who spends many of his waking hours toiling for that company. With its shrewd mix of the mundane and the exceptional, this ad suggests you’d be joining a crew of professionals who do remarkable things as a matter of course. ‘If shaping aviation in the 21st century is something you’d like to make part of your daily routine,’ send Boeing a resume. Anyone who’s been working for a while knows it’s the unremitting dailiness of a job that makes it burdensome or satisfying. Adults with serious jobs don’t lightly decide to uproot themselves, but this ad gets you wondering if the hours between breakfast and Jeopardy might be more exciting at Boeing than at your current gig.
AGENCY: Cole & Weber, Seattle
CLIENT: Boeing Co., Seattle
MEDIUM: engineering-school alumni publications
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: Ron Klein
ART DIRECTOR: Christie Birsa
PHOTOGRAPHER: Randy Allbritton
SWISS ARMY SUNGLASSES
Some line extensions have more to do with consumer predilections than with the company’s core expertise. They’re the most promising kind. After all, people who’d enjoy having a Swiss Army knife are doubtless the sort who’d also treat themselves to fancy sunglasses. So who cares whether the technology of making knives bears little relation to the fine points of making sunglasses? We know the company behind the knives has figured out how to please us, so we rationally figure there’s a strong chance it will do so in this new category as well. And if the glasses fall apart, there’s probably some gadget on a Swiss Army knife that’ll fix them. Anyhow, this campaign is wise to milk the brand’s heritage for all it’s worth. It doesn’t hurt, meanwhile, to add a dollop of machismo by featuring the likes of the Navy Seals–even though we’re given no reason to believe the Seals themselves have ever heard of these shades, much less worn them.
AGENCY: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston
CLIENT: Swiss Army Brands, Shelton, Conn.
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Fred Bertino
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Mike Sheehan, Dave Gardiner
ART DIRECTOR:Tim Foley
COPYWRITER: Marty Donohue
PHOTOGRAPHY: Steve Hellerstein, stock
COLEMAN FAST TRACK TENT
‘Greetings, indigenous people!’ The title of this spot is ‘Peace Corps,’ but its protagonist–clad in pith helmet and khakis–is a cross between Cecil Rhodes and Woody Allen as he brings enlightenment to a band of Third World exotics. Today, the Great White Busybody is lecturing his audience on how to pitch a tent. (His agonizingly clear diction may remind viewers of Al Gore explaining the information superhighway.) Naturally, he is incapable of handling that task himself, and the ensuing slapstick shows him hammering his thumb, getting tangled inside the tent, etc. The punch line comes when one of the locals turns to another and remarks in flawless Oxbridge accent that it’d be ‘so much easier if he had the Coleman Fast Track tent.’ We’re shown the indigenous person setting up the Coleman in two seconds. The spot (shot in South Africa) is lots of fun to watch. As can be the case with funny commercials, though, the sales pitch is its least arresting element. And while the volunteer’s tour de force of futility is intended to show how hard it is to pitch a conventional tent, he’s so hapless that we suspect he’d fare no better with Coleman’s fool-proof model. Thus, instead of making a point about non-Coleman tents, the comedy seems more like a display of this one guy’s ineptitude.
AGENCY: Martin/Williams, Minneapolis
CLIENT: Coleman Co., Wichita, Kan.
MEDIUM: 60-, 30-second TV
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Lyle Wedemeyer
ART DIRECTOR: Jim Henderson
COPYWRITER: Tom Kelly
PRODUCER: Lisa Thotland
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Harmony Pictures, Los Angeles
DIRECTOR: Boris Demast
Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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