By Mark Dolliver
LOT POLISH AIRLINES
Ah, the old ‘G’day’ versus ‘Gdansk’ gag. It may not be the funniest you’ve ever heard, but it does lure you into the chat between Gdansk shopkeeper and Australian tourist. The dialogue with the English-speaking merchant implicitly soothes one’s fear of arriving in Poland and being unable to talk with anyone. Likewise, her reference to visitors ‘from all over the world’ suggests the city has good tourism infrastructure–again rebutting a likely hesitation about vacationing in Eastern Europe. The well-informed Australian notes that Lot offers ‘the only nonstop flights from the States.’ Do these characters come fully to life for us? Hardly. But even a trumped-up conversation is miles more engaging than a straight sales pitch. Meanwhile, since the target audience knows Australians as tireless globe-trotters, the shrewd choice of that interlocutor’s nationality helps give Poland the cachet of a hot destination.
AGENCY: Anderson & Lembke, New York
CLIENT: Lot Polish Airlines, New York
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
ART DIRECTOR: Erik Gr…nlund
COPYWRITER: Alan Wolk
Having presented a standard no airline can meet–making you feel as giddy as a kid–Asiana must back away from it: ‘You may not find yourself giggling like a little child.’ A reader is apt to feel: Tell me what you can do, not what you can’t. Copy refers to ‘amenities and service that are truly special,’ but offers no specifics. Veteran flyers will note with favor that Asiana has ‘the youngest, most modern fleet in the air.’ But since this point bears scant relation to the headline and visual, it doesn’t come across forcefully. Some readers will give the ad points for avoiding the cliche of sunny skies. Cliches usually get to be cliches because they make sense, though. With threatening clouds and a low ceiling, this looks like plane-crash weather–or, at least, flight-delay weather. Coming from an airline many readers have never heard of, it’s an odd introductory note to strike.
AGENCY: Campbell-Ewald, Santa Monica, Calif.
CLIENT: Asiana Airlines, Los Angeles
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Lance Mald
ART DIRECTOR: Chip Kettering
COPYWRITER: Bob Ancona
PHOTOGRAPHER: R.J. Muna
STEVE MADDEN SHOES
If you like the unholier-than-thou school of marketing, this ad will grab you. After all, it’s not really expressing solidarity with the housewife who harbors a wild streak beneath her straitlaced exterior. Rather, it’s appealing to those who like to believe that conventional virtue is always a sham–that people who adhere to old-fashioned norms must be concealing some darker impulses. Presumably, that outlook on life emboldens one to wear a shoe for which the nickname ‘Suzy Home-Wrecker’ is suitable. The ad even gives pseudo-feminist cover to the product: It implies you’re not catering to lascivious men when you wear these shoes; you’re striking a blow for female self-expression and against the oppression symbolized by a woman folding laundry. Still, whatever mockery says about the mocked, it often indicates a lack of confidence on the part of the mocker. If a brand can’t establish its credentials for hipness in 1997 without lampooning housewives of 1957, consumers may wonder whether it’s as cutting edge as it claims to be.
AGENCY: Hampel/Stefanides, New York
CLIENT: Steve Madden Shoes, Long Island City, N.Y.
MEDIUM: women’s magazines
CREATIVE DIRECTORs: Larry Hampel, Dean Stefanides
ART DIRECTOR: Tom Kane
COPYWRITER: Jennifer Sandbank
PHOTOGRAPHER: Chris Collins
PARTNERSHIP FOR A DRUG-FREE AMERICA
In ads that steer kids away from self-destructive behavior, it’s foolish to claim abstinence is cooler than indulgence. Once coolness is enshrined as the sovereign standard, the bad guys have the upper hand. After all, kids who dare to do reckless things may be the coolest, in the short run. The point teenagers need to absorb is that coolness isn’t the only thing that counts in life. Noting that most teenagers don’t smoke pot, this spot sensibly combats peer pressure to try the stuff. The text is spoken by a motley bunch of teens, each getting one sentence in which to define ‘the average kid.’ We’re told the average kid doesn’t get straight A’s, could live on pizza, ‘trusts their friends more than anybody,’ is pretty strange, etc. And while the average kid thinks ‘everybody else’ smokes pot, ‘the average kid doesn’t.’ Several smart things are going on here. The kids are such a varied lot that most of the target audience will find someone to identify with. One girl’s praise of friendship offers an implicit contrast to the unease one feels in being subjected to peer pressure. Best of all, in a category awash in the banalities of ‘self-esteem,’ the spot dares to tell kids they’re mistaken about something. Ideally, this will help open their ears to all sorts of prudent advice. Now that’s a public service.
AGENCY: Herring/Newman, Seattle
CLIENT: Partnership for a Drug-Free America, New York
MEDIUM: 30-second TV
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Dan Gross
ART DIRECTOR: David Repyak
COPYWRITER: Mary LaCoste
PRODUCER: Lane Jensen
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lopes Picture Co., New York
DIRECTOR: Susan Buster Thomas
Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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