Agency: Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis
Client: Millennium Import Co., Minneapolis
Medium: Consumer Print
Creative Director: Jac Coverdale
Art Director: Sharon Azula
Copywriter: Kelly Trewartha
Producers: Terri Herber, Paul Morita
Photography: Andrew Slodkowski, Tomasz Wierzejski, Curtis Johnson, P&H Graphic Communication
Illustration: Kate Thomssen, Peter Siu
The Irish are remembered as much for the lack of potatoes–as in “potato famine.” Thus, this headline carries more baggage than it intends. But if you don’t care for the headline, the ad has another 300-plus words with which to win you over. And it does, offering an engaging narrative about the history of vodka in Poland. Indeed, it gives a history of the potato in Poland, to which the spud was introduced by the emperor of Austria “in gratitude for aid in battle.” (Quite the sports, those emperors.) There’s even an element of controversy: “Initially, potatoes were denounced by priests, who feared the use of unholy potato flour in the making of communion wafers.” Some readers will find all of this lore a bore. Others, though, will enjoy getting a conversational gambit for the price of their vodka. Wouldn’t you like to dazzle your fellow drinkers by divulging how many pounds of Stobrawa potatoes it takes to yield one bottle of Chopin? If buying a bottle of vodka and memorizing a bit of ad copy can give you the air of a connoisseur, it’s a bargain at twice the price.
Fireman’s Fund Insurance
AGENCY: Katsin/Loeb, San Francisco
CLIENT: Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Navato, Calif.
MEDIUM: Consumer Print
CREATIVE Directors: Jef Loeb, Carlton Taylor
Art Director: Allison Burton
Copywriter: Jon Dietrich
Digital Artist: Bill Koeb
Insurance ads typically try to scare the reader. This campaign tries to embolden them. Is that a good idea? The illustration isn’t deathless art, but it does pop off the page. And the copy gets your attention as it develops the headline’s theme: “You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or stand up tall as you can, show it your teeth and say [shifting to boldface] Bring it on, baby, and don’t be stingy with the jalape-os.” If you’re fundamentally secure, the ads imply, you’ll have no reason to feel timid–and good insurance can help make you secure. It’s an interesting thought. Precisely because the message is an unfamiliar one, though, readers will be more skeptical of it. It’s partly a matter of rhetorical style. Jalape-os and all, the copy sounds more like a parody of boldness than real boldness. (Doesn’t the reference to teeth make you wonder if Fireman’s sells dental insurance?) People just don’t talk like that in real life. As is often the case, the ad’s deliberate departure from the clichƒs of its category shows why the well-worn path got to be well-worn.
Tourney Golf Outerwear
AGENCY: Howard, Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C.
CLIENT: Macgregor Golf Co., Albany, Ga.
MEDIUM: Consumer Print
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Scott Crawford
ART DIRECTOR: Scott Ballew
COPYWRITER: Jeff Seide
Photography: Jimmy Williams, Alex Bee
If nothing else, he’ll look stylish when he’s struck by lightning. The ad has a practical sales pitch to make: This line of waterproof outerwear will “keep you comfortable, dry and ready to play. Rain or shine. Tornado or monsoon.” The appeal is more than skin-deep, though, tapping into the golfer’s image of himself as an unflappable competitor. Copy’s opening line expresses this sense of superiority: “While others decide where to scramble for cover, your only question will be whether to hit a five or six iron.” The use of “scramble” is a shrewd touch, suggesting that the lesser souls who lack Tourney golfwear may suffer a loss of face as well as an interruption in their play. For an audience that’s keenly attentive to its own dignity, that’s a potent message. Even if it’s not much fun to play by yourself in a pouring rain, this guy will feel like a conquering hero when he finally sloshes into the clubhouse.
Council On Electricity Choice
Agency: Earle Palmer Brown, Philadelphia
Client: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Council On Electricity Choice, Harrisburg
Medium: 30-Second TV
Creative Director: Mike Drazen
Art Director: Bill Karl
Copywriter: Michael Bense
Agency Producer: Pat Cannon
Production Co.: 2 Rivers Productions, Haverford, Pa.
Director: Bob Rice
Having chosen your phone company, your primary-care physician and your Internet-access provider, are you now eager to choose your electrical utility? Consumers often feel they have too many choices, not too few. They’ll have no patience for ads that trumpet utility deregulation as a new dawn of human freedom. This public-education campaign turns the issue inside out with clever vignettes in which people are denied a choice. One spot takes place in a vast Parisian apartment where Jeanine and Jean Paul have reached the turning point in their romance. (The dialogue is in French, with English subtitles.) He explains that his wealth means nothing to him unless she’ll stay to share it. She seems willing, but there’s a sticking point: “Will I be able to choose my own electricity supplier?” In dismay, he replies: “Where do you think you are–Pennsylvania?” Another spot shows a man who’s just arrived in heaven. He’s disappointed to learn (from the angel who hands out wing vouchers and choir schedules) that he can’t choose his utility. It’s a smart way of prodding viewers to look at the brochure the commission sends out to explain their options.
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