belvedere polish vodka
AGENCY Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis
CLIENT Millennium Import Co., Minneapolis
MEDIUM consumer print
CREATIVE/art DIRECTOR Jac Coverdale
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/copywriter Jerry Fury
photography Raymond Meeks
Featuring a list of the invaders Poland and its vodka have survived–from Ivan the Terrible to the Soviets, with the Ottomans and Nazis along the way–this ad is a little grim. That’s part of its charm, though. While many ancient brands grovel before youngish adults, Belvedere challenges those novices to rise to its level. The contrarian approach will get the attention of post-frat types for whom social drinking is an extreme sport. Then, smoothing the rough edges off its martial imagery, the ad concludes by wryly adding vermouth to the list of foreign intruders. Compared to drinks with goofy names and sugary mixers, a vodka martini may seem like the height of inebriatory refinement. But vodka was never meant to end in a liaison with vermouth. Is the ad being snobbish in pointing this out? I suppose. Still, thanks to such prickly candor, Belvedere picks up points for authenticity. And that’s an attribute much in demand these days.
adidas basketball shoes
AGENCY Leagas Delaney, San Francisco
International, Portland, Ore.
MEDIUM consumer print
CREATIVE DIRECTORs Harry Cocciolo, Sean Ehringer
ART DIRECTOR Peter Nicholson
COPYWRITER Scott Wild
photography Daniel Proctor, stock
The word “legends” implies that the deeds of former greats are often retold. But that’s not really the case anymore. Indeed, when a sports team holds an old-timers’ day, current players are often heard confessing that the heroes of a previous generation are unknown to them. Given the general “nowism” of our culture, this isn’t surprising. These days, interest in the past seldom rises above the level of half-ironic nostalgia. Doesn’t this pose a problem for ads that link a brand’s image to bygone glories? In this case, we’re meant to take seriously the fact that Adidas shoes have been “worn by legends.” But the reference to “honking huge hairdos” betrays the current tendency to view the past as intrinsically campy. The ambivalence makes the message less potent than Adidas ads that recall the past glories of sports in straightforward terms. After all, though the target audience cares little about the particulars of history, Adidas’ closeness to the roots of major sports gives it a heft that newer brands can’t conjure out of thin air.
jackson hole mountain resort
AGENCY FJCN/W&R, Salt Lake City, Utah
CLIENT Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
MEDIUM consumer print
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dave Newbold
ART DIRECTOR Matt Manfull
COPYWRITER Bryant Marcum
PHOTOGRAPHy Tyler Gourley
“I owe my bank. I owe my employer. I owe my parents. I owe myself.” Let’s get this straight, now: Your wishes for yourself have the same status as your obligations to others? One needn’t be especially stodgy (though I’ll admit it helps) to find that notion obnoxious. Indeed, it seems more obnoxious than blithe me-firstism, which at least has the good grace not to make any pretense to moral legitimacy. Self-indulgent though it is, there’s also something unfun about this point of view–which may help explain why the ad has an oddly glum feel to it. The roll call of debts suggests a zero-sum game in which doing right by others comes at the expense of enjoying oneself, and vice versa. Maybe there’s something to that, but it’s not the sort of insight that gets you revved up for a carefree week at a ski resort.
mothers against drunk driving
AGENCY Pagano Schenck & Kay, Boston
CLIENT Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Connecticut chapter
MEDIUM bus posters
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Woody Kay
ART DIRECTOR John Caley
COPYWRITER Tim Cawley
Print production Dorothy Urlich
Last year, MADD ran ads in which the sanctions for minor illegalities were compared to the penalties for killing someone while driving drunk. One ad noted a $50 fine for failing to curb a dog–“more severe than the punishment given to a drunk driver who smashed into Julia Coppola and her two daughters.” It was very effective, eliciting our instinctive indignation that someone who takes a life could get off scot-free. Setting a harder task for itself, this new campaign accomplishes less. Its aim is to make us focus on the sameness of result rather than any difference of intent in the cases it cites. We do take the point that the victims are equally dead in each instance. People who drive drunk are committing a crime–as are the masked robber and murderous parolee mentioned in other ads. Still, by recounting so specifically the crimes of cold-blooded hoodlums, the ads make it harder for us to classify drunk drivers as criminals. Do we really want to put Mom in the same cell with gang members? Few of us have the stomach for that. One’s gut reaction to last year’s ads was, “Yes!” One’s reaction to this year’s is, “Yes, but “
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