AGENCY: Elgin DDB, Seattle
CLIENT: Northwest corridor of Amtrak, Washington, D.C.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Marty McDonald
ART DIRECTOR: Greg Braun
COPYWRITER: Chris Halas
ILLUSTRATOR: Matt Myers
If a passenger uses the bathroom in a train going 75 miles an hour while the driver of a car going 60 miles an hour wishes he’d stopped at the last rest area, who’s having a better trip? With its offbeat humor, this ad invokes the aura of fun that some people associate with trains. But it does so while featuring what is, after all, a practical advantage train travel holds over the automotive variety. Two advantages, actually: Given the traffic on most highways these days, that 75 mph figure gives the train an edge in speed. Amiable though it is, the ad’s folksy illustration undercuts that point. With its Toonerville Trolley overtones, the visual tends to reinforce the modern stereotype of American train travel as a quaintly poky means of transportation.
AGENCY: Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York
CLIENT: The Rockport Co., Marlborough, Mass.
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Richard Kirshenbaum
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bill Oberlander
ART DIRECTOR: Marta Ibarrando
COPYWRITER: Richard Yelland
From the looks of things, this fellow is comfortable with lots of stuff the rest of us might find excruciating–for instance, himself. The haikuesque caption identifies him as “bob bakker, harvard phd/ author ‘the dinosaur heresies’/ hollywood’s dinosaur guru.” Combining that information with what the photo tells us, we can surmise that mr. bakker is a man of singular tastes–which means there’s little reason to suppose that what suits him would suit anyone else. Another ad in the series achieves much the same effect. It pairs “humorist, author, philosopher” Spalding Gray with the headline, “I’m comfortable with my madness.” Good for him. Again, though, the headline suggests his threshold of discomfort is radically different from mine or yours, which seems to disqualify him as a useful guide in this matter. The campaign’s choice of spokesmen is consistent with the theme line’s second commandment–“uncompromise”–but it also emphasizes how distinct that is from the first imperative: “be comfortable.”