AGENCY: Hughes, Norwalk, Conn.
CLIENT: MTX Paging Products, Watertown, Conn.
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: David Grigg
COPYWRITER: Jeannie Credidio
PHOTOGRAPHER: Philip Habib
Small type at the bottom delivers the news: “Timex and Motorola introduce the first full-text message pager in a watch.” Do you immediately wonder how the human race survived without it? Or do you categorize it as one more gizmo you don’t need? At the very least, an ad for a new gadget must nudge you away from the latter view. This campaign has mixed success in that regard. Thanks to the full-text feature, the beepwearer in the ad shown here realizes his pal is proposing a change of venue, not eighty-sixing a rendezvous altogether. And he didn’t need to lug around an extra piece of equipment or make a call of his own to get that news. Not earthshaking, but useful enough to generate interest in the product. Another ad in the series makes the full-text capability look irrelevant: Does “I’m ovulating” (the full message) deliver any information you couldn’t infer from the subjectless “ovulating” captured in the photo of the watch face? Meanwhile, the coy vulgarity of beepwear’s motto–“One beeping great watch”–needlessly gives the brand an air of cheesiness.
EATON AUTOMOTIVE CONTROLS
AGENCY: Sawyer Riley Compton, Atlanta
CLIENT: Eaton Corp., Cleveland
MEDIUM: automotive trade press
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bob Warren
ASSOC. CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Tony Messano
COPYWRITER: Brett Compton
In this era of ads that apologize for being ads, isn’t it nice to see one that’s unafraid to boss people around? Copy explains what’s up: “Now you know what it’s like to try to fit a steering column interface, angle sensor, security immobilizer, proportional input device and multifunction stalk switches into a steering column.” This sentence is a mouthful. But that’s fine, since the aim is to emphasize how much stuff automakers must cram into a steering column. Eaton engineers “have already integrated these features into one compact steering column module,” thus making life easier for automotive designers. It’s an effective pitch. One comment about the typeface used for the body copy: It stinks. I can’t recall the last time I saw type that was less inviting to read. Even apart from the matter of legibility, such fussy type is scarcely in keeping with an effort to position the client as a corps of can-do engineers.
MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING
AGENCY: Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis
CLIENT: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Minnesota chapter, Minneapolis
MEDIUM: posters in bars’ rest rooms
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jac Coverdale
ART DIRECTOR: Steve Sage
COPYWRITER: Michael Atkinson
PHOTOGRAPHER: Joel Larson
DIGITAL ILLUSTRATOR: Bob Weideman, Digital Illusion
Let’s say you’re trying to alter the behavior of people who are ruled by their appetites. Isn’t it a waste of time to appeal to their powers of self-restraint? Yes, it is. And that’s why many anti-vice ads are a waste of time. What’s smart about this ad is that it enlists the reader’s macho self-image in the cause of moderation. Far from feeling hectored, the lads will relish the implication that they must be ready at all times to fend off amorous women–even if some of those women aren’t as fetching as they might seem at closing time. Among guys who enjoy boasting about how wasted they got last weekend, the “beer goggles” schtick will prompt an eager sense of recognition. The ad won’t instantly reform anyone’s bad habits. But it is well-calculated to break through the obliviousness of people who’d swear their drinking never weakens their abilities at the wheel.
PACIFIC BELL CALLER ID
AGENCY: D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis
CLIENT: Pacific Bell, San Ramon, Calif.
MEDIUM: 30-second TV
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Charlie Claggett, Ric Anello, Greg Sullentrup
ART DIRECTOR: Brad Ashton
COPYWRITERs: Anne Strudell, Tom Remes
AGENCY PRODUCER: Chan Hatcher
PRODUCTION CO.: Dektor Higgins, Hollywood
DIRECTOR: Thom Higgins
Those Visigoths are at it again. The setting here is a moated castle whose resident knight has just settled into the tub for a soak. The screen cuts to an outdoor shot, showing a band of particularly uncouth barbarians approaching the castle’s door. (Spare us your pro-Visigoth letters, please.) The rude rabble pounds on the door, then scampers away as the knight is wrapping himself in a towel and trudging to answer the summons. He opens the door and sees that nobody is there. Realizing what has happened, he shakes his fist and yells: “Bloody Visigoths!” In what may be one gag more than the spot strictly needs, the massive door slams shut behind him, leaving him stranded outside. As a succinct voiceover praises the convenience of name-and-number Caller ID, we see a phone number and the word “Visigoths” on the little readout panel. It’s a funny spot–and a highly effective one. The analogy between Visigoths and nuisance calls is sufficiently simple that the spot can entertain us–and hold our attention–without diluting the force of the sales pitch for Caller ID.
WHAT’S NEW submissions should be in the form of proofs, slides or (for TV spots) videotape. Please list creative director, art director, copywriter, agency producer, production company (and its location), director and illustrator or photographer. Describe the media schedule, including break date for the ad. Preference will be given to the newest work. Materials cannot be returned. Send submissions to: What’s New Portfolio, Adweek, 1515 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036.
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