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Creative Briefs

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Caffeine Fix

Chrysler and Lexus both play off the regret of missed opportunities, including the gourmet coffee boom, in campaigns that broke last month.

In Chrysler ads from FCB Worldwide in Southfield, Mich., a voiceover urges viewers to make good after passing up investing in "that chain of coffee houses," as two women are seen enjoying oversized javas. Mike Rose, senior manager of dealer advertising at Daimler Chrysler, says the goal was to captivate with humor. "We're not just screaming deals," he says.

In a Lexus spot, set in a '70s diner, a man dreams of selling "gourmet coffee on every corner." Failing to impress his friend, he turns to another customer. "So, you're from Seattle?" he asks.

Co-chairman and creative director Tom Cordner of Lexus agency Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif., says the similarities are a "coincidence," and that people talk about what they could have bought every day. "We're putting a mirror up to [the viewer]," he says.

Citizens for Life Hits Boston

Coinciding with the Hemlock Society's World Conference on Assisted Dying last weekend in Boston, the Massachusetts Citizens for Life and Stevens Advertising launched a campaign across the city opposing assisted suicide and abortion. Ads depict a child's hand reaching for that of an elderly person, mirroring the central image in Michelangelo's Creation of Adam painting in the Sistine Chapel. The headline reads, "Take my hand ... not my life." Additional text reads, "Oppose abortion and assisted suicide."

"It ties in the beginning of life and the end of life," says Citizens for Life media director Irene Lagan. While the ads may spark controversy, account executive Allen Crater says the Grand Rapids, Mich., agency, is trying "to keep the message positive and talk about the benefits of life, as opposed to blood and gore."

The $30,000 campaign runs through Sept. 28 on buses and subways, in transit stations and in The Boston Herald.



Citizens for Life Hits Boston Hotline

Picketing SAG Actor Dies

The death of a Screen Actors Guild member who was picketing at a commercial shoot in Los Angeles with more than 100 other union actors was not directly related to the protest, say SAG officials. Billy Embry, 38, reported having chest pains and collapsed while picketing outside a Sony PlayStation shoot on Aug. 26 in West Hollywood with union members including celebrities Michael J. Fox and Estelle Getty. Embry died of a heart aneurysm after emergency surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. "From what I understand, it's not specifically related [to the strike] in any shape or form," says SAG spokesman Greg Krizman. Separately, SAG has called for Emmy nominees to wear gold ribbons during this week's broadcast of the Emmy Awards as a show of support for the strike.

Targeting Flaky Teens

The latest commercial from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, for Procter & Gamble's Head & Shoulders shampoo targets teens with guitar-driven rock music and a skateboarder with flaming hair cruising along sidewalks and down three sets of stairs. At the third, he leaps into the air, landing in a large, rectangular pool. "When you've got to get rid of the flakes and chill your head," a voiceover says, "Head & Shoulders Refresh—lose the flakes and chill." The copywriter was Brian Connaughton, the art director Ji Lee, and the creative directors Leslie Goldman and Enza Mullen. Tod Seisser is the chief creative officer.

Power to the People

McCann-Erickson, New York, broke its new "People Rule" campaign for Gateway last week with a TV spot that focuses on the computer maker's personalized attention. The ad shows a family at home, with two young girls playing as a dad opens bills near a darkened computer screen. A voiceover outlines the different uses for a computer, from soapbox to bank, adding it all means nothing "if no one shows you how to use it." Viewers are then urged to "come in or call." The spot is the first of four due to air nationally on network and cable. In another one, a boy trades in his computer for a new one, then tries to trade his little sister for a scanner. The McCann team was led by creative director Joyce King Thomas and included copywriters Brian Billow and Larry Platt and art directors Robert Frost and Sherry Pollack.

Kid Pitch

A $22 million print campaign from Metiom breaking this week likens e-commerce projects to child's play. Targeting blue-chip firms, ads from Duffy Shanley, Providence, R.I., show kids playing with toys to illustrate how easy it is for Metiom to set up an e-commerce site. According to Michael J. Collins, vp of worldwide marketing, the second phase of ads, scheduled for mid-November, will continue the simplicity theme, showing e-commerce sites "through the eyes of the end-user"—those who shop at well-known sites without realizing Metiom created them. Ads will appear in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes and Fast Company.