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THEN & NOWPlay With Your Food

Jell-O has peddled its treats with a variety pack of songs and celebrities.

A 1975 spot from Young & Rubicam, New York, showed a Jell-O vendor outselling a fresh-fruit salesman and featured the jingle "J-E-LL-O." During more than 75 years with the brand, Y&R tapped celebrity spokespeople such as Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Andy Griffith and, of course, Bill Cosby. In one of Cosby's early spots, he describes a friend, Old Weird Harold, who wants to be Jell-O pudding so kids will love him.

Angela Lansbury provides the rhyming voiceover in new spots from FCB, New York, shot by Jean Pierre Roux. Chief creative directors Sandy Greenberg and Terri Meyer wanted to "remind people of Jell-O's special place in their hearts" with the magical, fairy-tale quality of the print and TV ads. In one spot, when a girl puts one Jell-O butterfly in her mouth, smaller ones fly out.

McKinney Does a DoubleTake

ATLANTA—Reality-based entertainment has popped up in a place where it makes sense: a campaign for the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C.

McKinney & Silver art director Dino Valentino and copywriter Kim Nguyen based the ads on a distinctly millennial premise. "If you keep a camera on people long enough, they will give you their stories," says Nguyen.

One 60-second TV spot from the Raleigh, N.C., shop documents a man's adoration for his robotic puppy. The commercial fit so well with Double Take's theme of humanity's relationship to technology that a longer version was accepted to the festival. Another spot examines life along India's sacred River Ganges, where businessmen bathe next to carcass-eating stray dogs.

Directed by Tim Bieber of Mr. Big Productions in Chicago, the alternately humorous and poignant campaign asks, "How much reality can you handle?" Says David Baldwin, executive creative director at McKinney, "We want people to remember what's really real. That's not Survivor."

McKinney Does a DoubleTake Directors Honor Dektor Something Fishy Open Houses EarthLink: All for One

Directors Honor Dektor

The Directors Guild of America awarded Leslie Dektor its top prize for directorial achievement in commercials this month for three TV spots: "New Eyes" and "The Run Home" for Idea Exchange from Lynn Dangell and Publicis & Hal Riney in Chicago and "The Check" for Pocketcard from FCB in Chicago. It was the Dektor Films director's second win of the award and his 12th nomination—the latter tying him with Joe Pytka for the most in the category.

A fish out of water is the central metaphor for The Ad Council's Childhood Asthma campaign, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Print, radio, TV and outdoor executions in English and Spanish describe an asthma attack from a child's point of view in an effort to prompt parents to learn more about prevention. The campaign begins running today in New York.

The lawn of Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon and a Malibu house with a roof shaped like a conical Chinese hat provide the settings for Sargento Foods' current ads. The work aims to "show how cheese can put you in a good mood," says Diane Ruggie, a copywriter at DDB, Chicago, the company's lead agency. Choosing the surgeon's house had nothing to do with the pop star: The surroundings were perfect for "Farm," in which children frolic on a lawn. Director Marcus Nispel provided the location for "Beach," showing a family's closeness. His unique home "had such a different look, we knew we needed it," Ruggie says.

EarthLink: All for One

People-watching took on a new meaning during the production of an EarthLink TV spot titled "Privacy." Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and Partizan director Michel Gondry, the 30-second spot is meant to illustrate how EarthLink protects its customers' privacy. Identical shots of 30 male and female actors of various ethnicities were composited to create the effect of one person getting out of bed and washing up in the bathroom. "We had to move everything around between every take, including the lights, furniture and people, to create the flicker effect," says Gondry of the attempts to give the appearance that each actor is in a different home. Then a computer program designed by Gondry's brother, Olivier Twist Gondry, selected the order in which frames would appear, maintaining the effect of the fluid motion of one person.