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Shiny Happy Mini

NEW YORK-The new Mini's two-tone design and tiny size certainly don't call to mind the arrogance of many sports-car ads. That, in part, inspired the friendly attitude of the launch campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami.

Three consecutive half-page ads in last week's Autoweek, the first advertising in a multimedia campaign, invite drivers to be more neighborly and playful on the road. Indeed, one headline suggests, "Let's put away the middle finger."

Built on the tagline "Let's motor," the campaign aims to create a kinder car culture around BMW's Mini, one that rejects gas-guzzling SUVs and road rage, says vp and associate creative director Andrew Keller. Associate creative director Bill Wright, writers Ari Merkin and Steve O'Connell and art director Mark Taylor teamed with Keller to create the work.

Each sentence in the inaugural ad begins with "Let's," creating an inclusive feel, Wright says. It also features shots of the car from different angles. "It's hard to do a better ad than showing the car," says Keller. "There's something about showing the whole car that's really honest."

The friendly tone doesn't preclude a saucy attitude, though. One ad gibes, "Let's not use the size of our vehicle to compensate for other shortcomings."

Music to Their Ears
Cool Beans Digital Audio, a New York post-production studio, is working with the Songs of Love for Children foundation to create personalized, star-studded CDs for terminally and chronically ill children. Cool Beans partner Peter Fish joins composers from across the country who write songs tailored to the children's interests. "You'd be surprised what kids are listening to," says Fish. "It could be the Backstreet Boys. It could be the Beatles. It could be Lyle Lovett." Fish composes a song in the style of music the patients prefer, then writes custom lyrics. To date, celebrities including Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Michael Bolton, David Lee Roth, Dara Sedaka and various Broadway stars have joined the Songs of Love roster. Cool Beans staffers Jim McGregor and Ozzie Sutherland recently composed and mixed a song that Martha Byrne of As the World Turns performed and personally delivered to a 7-year-old leukemia patient at the Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "There's really nothing in it for any of us," says Fish, except "a chance to give back."

Jaguar's New Model
Shot in New Zealand and Italy and directed by Jeff Darling, Young & Rubicam's latest TV ad for Jaguar blend images of the glimmering new X-Type vehicle and a frisky couple with Chris Isaak crooning "Wicked Game." The global campaign targeting thirtysomethings centers on the theme "The new Jag generation." "It's very, very different for Jaguar and very appropriate for this car. We're treating this more like a fashion brand than an automobile," says Y&R executive creative director Ross Sutherland. Billboards went up this month; print ads break in September magazines; the TV spot roll out in October.

What About Bob?
Baby Bob, one of the cuter dot-com icons this side of the Pets.com sock puppet, began promoting CBS' shows last week. Siltanen/Keehn's wise-cracking spokesbaby for now-defunct FreeInternet.com will star in his own midseason sitcom, Baby Bob. To introduce himself before the launch, however, he's sitting in his usual chair and providing commentary on shows in the fall lineup. What makes this baby with the voice of a 50-year-old chain smoker right for the job? As he told viewers during his FreeInternet gig, "I'm a talking baby with an IQ of 140. ... I was made for this job."

THEN AND NOW
Hair-Raising
In 1952, a demure Clairol ad in The New York Times Magazine invited readers to awaken their sleeping beauty, showing a gray-haired woman waking up as a beautiful blonde. In these cluttered times, such subtleness would never do.

No one could sleep in an earsplitting spot from The Kaplan Thaler Group introducing Clairol's Renewal 5X shampoo. The ad, which broke on network and cable last week, features three women who meet up at a restaurant. Upon realizing they are all using Renewal 5X, they scream-and keep screaming. The tagline is, "Renewal 5X. For hair that screams healthy."

The New York shop wanted a "really disruptive" expression of enthusiasm, says creative director Laurie Garnier. "A lot of times, we scream," she admits simply. At first, the Kaplan Thaler team considered having women mouth the screams and dub them in later. But the actresses said they could handle it. Their reward? After 10 hours on set, says Garnier, "They could barely talk. But they were fine about it."