Creative Focus: BEST SPOTS - APRIL


Best Spots are selected by Adweek editors from commercials breaking on broadcast and cable television. Call Nancy Sobel at (212) 536-6453 to submit reels or to order this month's collection.

The Best Spots section is compiled by Mark Lang.


Three guys on why a pug has been misbehaving: Skipper needs to be 'fixed,' says one. 'Boil some water. Snippety-snip.' The mutt hasn't been seen since. A better solution: Call the veterinarian on the America's Health Network for advice.

Title Dog

Agency: DDB Needham, New York

Executive CD: Mike Rogers

Art director: Michael Furlong

Copywriter: Ken Shuldman

Agency producer Robert Parker

Production company Bedford Falls

Director: Ray Lawrence



In this tongue-in-cheek spot, the telco equates its 30-day return policy with renting a baby. The rental parents find the kid cute and sweet--until he helps destroy their car. The baby is returned within the month, and, hey, the same deal applies for wireless phones.

Title: Baby

Agency Cliff Freeman & Partners, N.Y.

Exec. CD Arthur Bijur

Art director Taras Wayner

Copywriter: Kevin Roddy

ency producer: Nick Felder

Prod. co. Johns + Gorman Films

Director Jeff Gorman



As a hawk swoops in for the kill, a dove spots a Beamer convertible and lands in the passenger seat. The driver puts the pedal to metal. The smaller bird is saved by the 'ultimate freedom machine.'

Title: Dove

Agency: Fallon McElligott,03Minneapolis

Creative group head: Bruce Bildsten

Art director: Dean Hanson

Copywriter: Mike Gibbs

Agency producer Rob van de Weteringe Buys

Production co.: Blink Productions

Director: John Downer

Editor: Sam Sneade, Sneade Editorial



With microscopic pictures of moving cells and flowing arteries, the spot reels off some grim statistics: Heart disease kills more women than breast, lung and ovarian cancers. The tagline: 'It's time to re-examine the myths in women's healthcare.'

Title: Cardio

Agency TraverRohrback, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Creative director Joe Clipner

Art director: Scott Osborne

ACD/copywriter: Bill Hahn

Art director/prod. Tracey Ellenberg

Prod. co. Tony Kaye & Partners

Director: Jonathan Barnbrook



Loaded down with four jumbo cups of Bud, a lone fan at a baseball game watches a home run hurtling at him. Cries of 'drop the beer' echo through the stadium, but our hero can do no such thing. The baseball hits him in the head, and he's last seen being wheeled into a hospital, still clutching the suds.

Title Left Field

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F.

Creative directors: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein

Art director: Todd Grant

Copywriter: Steve Dildarian

Agency producer: Taryn Holland

Production co. Radical Media

Director: Frank Todaro

Editor: Tom Muldoon, Nomad Editorial



When an older fellow picks up a cowboy's guitar, the young whippersnapper derisively asks, 'You play?' Yup. The first man is Les Paul, guitar legend, and he teaches the dude a thing or two.

Title Guitar Player

Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, S.F.

Exec. CD/copywriter: Paul Wolfe

Group CD, art director Claude Jacques

Agency producer: Rob Thomas

Production co.: Propaganda Films

Director: Andy Morahan

Editor Roger Harrison/Cutaways



Hairy men gather in front of a friend's TV set to watch the big game. Testosterone is in the air, but Heidi is on the tube. Uh oh. The friend subscribes to the wrong satellite television service.

Title Heidi

Agency: Campbell-Ewald, L.A.

CD, copywriter: Lance Mald

Art director: Mike Conboy

Agency producer Betty Meadows

Production company: HSI

Director: Tom DeCerchio

Editor Rye Dahlman/Rye Films



Then there were eight: In this Fargo send-up, two border guards, a Canadian and an American, investigate the death of a hockey player. The prime suspects: the surviving teams in the chase for the NHL's Stanley Cup.

Title: Murder City

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Creative directors: Jerry Cronin, Vince Engel

Art director: Rob Palmer

Copywriter: Jeff Bitsack

Agency producer: Cherie Appleby

Production co. Food Chain Films

Director Marc Greenfield



Actors Lukas Haas (keyboards) and Dave Arquette (trumpet) improvise in this sparse ad for The Gap's easy-fit jeans. The tagline: 'It's definitely easy.'

Title: David and Lukas 2

Agency: In-house

Sr. VP marketing: Michael McCadden

Creative director: Lisa Prisco

Art director: Carl Byrd

Agency producer: Leigh Donaldson

Production co. Palomar Pictures

Directors Mark Seliger, Fred Woodward



Dripping leaves, rippling streams, blooming flowers and happy kids fill this colorful spot. The ad pitches a variety of air-freshening products and ends with the line 'Created by nature, captured by Glade.'

Title Captured by Glade

Agency Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago

Exec. CD Geoff Thompson

Client CD, copy Chuck Rudnick

Art director: Lauren Watson

Exec. producer Laura Glenn

Production company A&R Group

Director: Michael Cuesta Jr.

Editor Cara Meiselman, The Looking Glass



The rain forest is alive with Lifesavers' tropical-fruit candies dancing to a Caribbean beat. A frenzy of color, the ad serves up candies in exotic flavors, like pina colada, banana and mango melon.

Title: Ooh La La

Agency Foote, Cone & Belding, N.Y.

Group CD, art director Sam Gulisano

Copywriter Phil Guthrie

Agency producer: Phyllis Landi

Production company Santiago Inc.

Director Santiago Suarez



After successfully cloning a sheep, scientists celebrate with a pizza. But the pizza box is placed on the clone button, and, before long, sheep are flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

Title Cloning

Agency Cliff Freeman & Partners, N.Y.

Chief creative officer Cliff Freeman

Exec. CD Arthur Bijur

Art directors, copywriters Roger Camp, Michelle Roufa

Agency prod. Maresa Wickham

Prod. co.: Johns + Gorman Films

Director Jeff Gorman

Editor Livio Sanchez/Mad River Post



A Himalayan sherpa guides viewers through this ad for Lycos, an Internet search engine. A happy guy, the sherpa calls himself the 'big yak daddy.'

Title Sherpa

Agency Bozell, N.Y.

Chief creative officer Jay Schulberg

CD, copy Rodney Underwood

ACD, art director Mike Thomas

Agency prod. Jean-Claude Kaufmann

Production company Cucoloris Director Danny Ducovny



In a series of quick cuts, the spot shows how difficult it is to be a big-league catcher--a player who takes foul tips off the mask; calls pitchouts, pickoffs and pop-ups; and tags runners coming in spikes first. Don't tell Mike Piazza that 'baseball isn't a contact sport.'

Title: Mike

Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS, N.Y.

Chairman, chief creative officer: Lee Garfinkel

Creative group head, art director Alan Chalfin

Creative group head, copywriter Scott Grayson

Agency producer Anita Smith

Production co. Crossroads Films

Director: Jason Smith

Editor Doug Walker, Filmcore



Putting to win, a golfer concentrates on holing a 20-footer. But the ball stops three feet short. 'Close enough' the announcer yells, as the golfer celebrates his 'victory.' Two numbers win in New York's Take 5 lottery game.

Title: Golf

Agency: DDB Needham, New York

Exec. CD: Mike Rogers

Creative director: John Staffen

Art director Gary Rozanski

Copywriter: Thom Baginski

Agency producer: Eric Hermann

Production co.: A Band Apart

Director: Charles Wittenmaier



Leaving his local calling zone, Bob phones Pete on the wireless. Too late. Roaming charges, in the form of a guy with a money-sucking machine, stop Bob cold, leaving him broke. The point: Nextel has no roaming charges.

Title: Checkpoint

Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass.

CD/copy Edward Boches

CD/art Amy Watt

Art director Carol Fox

Copywriter Tom Cook

Agency producer: Sarah Monaco

Production co. Reactor Films

Director Steve Chase



At a rural gas station, two Thelma & Louise types meet a couple of hidebound truckers who don't know when to shut up. In the end, one woman walks over to the 18-wheeler and, with her 3-inch high heel, punctures the rig's front tire.

Title: Trucker

Agency: Headquarters, Charlotte

CD/art director: John Boone

Copywriter: Ron Huey

Agency prod. Nancy Dickerson Sanders

Production co.: Steifel & Co.

Director: Peter Kagan



Some hardy souls takes a polar-bear plunge into an ice-covered lake. Don't be afraid to take risks is the message from the financial-services company.

Title: The Plunge

Agency: Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis

CD/art director: Jac Coverdale

Copywriter: Jerry Fury

Agency producers Chris Wong, Jenee Schmidt

Production co. Red Motel Pictures

Director: Jeth Weinerich

Editor: Charley Schwartz, Fischer Edit



On a cold morning in March, Saturn workers gather at the plant to watch, on video monitors, the cars they've built arrive in Japan. As the Saturns roll off the ship, we learn that the hardships were all worth it.

Title: Monitors

Agency: Hal Riney & Partners, S.F.

CDs: Dave O'Hare, Steve Sweitzer

Art director: Kevin Kehoe

Copywriter: Mimi Cook

Agency prod.: Victoria Waldock

Production co.: Dektor/Higgins

Director: Leslie Dektor

Editor: Keith Salmon/Lost Planet



Grant Hill's agent tries to get his client some extra work. We see Hill acting in a soap opera, hawking his new book ('Polite Like Me') and singing. But the NBA star wants none of it; instead, he offers the agent a Sprite--and the light bulb goes on.

Title: Agent

Agency: Lowe & Partners/SMS, N.Y.

Chairman, chief creative officer: Lee Garfinkel

Creative group head: C.J. Waldman

Creative group head: Todd Godwin

Art director: Jason Gaboriau

Copywriter: Steve Doppelt

Agency Producer: Laurie Leokum

Production company HKM

Director: Michael Patrick Jann

Editor: Ian Mackenzie, Ian Mackenzie Editorial



Shaq is suffering from TNS, the neck-bending result of eating too many tacos. GM Jerry West, Laker teammates and Shaq's agent are worried, but now, Shaq, a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, can't miss from the line. Tacos to go, please.

Title: Shaq Taco Neck

Agency: Bozell, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Chief creative officer: Harvey Hoffenberg

Creative director: Jon Parkinson

Art directors, copywriters: Chris Brown, Yvonne DeSanti

Head of production: Scott Seltzer Producer

Bob Belton: Production co. GMS Productions

Director: John Landis

Editor Livio Sanchez/Mad River Post



A man unknowingly drops his Twix on the sidewalk. A Boy Scout returns it to him. 'You deserve a reward, son,' says the man to the smiling kid. But no reward is forthcoming. The tagline: 'Two for me. None for you.'

Title: Good Scout

Agency: DMB&B, St. Louis

Group CD: Carole Christie

Creative director: Ron Crooks

Art director: Diane Pittman

ACD, copy: Gordon Robertson

Agency producer: Pat Collins

Prod. co. Backyard Productions

Director: Rob Pritts

Editor: Bob Mori, Red Car

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