MIXED BLESSINGS | Adweek MIXED BLESSINGS | Adweek
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MIXED BLESSINGS

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Post-Communist Style, Frankenstein's Dessert, Feline Frolics, Etc.
Let us tip our caps once again to the brave souls who give the wrong answer when a pollster questions them about their own attitudes. In a recent Yankelovich survey, respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement: "Even though there's a lot going on in my life, I wish there were more occasions for sharing a real sense of elation and inspiration with others." Seventy-four percent did agree-a landslide majority, to be sure. But that leaves one-quarter of the survey sample in the position of disavowing a position that cries out for agreement. Whether they're admitting (a) they don't have a lot going on in their lives or (b) they want to horde all sense of elation and inspiration to themselves or (c) they wish there were fewer occasions for sharing those emotions, their candor does them credit.

Advertisers didn't wait for the demise of Soviet communism to begin looting its illustrational style. But unrepentant reds shouldn't complain, since advertising now preserves a school of art that would otherwise have been consigned to the dustheap of history. An ad for a New York clothier uses the Socialist Realist style to especially good effect as it replaces the defeated Soviet man with the triumphant Rothman's man-suit, tie and all. And while Marx's vision of life after the revolution might have included fishing in the evening (along with philosophizing earlier in the day), the proletarian wasn't catching anything with his bare hands. Blum/Herbstreith of New York created the clever campaign.

It just wouldn't be Halloween if we didn't see a can of whipped cream strapped to a table and zapped with megavolts of electricity. At any rate, the holiday-themed campaign for Reddi-wip (created by Cramer-Krasselt of Milwaukee) continues to be a charmer. In this execution, a deadpan text urges you to "bring your dessert creations to life" with a squirt of the client's product. Thus, the ad itself breathes fresh life into what's usually one of the deadest clichƒs in packaged-goods marketing. Neat trick.

Cat owners take such absurd pride in the doings of their pets that one wonders whether they'll be offended by an ad that shows a cat spelling out words-but not getting all of them right. Granted, the cat in the Fresh Step ad may have had no choice but to substitute a z for an s if that's all the fridge door had to offer. But the superfluous letters in the last two words? Well, as the text of the ad points out, "once you've got that odor problem handled, you can work on his spelling." Young & Rubicam's San Francisco office created the ad.

Hoping to take over your agency's Tahiti office but held back by a lack of overseas experience? Then take heart from a study by SHL, a consulting firm based in Boston. Analyzing some successful and not-so-successful international managers, SHL finds that overseas experience isn't essential. What does count is an ability to exert control in a nonauthoritarian manner. Nice work if you can get it.