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For the two creatives awarded the task of advertising James Patterson's new book Four Blind Mice, the experience was surreal at times.

"James Patterson is the brand," said Griffin Stenger, creative director/co-founder of The Concept Farm. "It was like getting a brief from the brand itself … like a Coke bottle saying, 'This is what I am.' " Griffin created the campaign with Gregg Wasiak, another cd/co-founder of the New York shop. The effort—a 30-second spot and a print ad—broke last week.

It wasn't the first time Wasiak and Stenger had worked for Patterson: He was the ecd at J. Walter Thompson in New York in 1992 when the two were a new copywriter and art director team.

"I jumped at the chance to work with them again," said Patterson. "They delivered a movie-thriller-class TV spot for a book-thriller. Damn, I trained them right!"

The spot opens on a peaceful suburban neighborhood and zooms in on a crime scene there, revealing that the seemingly solid evidence points to an innocent person.

The creative duo, which will be promoting Patterson's next three books, was glad to work with their former boss. "It was a way to say thanks," Wasiak said. "He was a mentor and a big part of our formative years."