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VB&P Uses the Force

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Venables, Bell & Partners made its first foray into movie advertising a big one.

The year-old Bay Area agency, formed by creatives from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, recently created a teaser poster and international outdoor campaign for Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones. Spending was not disclosed, but agency officials said they are hopeful the arrangement could lead to future work from Lucasfilm for the blockbuster Star Wars franchise.

Agency partner and creative director Paul Venables said VB&P was asked to design ads that would attract more than hard-core fans. "When they do any marketing, they don't go to the core loyalists," he said. "They wanted to talk more to women, because there is a strong female character, and also help regain some of the magic from people who loved the first three [movies] but weren't sucked back in by Episode I."

The widely seen teaser poster shows Anakin Skywalker standing with his back to Senator Amidala. Text reads: "A Jedi shall not know anger. Nor hatred. Nor love."

The project work for Lucasfilm came thanks to a relationship between creative director Greg Bell and Lucasfilm marketing manager Tom Warner. Warner had put in a short stint at Goodby, and he knew that Bell had been a Star Wars fanatic since childhood.

"Venables, Bell & Partners was the right choice for us," Warner said. "Aside from having a great creative team, they understand and are passionate about the brand."

VB&P also works with Micro soft's $50 million UltimateTV account, HBO Home Video and Barclays Global Investors.