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HONDA CIVIC
AGENCY: Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.
CLIENT: American Honda Motor, Torrance, Calif.
MEDIUM: Consumer Magazines
CREATIVE Directors: Larry Postaer, Mark Erwin, Wendi Knox
ART DIRECTOR: Vince Aamodt
COPYWRITER: Jim Real
PHOTOGRAPHER: Michelle Clement

At least he doesn't need to go hunting for his key when it's time to drive someplace. The photo vividly conveys the idea that Civic drivers are devoted to their cars. But is it too vivid for Honda's own good? The physical image itself is apt to give many of us the willies. Yes, I know some women wear earrings the size of chandeliers, but we're more accustomed to seeing that sort of thing, so the physical fact of it doesn't bring us up short. This photo is different. So, one can't easily look at it without wondering whether Honda offers 24-hour roadside assistance for torn earlobes. The photo's imaginative weirdness makes it an attention-getter, but it also leaves us fully aware of how different we are from this guy. And unless we regard him as someone whose tastes are much like our own, we've no reason to care that he loves his Civic. In effect, the message of the visual is more "to each his own" than "we're all in this together."


GUINNESS STOUT
AGENCY: Ogilvy & Mather Asia/Pacific
CLIENT: Guinness, London
MEDIUM: Posters Supervising
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: Neil French
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: Suthisak Sucharittanonta
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: Al Jackson
ART DIRECTOR: Philip Marchington

Fine, but do you really want the lads to be a corps of synchronized swimmers? One could argue that the fellows at left are happily meandering around as they please, while the ones at right are exemplars of regimentation. Which personality would appeal more strongly to a drinker of pints? Anyway, while an image of purposeful vigor may seem an odd one for a stout, Guinness (which, you'll recall, is "good for you") has a history of presenting itself as a tonic. In this case, the ad tacitly rebuts the consumer's suspicion that a Guinness or two will slow him down. That point may not interest people who aren't already fans of the stuff, but it's a liberating notion for those who are. And though you might quibble with the details, it's always nice to be told you're a cut above the mass of beery humanity.


PEARS SHAMPOO
AGENCY: Maclaren Mccann, Toronto
CLIENT: Lever Pond's, Toronto
MEDIUM: Transit Posters
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Rick Davis
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: Jamie Way
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: Randy Diplock
PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Picton

Well, of course it's not brain surgery. Who said it was? I'm sure Pears and its agency had their reasons for using that line. But that doesn't mean it will make sense to consumers. Are other shampoos so horribly complex that Pears can grab a competitive advantage by being easy to use? Doubtful. Or must consumers be disabused of the idea that using Pears itself is tantamount to brain surgery? Also doubtful. The ad does a good job of making its point. It just happens to be a point that carries little resonance for the people reading the ad. Too bad, because the before-and-after portraits are engaging. And the bubbly background, also used in other Pears ads, is a catchy and pertinent motif for holding the campaign together.

MITSUBISHI WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
AGENCY:Sawyer Riley Compton, Atlanta
CLIENT: Mitsubishi, New York
MEDIUM: 30-Second Tv
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bob Warren
GROUP CREATIVE HEAD/COPYWRITER: Liz Smith
ART DIRECTOR: Tammy Thorn Anderson
AGENCY PRODUCER: Greg Smith
PRODUCTION CO.: Harmony Pictures, Los Angeles
DIRECTOR: Bill Scarlet

It's not hard to depict a scene of excruciating boredom. What's hard is to present such a spectacle without putting viewers to sleep. This spot rises to the challenge as it parodies a dreary business seminar. It focuses on a woman in the audience, and we sympathize with her struggle to remain conscious as a lecturer drones on. At one point, she keeps her eyes open by focusing on a fly. When she looks at the clock, it moves backwards. She finally dozes off, only to be awakened by the speaker's call to "take action." Doing just that, she uses the pager function on her wireless phone to send a message to the lecturer's phone: "Return to office ASAP." Receiving this urgent bulletin, he obediently announces that he must leave, and he's ushered on his way by a discreet wave from the woman who has engineered her release from seminar hell. By giving us a protagonist to root for, the spot manages to be boring in an engaging way. Details like the unobliging clock sustain our interest. Meanwhile, we take the point that the client's gizmo can actually do something useful, which is more than can be said for many other things (animate and inanimate) in the workaday world.

What's New submissions should be in the form of proofs, slides or (for TV spots) videotape. Please list creative director, art director, copywriter, agency producer, production company (and its location), director and illustrator or photographer. Describe the media schedule, including break date for the ad. Preference will be given to the newest work. Materials cannot be returned. Send submissions to:
What's New Portfolio, Adweek, 1515 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036.