SIEMATIC KITCHEN CABINETS
Cooking salmon en croute is difficult. Buying kitchen cabinets is comparatively easy. How nice, then, if doing the latter can make you feel like the sort of person who can do the former. Actually, this ad doesn't even ask you to buy the cabinets. It asks you to request SieMatic's catalogue, which is treated here as a page-turner full of "Intrigue. Passion. Courage. Desire." And so it probably is for the house-proud readers of shelter magazines in which the campaign appears. (Taking a cosmological approach, another ad in the series assures readers "Heaven does exist and is available in ten finishes.") If it boasted about how elegant the cabinets are, the ad could have an air of protesting too much. By instead alluding to the elegant salmon preparation, it prompts readers to conclude that SieMatic's cabinets are upper-crust. The ad's appealing design will predispose them to suppose SieMatic brings a tasteful aesthetic to its cabinets, too.
Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, Madison, Wis.
SieMatic Corp., Bensalem, Pa.
Consumer advertising takes it for granted that people aren't entirely rational. Business-to-business ads often neglect that insight, as if nothing but cool calculation guided people's professional conduct. This campaign avoids that pitfall as it promotes a network of specialists who handle projects in areas like finance and information technology. Let's say you run a business and need to bring in some expert help. Do you want (a) a well-rounded person who's got a life or (b) someone who cares about nothing but his work? In strictly utilitarian terms, you might prefer (b). At some level of consciousness, though, it can gratify your ego to employ someone who is erudite as well as competent. After all, you're more than a corporate drone, aren't you? Taking that sentiment into account, the dossier on a Resources Connection M&A specialist makes due note of his sideline as an "Authority on early 19th century firedancing masks of the Kwakwaka'wakw Tribe." And if this guy can master the folkways of one exotic culture, perhaps he'll be able to figure out your company as well.
Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Calif.
Resources Connection, Santa Ana, Calif.
Court Crandall, Kirk Souder
Featuring Italians' embrace of the American-made Cannondale, this campaign relies on a time-honored sales pitch: The people who really know this stuff (as Italians know cycling) like our brand, so you should, too. All sorts of products have successfully used that theme over the years. But I wonder whether it retains its old power. The trouble is, it presupposes some humility on the part of the audience. The whole point of such ads is that others know more than we do and that, hence, we should defer to their authority. And that's not an attitude one finds in ample supply these days, especially among the younger types at whom Cannondale must aim. Still, this ad is highly likable. There's a wry charm to the photo of kids gazing lovestruck at the bike in a shop window, thus illustrating the headline: "Puberty in Italy is different than in other countries."
TDA Advertising & Design, Longmont, Colo.
Cannondale, Bethel, Conn.
Fireballs streak across the sky and smack into Earth--cratering a farm, lopping off the top of a skyscraper, etc. What could be causing this shower of destruction? The spot's focus shifts heavenward, where we find God dousing a slice of pizza with Tabasco. His aim is off, since his eyes are glued to a TV sitcom. (You try passing eternity without recourse to the tube now and then.) The meteorites, we realize, are errant drops of the high-octane sauce, the last of which topples Stonehenge. As with previous spots for Tabasco, this one stresses the potency of the product rather than its flavor. That's smart, since a commercial is fairly useless at conveying a sense of how something tastes. It can, though, sustain the mystique of a brand whose fans pride themselves on their godlike digestive tracts. Of course, Tabasco won't prosper if people use it sparingly. They must shake it onto their foods with a liberal hand, so as to deplete their supplies more quickly. In that regard, God sets an inspiring example for those who wish to establish their credentials as extreme eaters.
E. McIlhenny Sons, Avery Island, La.
Exec. Creative Directors
Jim Ferguson, Steve Bassett
Propaganda FIlms, Hollywood, Calif.