beach heads

Wandering around Venice Beach one recent Sunday, digital camera in tow, a team from DGWB Advertising was hunting for weird-looking guys to use in a print ad for CD labels from Avery.

The ads, set to run in Rolling Stone, GQ and Spin, use smiling men who, safe to say, aren’t models. Each holds a CD with a funky-looking label to convey the message that the label should be as unique as the listener.

“I was kind of afraid to just go up to guys and ask if I could take their picture,” admitted art director Andre Gomez. “It’s not like we were asking them to take their clothes off or anything, but it was still a little weird.”

As it happens, DGWB took photos of 50 men, but the busi ness-supply-company client grew uneasy about using amateurs. Of the three finished ads, only one showed a guy from the beach. The rest had pros.

Still, creative director Dave Swartz said it was a baby step forward.

“I learned from this that even when you are dealing with a client that tends to be more corporate and cautious, you can do some risky work if you ease them down the path,” he said.