Best Spots: August

Best Spots are selected by Adweek editors from commercials breaking on broadcast and cable television. Call Nancy Sobel at (212) 536-6453 to submit reels or to order this month’s collection.
The Best Spots section is written by Mark Lang.
AMERICAN EXPRESS
In England, Jerry Seinfeld can’t buy a laugh-his jokes fall flat. So he travels the countryside to learn the lingo, words like banger, bubble, squeak and googly. Along the way, Jerry meets a shepherd, plays cricket, sings in a pub and walks across Abbey Road Beatles-style. Question: If Seinfeld decides to import this English shtick to his TV show, would that make Kramer a wanker?
Title London
Agency Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Creative head Rick Boyko
Creative director David Apicella
Art director Dave Ladden
Copywriter Chris Mitton
Agency producer Gary Streiner
Production co. Propaganda
Director David Kellogg
Editor Chris Franklin, Big Sky
Music Craig Snyder, Snyder Music

BUDGET RENT A CAR
A guy named Dan Bryant tools around the beach in a Mustang convertible. As he drives past surfers and scenic coastline, words appear to describe Dan the Man: “Free spirit.” “Too cool for school.” “No shirt. No shoes. No problem.” Well, one problem: Come Monday, the dude has to surrender his rented car and return to his not-too-cool-for-school life.
Title Dan Bryant
Agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston
CDs Mike Sheehan, Dave Gardiner
Art director Chris Poulin
Copywriter George Goetz
Agency producer Vic Palumbo
Production co. radical media
Director Alan White
Editor Dick Gordon, Mad River

CHEX SNACK MIX
Via stop-motion animation, the chips, pretzels and cereal in a bag of Chex Snack Mix form a smiling mouth, then a happy face. The spot takes on the air of a Peter Gabriel video with the munchies.
Title Mixed Up Face
Agency Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis
CD/art director Harry Gonnella
CD/copywriter Christy Martin
Executive producer Renee Calder
Production co. Chelsea Pictures
Director Simon Blake
Music Machine Head

COCA-COLA
Sitting on a porch, LL Cool J patiently braids his daughter’s hair. She doesn’t like it (he’s doing a lousy job) and hands him a Coke to make him stop. Although dad gets the soda, the little girl puts the fizz in this spot: Her I’d-rather-be-anywhere-else facial expressions are just right.
Title Daddy’s Little Girl
Agency Rush Media, New York
Chief creative director Russell Simmons
CDs Anne Simmons, Dominique Trenier
Art director Paul James
Copywriter Dominique Trenier
Agency producer Tony Harding
Production co. GMS
Director Brett Ratner
Editor Robert Ivison, Inside Out

FARBERWARE SKILLET WITH DUPONT SILVERSTONE SELECT COATING
A guy comes home to an empty house: His girlfriend took everything-the golf videos, the recliner, the lights, even Sparky the dog. But she overlooked the Farberware nonstick skillet, and our hero proceeds to cook up a storm. She returns, however, and takes the pan from him in mid-stir fry. Time for Best Spots film trivia: Which currently running independent movie stars the actor in this ad? Answer: In the Company of Men. No wonder she left.
Title She Took
Agency Young & Rubicam, New York
CDs Howard Benson, Peter Murphy
Art director Dennis Stevens
Copywriter Joanna Templeton
Agency producer Lori Talish
Production co. Lovinger/Cohn & Assoc.
Director Paul Goldman

FINISH LINE
A bunch of kids discuss the rules of their two-hand-touch football game. “That light’s our end zone. Sidewalk’s out,” says one. “Five Mississippi rush,” says another. Both sides line up to run the first play, but two fat kids call timeout. An ice-cream truck is spotted, and the game is stopped before it ever starts. The ad’s feel is street smart; the kids are real, right down to their athletic clothing.
Title Time Out
Agency 40 Acres & a Mule, New York
CD/director Spike Lee
ACD/art director Geoff Edwards
ACD/copywriter Colin Costello
Agency producer Will Wilcox
Production co. 40 Acres & a Mule

FRUIT BY THE FOOT
Confections have come a long way since the days of candy dots on a sheet of paper. But Fruit by the Foot takes a page from the past with its new tie-dyed fruit roll. In this spot, a kid loses his candy to a ravenous smiley face on his T-shirt.
Title Stuff Your Face
Agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
Creative director Chris McKee
ACD/art director Trip Park
ACD/copywriter Glen Levy
Agency producer Dani Stoller
Production co. Cucoloris
Director Tenney Fairchild

IKEA
A New York subway car gets the IKEA treatment-rugs, sofas, bookcases, lamps, tables, window blinds, even plants. “If IKEA designs can make this space more livable,” says the voiceover, “imagine the possibilities for your home.” It’s a neat idea-and an effective ad.
Title Subway
Agency Deutsch, New York
EVP/creative director Kathy Delaney
Sr. art director Matt Myers
Sr. copywriter Cheryl Van Ooyen
Sr. producer Guy Williams
Production co. Crossroads Films
Director Mark Pellington
Editor Owen Plotkin, Editing
Concepts

KODAK ADVANTIX
With fast cuts and slapstick humor, this ad portrays a couple trying to enter their kid in The World’s Cutest Baby Photo Contest. Of course, it’s a last-minute deadline and the ensuing mad dash to find the right photo negative is funny. In the end, the couple’s entry is a jowly shot of Grandpa, a close-but-no-cigar resemblance to chubby-faced junior. Kodak’s Advantix indexing system could have saved the day.
Title Baby
Agency Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Creative head Rick Boyko
Art director Susan Westre
Copywriter Chris Wall
Agency producer Lance Doty
Production co. Pytka
Director Joe Pytka

LAUDER PLEASURES FOR MEN
A father and son play on a green lawn near a white fence in front of a blue sky. They chase each other, throw a football and end up quietly resting on a hammock. Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” provides the voiceover. This visually arresting spot places the viewer in a parallel PC universe, where testosterone translates into a loving hug. Did we mention the Labrador retriever puppy?
Title Perfect Day
Agency Gorman Multimedia, New York
CD Robert Luzzi, Estƒe Lauder
Executive producer Eileen Terry
Head of production Robert Nackman
Producer John Hopgood
Production co. Tony Kaye & Partners
Director Peter Nydrle

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
Not quite sure where Levi’s is going with its new campaign, but this ad shows a sense of humor, poking fun at the car chases of 1970s cop shows. The gist: A thief on a Moped steals a Peking duck and a cop presses a taxi into action. The Levi’s-wearing cabbie has been waiting all his life for this moment. As the thief putters away, the taxi pursues at high speed, pulling 360s. In fact, the cab has to go out of its way not to catch the Moped.
Title Car Chase
Agency Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco
Sr. VP/ group CD Brian Bacino
VP/CD/art director Sean Mullins
Art director Kim Schoen
VP/CD/copywriter Suzanne Finnamore
Copywriters Chris Lisick, Susan Treacy
Sr. VP/exec. producer Steve Neely
Production co. radical media
Director Tarsem
Editor Robert Duffy, Spot Welders

MACY’S WEST
Four barefoot legs stride forward in an airport; they stop at a luggage carousel, where shoes slide down the chute. “Summer’s almost over,” says the voiceover. “Which means eventually you’re going to have to put on some shoes.” This ad targets the young and restless Gen Xer, who wears Dr. Martens and who wouldn’t normally consider Macy’s an option for boot buying.
Title Summer’s Over/Dr. Martens
Agency Citron Haligman
Bedecarre, San Francisco
Creative directors Matt
Haligman, Kirk Citron
Art director Roz Romney
Copywriter Kelly Sopp
Agency producers Amanda Doss, Nancy Cardillo
Production co. Fahrenheit
Director Jason Farrand
Music Kinetics
Editorial Bob & Sheila’s Edit World

MCDONALD’S
Admit it: The first time you saw the “living” McNuggets, you laughed. These frisbee-throwing, roller-coaster-riding, baseball-playing, beachgoing chicken chunks are a hoot, a smart skew on a product more often seen on a tabletop than poolside.
Title Summer Fun
Agency Leo Burnett, Chicago
Group CD Allen Klein
Art director Greg Nations-Powell
Copywriter Dominick Maiolo
Agency producer Chris Rossiter
Production co. Celluloid Studios
Director Robin Katz

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
In the words of the Big Dog, Glen Robinson: “Before the college career, before the nickname and the autographs, there was a little boy who played in the streets and playgrounds of Gary, Ind., just for the pure love of the game. I still know that little boy, and I bring him to the games. And he bangs with the big boys because he still loves the game.” Get your 10-pack ticket plan.
Title Little Boy
Agency Meyer & Wallis, Milwaukee
CD/copywriter/producer Tom Dixon
Art director Jim Brooks
Production co. Thomas Productions
Director Thomas Zimmerman
Postproduction The Finishing Group
Music John Garrett Music

SLIM JIM
In a wild, animated street-luge race, Larry the Luger takes the lead, detours into a sewer, meets up with a rat and falls just short of the finish line. The only color in this animated ad: Larry’s red, spiky hair and the brown Slim Jim stick. Where is product spokesman and pro wrestler Randy Savage, you ask? Don’t fret. It’s the Macho Man on VO.
Title Larry the Luger
Agency North Castle Partners, Stamford, Conn.
Creative director Hal Rosen
Art director Steve Garbett
Senior copywriter Steve Mark
Agency producer Jack Blanford
Animation/production co.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions
Music Dusty Watson

STAPLES
Placing a bag full of back-to-school supplies on the car roof, Mom tries to cheer up her three mopey kids. School is good, she says, driving now, the roof-bound bag starting to spew its contents onto the road. “You get to learn history, science, geography, social studies”-the kids cheer each splattering book cover and pencil case-“and math!” With that, the bag launches off the car, crashing to earth like a doomsday asteroid. And the kids go wild.
Title Bag
Agency Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York
Exec. CD Arthur Bijur
Art directors/copywriters Dan Kelleher, Mark Schruntek
Agency producer Catherine Abate
Production co. Johns+Gorman Films
Director Rent Siedon
Editor Anne Craddock, Red Car

SUN MICROSYSTEMS
Using a simple type design, this ad plays on the old children’s “Connected” song. Here, the cell phone is connected to the wristwatch, the wristwatch to the TV, TV to the pager, pager to the smart card, smart card to Java, Java to Sun Microsystems. It’s a clever and clean way to show that new technology leads back to this Silicon Valley company.
Title Connected
Agency Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York
Chief creative officer Lee Garfinkel
EVP/creative group head/art director Peter Cohen
EVP/creative group head/copywriter Dean Hacohen
Assistant producer Kathy Weiss
Production co./editorial Charlex
Director Alex Weill

TIRE KINGDOM
In this spot, a meat truck, with a steak painted on its side, drives toward a field of mooing cows. “There are times when the largest selection of brand-name tires doesn’t mean a thing to you,” says the voiceover. As the vehicle approaches, a bovine hoof kicks a milk bottle in the truck’s path, the glass smashing on the road. “And there are times when it does.”
Title Cow
Agency Fahlgren, Tampa, Fla.
Creative director John Stertz
Art director Robert Solis
Copywriter James Rosene
Agency producer Ed Longo
Production co. Texas Story
Director Ali Selim

THE WEATHER CHANNEL
In a bar called The Front, weather groupies watch their favorite cable network. And boy meets girl: “You know, I did some weather in college,” he says. “I’d probably be on the Weather Channel right now if not for the injury.” “Injury?” she asks. “Rotator cuff surgery,” he answers. It seems our hero can’t raise his arm high enough to cover the whole map. He “can handle the Sun Belt, but anything above Montana . . . forget about it.” Inspired lunacy.
Title Rotator Cuff
Agency TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif.
CDs Steve Rabosky, Jerry Gentile
Art directors Chris Graves, Deb Hagen
Copywriters Erik Moe, Mickey Taylor
Agency producer Cheryl Childers
Assistant producer Christy
Torres-Pacheco
Production co. The A&R Group
Director David Ramser
Editor Dan Bootzin, Venice Beach Editorial