Best Spots of NOVEMBER 2003

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AFLAC: “Chimney” :30

Agency: The Kaplan Thaler Group
Location: New York

Santa gets stuck in a chimney and he doesn’t have supplemental insurance. The young girl peering up from the fireplace wants him to send her gifts down, showing little sympathy for his dilemma. Our friend the duck suggests that AFLAC would be the right choice. He then promptly slides off the snowy roof, landing at the head of a newly formed snowman. The duck, who can sometimes grate on one’s nerves, is entertaining in this holiday-themed spot.

CEO/Chief Creative Officer: Linda Kaplan Thaler
CD/Art Director: Eric David
CD/Copywriter: Tom Amico
Executive Producer: Lisa Bifulco
Agency Producer: Cherrie Devereaux
Production Company: Headquarters
Director: Adam Cameron
Director of Photography: Jo Molitoris
Editor: Jerry Fried/Red Car
Sound Designer: Andy Newell/Ripe Sound

Principal Talent
Girl: Darby Gurt.
Santa: Thomas Tumminello.
Man: Earl Billings.
Boy: Denzel Whitaker.
V/O: Gilbert Gottfried.

Allstate: “Boiling Turkey” :30

Agency: Leo Burnett
Location: Chicago

Dennis Haysbert is not the President, though he plays him on television’s “24”. Standing in front of a garage, with a turkey deep-fat fryer by his side, he talks about all manner of holiday mishaps, from fires caused by the frying turkeys to car accidents on icy roads. He effectively sells the point that trouble never takes a holiday and that Allstate stands by during our celebrations ready to take care of any of your insurance needs.

Chair/Chief Creative Officer: Cheryl Berman
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Hoffman
CD/Art Director: Mike Valenti
CD/Copywriter: Jeanie Caggiano
Executive Producer: Ron Nelken
Sr. Producer: Veronica Puc
Production Company: RSA USA
Director: Sam Mendes
Director of Photography: Dion Beebe
Editor: Jim Weedon/Final Cut
Music: Steve Ford Music

Principal Talent
Dennis Haysbert

Black & Decker: “Cabin” :30

Agency: McCann-Erickson
Location: New York

The popularity of do-it-yourself shows like “Trading Spaces” demonstrate that there is a growing market of people looking to transform their “perfect fixer-upper” into their dream home. In this spot, a man finds his fixer-upper in a cabin in the woods. The Black & Decker mobile workstation holds their most innovative tools all in one place, providing him with everything he’ll need to make his dream come true.

Executive Creative Director: Steve Ohler
Creative Directors: Chris Quillen, George Dewey
Art Director: Jim Gough
Copywriter: Ted Mendelson
Agency Producers: Sam Cernichiari, Kathy Love
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: David Shane
Director of Photography: Jonathan Freeman
Editor: Karen Kourtessis/Post Factory

Principal Talent
C.J. Wilson

BMW of N.A.: “Summer Drive” :30

Agency: Publicis
Location: New York

A soothing soundtrack accompanies images of people shoveling sidewalks, kids sledding and making snow angels, snowball fights, ice fishing, and snowplows. The only thing missing is the snow. The BMW’s all wheel drive is so effective you won’t even notice the snow. “Summer ? now available in winter”.

Chief Creative Officer : Peter Nicholson
Executive Creative Directors: David Corr, Duncan Marshall, Howard Willmott
Art Director: Howard Herarte
Copywriter: Bryan Johnson
Agency Producer: Nadia Blake
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Jim Jennkins
Director of Photography: Ramsey Nickell
Editor: Gavin Cutler/MacKenzie Cutler
Music: Amber Music

Principal Talent
Driver: Rodrigo Galvao

Bud Light: “Genius/Mr. Grocery Store Cart Wrangler” :60
Agency: DDB
Location: Chicago

Meet another Real Man of Genius. This time it’s Mr. Grocery Store Cart Wrangler. Any “wienie” can stock a shelf, but wrangling herds of grocery carts against all kinds of obstacles requires a special kind of guy. Don’t mock the smock! Once again, Dave Bickler sells the song with deep passion in his delivery. This long-running radio campaign continues to gain strength in its tv executions.

Chair/Chief Creative Officer: Bob Scarpelli
SVP/Group CD/Copywriter: John Immesoete
VP/CD/Art Director: Mark Gross
EVP/Group Executive Prod.: Greg Popp
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Noam Murro
Director of Photography: Robert Elswitt
Editor: David Hicks/School (Toronto)

Principal Talent
Dave Bickler, Dylan Roberts, David Hamsted, Annabelle Ferreira,
V/O: Pete Stacker.

Cingular Wireless: “Sasquatch” :30

Agency: BBDO
Location: New York

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Sasquatch in an ad. Usually, his appearances, or those by his friends Big Foot or the Lock Ness Monster, are cliched. But Cingular’s Sasquatch brings a sense of humor to Sasquatch, even as the fellow who spotted him sends the big guy’s image to all his buddies. Sasquatch mocks, “take a picture – it lasts longer”. Indeed.

Chief Creative Officer : Ted Sann
Sr. Executive CD: Charlie Miesmer
Creative Director: Susan Credle
CD/Art Director: Steve Rutter
Copywriter: Lauren Connolly
Executive Producer: Gene Lofaro
Music Producer: Melissa Chester
Production Company: H.S.I.
Director: Scott Burns
Director of Photography: Larry Fong
Editor: Paul Kelly/89 Edit
Music: Big Foote

Principal Talent
Guy with Camera Phone: Alec Ledd.
Sasquatch: Derek Meers.
V/O: Shelagh Ratner.

Diamond Trading Company: “Faces” :45

Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Location: New York

What’s more romantic than a snowy Prague setting? Perhaps it’s a man who sees his wife’s face in every woman he passes during the day. If you’re looking for a way to sell more diamonds, it’s a good idea to showcase them as gifts to celebrate more than just wedding engagements. Rather than a ring, this spot features a gorgeous necklace.

Chief Creative Officer : Mike Campbell
Executive Creative Directors: Ed Evangelista, Chris D’Rozario
Art Director: Yana Goodstein
Copywriter: Josh Rubin
Agency Producer: Rob Farber
Production Company: Believe Media/Quad
Director: Bruno Aveillan
Director of Photography: David Ungaro
Editor: Josh Ralph/Wizz (Paris)
Music: The Rumor Mill

Principal Talent
Tanya Piluykova, Renan Carteaux.

Dick’s Sporting Goods: “Away Game” :30

Agency: Cole & Weber Red Cell
Location: Seattle & Portland

The bus ride to an away game is the time for this basketball team to focus. As the opening tip-off draws nearer, each player starts diagramming plays on the fogged-out bus windows. Once they arrive, it is clear they’re ready to play. There’s no dialog in the spot, but there’s intensity present in all the images, bringing this local retail spot to a much higher level than is customary in the category.

Creative Director: Guy Seese
Art Director: Travis Britton
Copywriter: Jim Elliott
Agency Producer: Nicole Hartshorn
Production Company: Bedford Falls
Director/DP: Warren Kushner
Editor: Jon Hopp/Jigsaw
Music: Nik Leman/Amber
Colorist: Laura Janz-Fazio/Company 3

Principal Talent

eBay: “That’s on eBay” :30

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Location: San Francisco

Here’s another musical extravaganza for this site. To the tune of “That’s Amore” a department store clerk suggests to a customer that eBay would be the best place to locate those hard-to-find holiday gifts.

Creative Director/Copywriter: Jamie Barrett
Art Director: Steve Mapp
Copywriter: Matt Rivitz
Agency Producer: Cindy Fluitt
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: Sam Mendes
Director of Photography: Dion Beebe
Editor: Avi Oron/Bikini Edit
Music: Elias Arts

Principal Talent
Singer: Christian Borle.
Conductor: David Chase.
Woman: Barbara Marineau.

ESPN/NHL: “Distribution Center” :30

Agency: Ground Zero
Location: Los Angeles

In a new campaign for the NHL on ESPN, we’re taken inside of a factory. They’re not manufacturing widgets on this assembly line. Their product is Hockey, which is presented as an All-American item that is produced and distributed according to exacting standards. Our favorite spot in the series features the distribution manager who compares himself to Johnny Appleseed, even though he’s spreading hockey and his name is Doug.

Creative Director: Court Crandall
Art Director: Shawn Brown
Copywriter: Sean Vij
Agency Producer: Monique Veillette
Production Company: Coppos Films
Director: Tom Schiller
Director of Photography: Dean Cundy
Editor: Chan Hatcher/Cosmo Street
Assistant Editor: Brian Freundlich/Cosmo Street
Colorist: Steve Rodriguez/Company 3
Inferno Artist: Jeff Heusser/Sol Design Efx
Sound Mix: Kyle Schember/Mindfield

Principal Talent
Rick Burns

Hewlett-Packard: “Next Shift” :30

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Location: San Francisco

Here’s another gorgeously shot spot for HP. Toys are headed, via all manner of transportation, to the Toys `r Us store in Times Square, illustrating how HP technology helps keep popular items on the store shelves during the holiday shopping season.

Creative Directors: Steve Simpson, Rich Silverstein
Creative Director/Art Director: John Norman
Art Director: Todd Grant
Copywriter: John Knecht
Agency Producer: Colleen Wellman
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Frank Budgen
Director of Photography: Harris Savides
Editor: Kirk Baxter/Rock Paper Scissors
Music: Justine La Bo/Technicolor Sound
End Treatment Graphics: Motion Theory

Principal Talent

Infiniti G35 AWD: “Snow Chains” :30

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Location: Los Angeles

Is it an earthquake? A space shuttle launch? No, the shaking and noises are caused by all the cars driving through town with snow chains on their tires. The selling point here is that all wheel drive is great on snow, but it’s not ideal for driving on dry roads. The Infiniti G35 AWD features all wheel traction only when you need it.

Executive Creative Director: Rob Schwartz
Creative Director: Tor Myhren
Art Directors: Michael Butterworth, Bill Hornstein
Copywriter: Eric Arnold
Senior Producer: Sybil Hadfield
Assistant Producer: Carrie Schaer
Production Company: Omaha Pictures
Director: Rupert Sanders
Director of Photography: Jess Hall
Editor: Neil Smith/The Whitehouse
Sound Designer: Gus Koven/Stimmung

Principal Talent
Barber Client: Troy Brown, Jr.
Barber: Alexis Ross.
Man on Phone: Stephen Jason Freeland. Cafe
Customer: Sam Jones.
Waitress: Krissy Kean.
Businessman: Richard Lum.

Jack in the Box: “Deli” :30

Agency: Secret Weapon Marketing
Location: Santa Monica

A deli counter guy won’t serve Jack. Jack Jr. wants to know why the deli man hates his dad. Turns out, Jack’s new deli sandwiches are stealing this guy’s business. After all these years, we still love Jack. “Dude, can you score me some coleslaw?” Anything for you, Jack.

CD/Copywriter/Director: Dick Sittig
Art Director: Dave Gassman
Copywriters: Robert Goldenberg, Chris Pocy
Agency Producer: Fiona Forsyth
Production Company:
Director of Photography: Lawrence Fong
Editor: Brendan O’Carroll/Oasis
Music: Wojahn Brothers

Principal Talent
Deli Guy: Brian Baumgarter.

Michigan Lottery: “Flirting” :30

Agency: Simons Michelson Zieve (SMZ)
Location: Troy, MI

A slightly nerdy guy in a bar is chatting up a pretty blond woman and trying to get her number. She asks if he means numbers? Assuming she’s talking about her home and cell phones, he’s all excited. Could he be thinking the beauty queen is falling for this “Average Joe”? She starts rattling off a series of numbers that extends far beyond the typical 10 digits required for dialing. Confused, he wonders if she’s from France. The good-natured blond joke here is her sharing her Club Keno picks with him.

Creative Director: Steven Crane
Art Directors: Christina LaCommare, Dave Vickery
Copywriter: Trish Cowan
Agency Producer: Joel Bienenfeld
Production Company: Bond Film
Director/DP: Brian Coyne
Editor: Dave Mariana/Griot Editorial

Principal Talent
Male: Noam Rosen.
Female: Ashley Richardson.

Miller: “Dominoes” :60

Agency: Young & Rubicam
Location: Chicago

It’s hard to take your eyes off this spot as thousands of human dominoes start falling across a city. The chain passes through an office building, the streets, a bus, and a grocery store until it reaches a bar, where the tumbling stops. Why? The bar patron refuses to follow the crowd. He is exercising his freedom of choice and following his own bliss by ordering a Miller.

CD/Art Director: Jon Wyville
CD/Copywriter: Dave Loew
Executive Producer: Matt Bijarchi
Production Company: Morton Jankel Zander
Director: Frederick Bond
Director of Photography: Carl Nilsson
Editor: Richard Orrick/The Whitehouse
Music: Robert Miltenberg/Mutato Music

Principal Talent

Napster: “Old School” :30

Agency: Venables, Bell & Partners
Location: San Francisco

The Napster Kitty sells the availability of all kinds of music at the site by kicking it old school and break-dancing on a graffiti-filled playground basketball court. The logo coming to (animated) life parallels the site’s rebirth as a pay service after its original incarnation as the place to swap music files for free.

Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Greg Bell
Art Director: Crystal English
Copywriter: Quentin Shuldiner
Agency Producer: Craig Allen
Production Company: Mekanism
Director/Illustration: Ian Kovalik
Editor: Robbie Procter/Phoenix Editorial
Music: Elias Arts

Principal Talent

New York Lottery: “Pharmaceuticals” :30

Agency: DDB
Location: New York

No, this spot is not for a miracle cure for erectile dysfunction or social anxiety disorder. It’s not even for the latest allergy medicine. The side effects are not the usual disgusting list that is fast-talked in most drug ads. You can relieve stress, put a strut in your step and add years to your life by winning at lotto. Don’t forget to ask your accountant if more money is right for you!

Chair/Chief Creative/Copy: Lee Garfinkel
Executive CD/Copywriter: John Russo
Executive CD: John Staffen
Head of Broadcast Prod.: Bob Nelson
Agency Producers: Walter Brindak, Rose Allocca
Production Company: Harvest Films
Director: Baker Smith
Director of Photography: Barry Markowitz
Editors: Gavin Cutler, David Koza/MacKenzie Cutler

Principal Talent
David Bailey

Nike: “Gamebreakers” :60

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Location: Portland, OR

Michael Vick and Terrell Owens are featured in this motion capture spot that brings you right into the center of the action on a football field. Every grunt, every hit, all the crowd noise feels real. Great special effects and sound design draw you in and inspire you to go to where you can compete against other gamers.

Creative Directors: Hal Curtis, Mike Byrne
Art Director: Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter: Derek Barnes
Agency Producer: Jeff Selis
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: David Fincher
Director of Photography: Claudio Miranda
Editor: Angus Wall/Rock Paper Scissors
Special Effects: Digital Domain
Sound Designer: Ren Klyce/Mit Out Sound

Principal Talent
Michael Vick, Terrell Owens

Pepsi: “Summer Job” :60

Agency: BBDO
Location: New York

If you watched MTV during the early 1990s, you’ll remember Blind Melon’s video for “No Rain” featuring the young girl in the bee costume. A decade later, the song is now the soundtrack to the romance of a woman in a hot dog costume and a man in a Pepsi cup costume. The fashions may change, but the quest for love is timeless. Hot dogs love Pepsi and Pepsi loves hot dogs, so there’s a happy ending to this spot in the new “It’s the Cola” campaign.

Chief Creative Officer : Ted Sann
Executive CD/Art Director: Don Schneider
Executive CD/Copywriter: Bill Bruce
Executive Producer: Hyatt Choate
Director Music/Radio Prod.: Rani Vaz
Production Company: RSA USA
Director/DP: Sam Bayer
Editor: Tom Muldoon/Nomad
Music: “No Rain” by Blind Melon

Principal Talent
Hot Dog Suit: Francesca Tosti.
Pepsi Can Suit: Eric A. Smith. June Huffmire, Katie Leclerc, Sarah Hagan, Christine Ritchy.
V/O: Griffin Creech.

Planters Nuts: “Holiday” :30

Agency: Foote Cone & Belding
Location: New York

This nostalgic animated holiday spot will particularly appeal to Baby Boomers. We’re watching home movies of Mr. Peanut as a toddler, opening up his gifts of a monocle, a too-large top hat, and cane. As the camera pulls back from the black & white film images, the scene shifts to color images of Mr. Peanut sitting on the couch with Santa and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The music is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, arguably the best song of the holiday season. As you gather with your family and friends, remember to serve them Planters Nuts.

EVP/Group CD/Copywriter: Sandy Greenberg
EVP/Group CD/Art Director: Terri Meyer
VP/Sr. Producer: Laura Benjamin
Music Producer: Gregory Grene
Production Company: PSYOP
Technical Director: Pakorn Bupphavesa
Asst. Technical Directors: Domel Libid, Christian Bach
Designer: Pal Moore
Lead Animator: Kevin Estey
Animator: Gerald Ding
Modeler: Andy Hara
Editor: Jed Boyer
Flame Artist: Joanne Ungar
Music: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Music Arrangers: Charlie Spencer, John Thomas/Candle
Sound Designer: Phil Thurston/Candle

Principal Talent
Performer: Bob Saker

PlayStation 2: “Playground” :30

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Location: Los Angeles

A magical forcefield surrounding an electronics store window causes a man to fly, a delivery man on a bike to make flips and an older woman to morph into a younger one. As a crowd gathers, it becomes clear that the forcefield is emanating from a Playstation 2 in the window.

Creative Director: Jerry Gentile
Copywriter: Raymond Hwang
Agency Producer: Mila Davis
Assistant Producer: Mark Johnston
Production Company: RSA
Director: Laurence Dunmore
Director of Photography: Dan Mindel
Editor: Bootzin/Venice Beach Editorial
Composers: Jimmy Haun, Dave Wittman/Elias Arts
Sound Designer: Gus Koven/Stimmung
VFX Supervisor: Leslie Ekker/Digital Domain

Principal Talent

Target: “Gift Giving 1” :30

Agency: Peterson Milla Hooks
Location: Minneapolis

The opening shots of red Evergreen trees immediately let you know this is a Target commercial. Target Red dominates all the various scenarios of the holiday gifts available at the store. Rod Stewart sings “My Favorite Things.” Julie Andrews can still lay claim to the definitive version of “The Sound of Music” classic tune, but Rod does a respectable rendition of the song. The spot ends with a shot of Doe, a deer, a female deer.

Creative Director: Dave Peterson
Art Director: Shea Ferlita
Copywriter: Nate Morley
Agency Producer: Lisa Mitchell
Production Company: FM Rocks
Director/DP: Thomas Kloss
Editor: Brett Astor/Fischer Editor
Music: “My Favorite Things” performed by Rod Stewart and arranged by Steve Kramer, Jim Weber/Hest, Kramer Music

Principal Talent

Toyota Prius: “Power to Move Forward” :30

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Location: Los Angeles

Jeff Goldblum’s voiceover tells us that it’s been a long time since transportation has truly advanced. This point is illustrated with scenes of car tires spinning with the vehicles not going anywhere, people walking and running in place, etc. The Prius, a gas-electric hybrid, is compared to Neil Armstrong’s moon landing when Jeff says, “that’s one small step on the accelerator, one giant leap for mankind.” That statement is a reach in terms of historical importance. But for those who consider the environment when choosing their automobiles, they can feel like their Prius purchase would be good news for planet earth.

Chief Creative Officer : Steve Rabosky
ACD/Art Director: Greg Braun
ACD/Copywriter: Max Godsil
Director Broadcast Prod.: Damon Webster
Senior Producer: Richard Bendetti
Production Company:
Director: Tarsem
Director of Photography: Paul Laufer
Editors: Robert Duffy, Michael Heldman/Spotwelders
Music: Thad Spencer/Asche & Spencer
Special Effects: Ben Gibbs/Sea Level
Graphics: Motion Theory

Principal Talent
V/O: Jeff Goldblum.