Nearly five years ago,
Arnold Communications in Boston introduced its first commercial for Volkswagen. It was the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker’s 40th anniversary, but instead of focusing on VW’s tie-dyed past, Arnold looked to the future–to the Gen-Xers who would take the brand into the next century. And so it has.
Since its first work introducing Volkswagen’s “Drivers wanted” positioning–a frenetic spot called “Java Girl,” featuring a salesperson amped up on coffee–Arnold has made Volkswagen a cool, popular car again. Along the way, it has created some of the best advertising the industry has to offer.
In 1999, seven of Arnold’s Volkswagen commercials were selected as Best Spots of the month. Those magnificent seven make up Adweek’s Best Campaign of 1999.
Like Arnold’s previous executions, such as the 1997 spot, “Sunday Afternoon,” which, to the sounds of “Da, Da, Da,” shows two friends aimlessly driving around in their Golf, the commercials showcase the unique voice of the brand. The campaign explores the drivers’ life experiences with their VWs.
Ron Lawner, chief creative officer at Arnold, likens the brand personality to endearing individuals: “approachable, honest, with a sense of humor; the kind of people you like to be around,” he says. “They are passionate, they have a lust for living and a lust for
driving … but don’t take themselves too seriously.”
There lies one of the most critical elements in Arnold’s advertising for the carmaker. The ads are never afraid to poke fun at the VW driver. It’s a self-deprecating humor that breeds confidence and honesty for a company that is unafraid to admit its customers aren’t always perfect.
In “Mattress,” a Golf spot that broke last March, three guys race to tie a mattress to the roof of their car while stopped at a red light. They manage to pull it off before the light turns green, but when they try to get back in, they find they’ve roped the doors shut. “The all-new Golf,” says the voiceover, “it’s smart-looking at least.”
Last April, Volkswagen debuted a commercial showing a man sitting alone in his car in an empty parking lot. Talking to himself, he makes mime-like gestures with his hands. His friend walks over, opens the car door and music comes pouring out–“Mr. Roboto” by Styx. The two men drive away, singing in unison to the early 1980s cult hit.
Finely crafted, each VW commercial relies on a powerful soundtrack. In the 1999 follow-up to “Sunday Afternoon,” a 30ish couple look at each
other in amazement as life on a New Orleans street–people walking, a boy dribbling a basketball, deliverymen unloading boxes, even a traffic light–falls into perfect rhythm with the music they are listening to in their
Passat. “Sometimes, everything just comes together,” says the VO.
A Charles Mingus tune provides the rhythm to a retirement-home breakout in “The Great Escape.” A dapper, fedora-wearing gentleman sneaks out the back door, where his grandson picks him up in a Jetta.
The exchange–“Grandpop.” “Hey, Boo Boo”–is the only dialogue. The two drive off into the desert, a road sign for Las Vegas revealing their destination.
There’s no dialogue in a November spot called “Milky Way,” which focuses on the shimmering night sky and a group of kids in a Cabrio convertible. Reaching their journey’s end–a loud party–they glance at each other, put the car in reverse and head back to the open road. We’ve all been there–and freedom is contagious. It’s another spot that proves less is more.
On the road to smart advertising, there are passengers and there are drivers. Arnold is definitely behind the steering wheel. –Eleftheria Parpis
milky way: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner
CDs: Lance Jensen, Alan Pafenbach AD: Tim Vaccarino CW: Shane Hutton
Agency prod.: Bill Goodell Prod. co.: Bob Industries Dirs.: Jonathan
Dayton, Valerie Faris Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music: Nick Drake
crazy guy: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner
CDs: Lance Jensen, Alan Pafenbach AD: Tim Vaccarino CW: Shane Hutton
Agency prod.: Paul Shannon Prod. co.: Epoch Films Dir.: Phil Morrison
Editor: John Hopp, Jigsaw Editorial Music: Styx
mattress: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner CDs:
Lance Jensen, Alan Pafenbach AD: Don Shelford CW: David Weist Agency prod.: Paul Shannon Prod. co.: Satellite Productions Dir.: Jhoan Camitz Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music composer: Alex Lasarenko, Elias & Associates
The great escape: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner CDs: Lance Jensen, Alan Pafenbach AD: Don Shelford CW: David Weist
Agency prod.: Bill Goodell Prod. co.: X-1 Films Dir.: Nick Lewin Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music: Charles Mingus
synchronicity: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner CDs: Lance Jensen, Alan Pafenbach AD: Tim Vaccarino CW: Shane Hutton Agency prod.: Bill Goodell Prod. co.: HSI Productions Dir.: Gerard de Thame Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Composer: Peter Ducharme, Master Cylinder
brief encounter: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner CD/AD: Alan Pafenbach CD/CW: Lance Jensen Agency prod.: Bill Goodell
Prod. co.: HSI Productions Dir.: Gerard de Thame Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music: Hector Varela
chase: Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner CD/AD: Alan Pafenbach CD/CW: Lance Jensen Agency prod.: Bill Goodell Prod. co.: House of Usher Dir.: Kinka Usher Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Composer/Arranger: Ben Neill, Trillium Productions
Agency: Leagas Delaney, S.F. CDs: Harry Cocciolo, Seah Ehringer AD: Roger Camp CW: Matt Elhardt Agency prod.: Adrienne Cummins Prod. co.: Satellite Films Dir.: Josh Taft
Editor/Sound design: Dave Becker, FilmCore
Want to get in trouble? Put religion in your advertising. Someone’s going to get pissed off–it’s almost inevitable. But by being “real,” this clever spot avoids eternal damnation. In a real church,
a real priest does what he does every day: He offers a blessing. Since soccer (football) is the eighth sacrament in the Spanish-speaking world, a priest blessing soccer shoes is believable. In fact, one gets the sense these two people–the padre and the player–have done this before. After the blessing (in Spanish), the athlete gives thanks and walks away. Just before the end of the ad, the priest calls out, “Good luck.” It’s an honest moment: The padre shifts from God’s servant to sports fan.
Agency: Leagas Delaney, S.F. CDs: Harry Cocciolo, Seah Ehringer AD: Peter Nicholson CW: Scott Wild Agency prod.: Lisa Gatto Prod. co.: Headquarters Dir.: Joe Public
Editor: Bob Spector, Bob ‘n’ Sheila’s Edit World Music: Fluid
At a dance club, the customers are doing a new step and Yankees pitcher David Cone is curious. “What’s this dance called?” he asks a woman. “It’s the El Duque,” she says incredulously, as if Cone is the
village idiot. Sure enough, everyone’s imitating Orlando Hernandez’s unusual pitching delivery. Infielder Luis Sojo chimes in: “Hey, Coney, why don’t you have a dance?” That gets Cone to thinking. So he tries to “invent” his dance in the privacy of the men’s room. Thing is, a burly guy walks out of a stall just as Cone makes the pivotal move. It’s a great ad, starring two great pitchers from the greatest team in sports history.
Agency: Leagas Delaney, S.F. CDs: Harry
Cocciolo, Seah Ehringer AD: Chris Toland CW: Steve Morris Agency prod.: Annie Uzdavinis Prod. co.: HKM Productions Dir.: Noam Murro Editor: Rick Lobo, FilmCore Music/Sound: Stephen Dewey, Machine Head
Visual: people in a courtyard. Super: “The Wen family, Shanghai, China. 1977.” A father tells his daughter to “catch the ball.” When he throws it to her, she heads it back to him. “No, no,” he says. “Use your hands.” When Dad throws it again, the girl heads it through a window. Cut to an adult Sun Wen, star of the Chinese women’s soccer team, scoring a header goal. The Adidas tagline: “There from the start.”
Agency: BVK McDonald, Milwaukee CD: Steve Koeneke AD: Scott Krahn CW: Gary Mueller Agency prod.: Mary Pat Cupertino Prod. co.: Backyard Productions Dir: Sean Conrad Editor/ Sound design: Scott Taradash, Optimus
A minor-league team gets a major-league ad. “You could say I spend a lot of time in the penalty box,” says tough guy Eric Fenton of the Milwaukee Admirals. Indeed. Fenton steps into the box–which is decorated and furnished. The delight is in the details, homey touches like an easy chair, flowers in a vase, a golden retriever, even a plate of deviled eggs. Tagline: “Admirals hockey. A smashing good time.”
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. CD: Jim Riswold AD: Rob Palmer CW:
Bob Moore Agency prod.: Henry Lu
Prod. co.: Pytka Dir.: Joe Pytka Editors: Paul Norling, Tiffany Burchard, FilmCore
In this filmic ad, Russian chess master Gary Kasparov takes on a roomful of challengers–all at once. Briefly stopping at each table, he makes his move, then saunters over to the next game. That is, until he meets his match–a young kid. Super: “How can I beat Kasparov’s Evans gambit?” The kid slyly smiles; he searched AltaVista to stump the master. Tagline: “Smart is beautiful.”
spent two minutes
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, S.F. Dep. ECD/ Exec. prod.: Steve Neely Group CD/CW: Tom O’Keefe CD/AD: Matt Reinhard Prod. co.: Headquarters Dir.: Joe Public Editor: Avi Oron, Cosmo Street Music: Wojahn Brothers
The Sweatermen sing: “I spent two minutes, two whole minutes, two minutes shopping for your gift. And it was so pleasant, getting credit for a present, that was really super easy to give Thanks to Amazon.com, I don’t mean to flaunt it, but it’s just the gift you wanted. And it only took two minutes.”
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. CDs: Lee Clow, Ken Segall AD: Craig Tanimoto CW: Mark Reichard Agency prod.: Jay Howard Asst. prod.: Blythe Barger Prod. co.: Coppos Films Dir.: Mark Coppos Editor: Brad Wetmore, Jigsaw Music: Barry White
Amid twirling iBooks, Barry White sings “You Turned My Whole World Around.” Never much of a BW fan, Best Spots now digs the man whose music may have helped conceive more people than even the great Johnny Mathis.
Arizona Tobacco Education
Agency: Riester Robb, Phoenix CD/AD: Dave Robb CW: Tom Ortega Agency prod.: Louise Parker Prod. co.: Steven Hood Productions Dir.: Steven Hood Editor: Jeff Wishengrad, Miller, Wishengrad, Peacock Music: Hum
Picturing smokers who “survived” their addictions, this graphic spot hits home. “People told my dad chewing tobacco was going to kill him. But it
didn’t,” says a teenage boy. Cut to his father, a man without a jaw. “I guess tobacco doesn’t always do what you think it will,” says the son.
Agency: Leagas Delaney, S.F. CDs: Harry Cocciolo, Seah Ehringer AD: Steve Mapp CW: Matt Rivitz Agency prod.: Adrienne Cummins Prod. co.: Moxie Pictures Dir.: Christopher Guest Editor: Kim Bica, FilmCore Special effects: Western Images
Meet Reed Woodson. “The corporate thing didn’t work for me,” he says. “Not just the politics, but the back-stabbing, watercooler chit-chat, all that, well, garbage.” Owing to Beyond.com, he can work at home. “I’m as free as I want to be”–and he wants to be naked.
Agency: Cliff Freeman and Partners, N.Y.
CD/CW: Eric Silver AD: Jason Gaboriau
CW: Steve Doppelt Agency prod.: Nick Felder Prod. co.: Propaganda Films Dir.: Dante Ariola Editor: Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie Cutler
Special effects: Johnnie Semerad, Quiet Man
The Budget idea team wants to push luxury to make “the driving experience more enjoyable.” For $49 a day, customers can rent Jaguars, Town Cars and Grand Marquises with leather seats, CD players and aromatherapy candles. Cut to four businessmen tooling along in their luxury sedan. With candles burning, the men fall asleep, including the driver. The car crosses the highway divider, wreaking havoc with oncoming traffic.
Agency: DDB, Chicago Chief creative: Bob Scarpelli Group CD: Don Pogany ADs: Andy Anema, Mark Gettner ACD/CW: Patrick Knoll Exec. prod.: Greg Popp Prod. co.: Omaha Pictures Dir.: David McNally Editor: David Baxter, Panic and Bob Music: Elias & Associates Animatronics designer/Head puppeteer: Rick Lazzarini, The Character Shop
At a fancy restaurant, a quick-thinking lobster makes a last-ditch stand,
saving itself from the boiling cauldron. “Noooo!” screams the chef. “He’s got a Bud!” Grabbing the bottle of beer with its claw, the lobster escapes through the dining room. “Guess I’ll have the steak,” says a disgruntled customer.
the final act
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeffrey Goodby, Rich Silverstein ACD/ Dir.: Tom Routson AD: Todd Grant CW: Steve Dildarian Agency prod.: Debbie King Prod. co.: Innervision Studios
Editor.: Bob Spector, Bob ‘n’ Sheila’s Edit World Sound effects: Andy Newell, Earwax
“You know something, Lou?” says the “Bud” frog. “I know why we got canned. Too much of your yappin’ and not enough of this.” “Bud” tongue-slaps Louie. “That was uncalled for,” says the lizard. “Oh, and electrocuting us last year was OK,” says the “Er” frog.
California Fluid Milk Processors Advisory Board
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeffrey Goodby, Rich Silverstein AD: Greg Bell CW/Dir.: Jeffrey Goodby Agency prod.: Debbie King Prod. co.: GSP Productions Editor/Sound effects: Beau Bouverat, GSP Post Sound effects: Andy Newell, Earwax
New Year’s Eve, 1999. While a cow grazes outside a barn, a voice can be heard inside, counting down to the millennium. At the witching hour, the barn light explodes into sparks. Barely taking notice, the bovine keeps on chewing. Super: “Cows. Y2K ready. Got milk?”
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer Sr. CD/CW: Jimmy Siegel ACD/Group CD/AD: Tony LaMonte Agency prod.: J.D. Williams Music prod.: Rani Vaz Prod. co.: Headquarters Dir.: David Cornell Editor: Clayton Hemmert, Crew Cuts
Tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez says, “I’m not really friends with Anna Kournikova. First of all, there’s that whole language thing.” Anna’s saying stuff like, “A p/e ratio is price divided by earnings” and “Can anyone say asset relocation?” VO: “When we created a smarter kind of investment firm, we created a smarter kind of investor.”
Agency: Fallon McElligott, N.Y. CDs: Jamie Barrett, Steve Sweitzer AD: Ellen Steinberg CW: William Gelner Exec. prod.: Julie Hampel Prod. co.: Satellite Films Dir.: Jhoan Camitz Editor: Paul Norloing, FilmCore Music: Elias & Associates, Jhoan Anderson, Nomad
In a dark living room, a boy asks if he can watch TV. Mom says no. “Why can’t we use electricity, like the other kids?” he says. “Billy,” she replies, “you know we’re trying to cut costs.” Dad chimes in: “We have plenty of candles in the basement, son.” A door opens, then someone falls down the stairs. Is it Billy? No. It’s Grandma. VO: “How do you plan on saving for the future? Conseco’s wide range of financial solutions can help.”
Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass. ECD: Edward Boches CD/AD: Greg Bokor CD/CW: Jim Garaventi Agency prod.: Sarah Monaco Prod. co.: @radical.media Dir.: Rick LeMoine, Steve Miller Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial
Donald Trump tries his hand at arts and crafts–with little success. He can’t mold the clay, then he drops a hot vase. Super: “Donald Trump and pottery. A little like you and computers?” VO: “Introducing Cozone.com, the place to find computer help.” Final joke: Trump washes up next to a buxomy babe, who says, “Hey.” “Hey yourselves,” says The Donald. Our next president.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeffrey Goodby, Rich Silverstein AD: Dave Gray CW: Gerry Graf Agency prod.: Cindy Fluitt Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Bryan Buckley Editor: Erik Johnson, Crew Cuts Music: Elias & Associates
A woman’s voice rings out: “Johnny! Johnny!” A young man rushes up a palatial staircase and enters the older woman’s bedroom. “Time to rub the bunions,” she says. “Between the toes.” Super: “Be your own sugar daddy.” VO: “It’s time for E*Trade.” Actually, it’s time for the heebie-jeebies.
Agency: BBDO West, S.F. CD: Ken
Mandelbaum CD/AD: Deb Hagan CD/CW: Jim Lesser Exec. prod.: Tammie Smith-White Agency prod.: Jackie Vidor Prod. co.: Coppos Films Dirs.: Mark Coppos, Virginia Lee Editor: Tom Schachte, Straight Cut Music: Brian Banks, Ear to Ear
At www.thumb.com, thumbs with faces and Scottish accents star in “Thumbtanic,” a hilarious spoof of the film Titanic. VO: “At EarthLink, we’ve created a way to access every last corner of the Internet. My God, what have we done? It’s your Internet. We just connect you to it.”
ESPN The Magazine
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, N.Y. CDs:
Stacy Wall, Michael Prieve AD: Jonathan Mackler CW: Joe Ventura Agency prod.: Peter Cline Prod. co.: Half Baked Films Dir.: Spooner/ French Editor: John Anklow, Mad River Post
“Unlike most cheerleaders, I actually follow the sports I cheer for,” says the pom-pom girl. “That’s why I read ESPIN The Magazine. ESPIN The Magazine is the magazine for all us sports insiders. Just the other day, I said to the coach, “Hey, coach, did you read that Peter Gammons article in ESPIN The Magazine last month? Was that in-depth, or what?”
Agency: Cliff Freeman and Partners, N.Y. CD: Eric Silver AD: Wayne Best CW: Adam Chasnow Agency prod.: Liz Graves Prod. co.: JGF Dir.: Jeff Gorman Editor: Gavin Cutler, MacKenzie Cutler
At 2:23 a.m., a man rousts his family members out of their beds. He wakes the two oldest kids, then grabs a crying baby from its crib. Everyone gathers in the kitchen to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mommy. Super: “Get everything out of the way. There’s a full day of Super Bowl pregame coverage.”
Everybody in vests
Agency: In-house CD: Lisa Prisco AD: Carl Byrd Agency prod.: Leigh Donaldson Account dir.: Hillary Rush Prod. co.: Oil Factory Dir.: Pedro Romhanyi Editor: Adam Pertofsky, Rock Paper Scissors Music: Dust Brothers Produce
A counterpoint to The Gap’s kinetic khakis campaign, this mesmerizing ad brings things to a complete halt. As the camera slowly pans right, vest-wearing kids sing “Dress You Up (in My Love).” Best Spots hated the Madonna version of the song, but the effect here is hypnotic. Even the tagline, “Everybody in vests,” works.
Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners, N.Y. Chairman/Chief creative/CW: Lee Garfinkel Vice chairman/ECD: Gary
Goldsmith Creative group head/AD: C.J. Waldman Creative group head/CW: Todd Godwin Dir. broadcast prod./Prod.: Bob Nelson Prod. co.: Tate & Partners Dir.: Baker Smith Editor: Ian MacKenzie, MacKenzie Cutler Music: Bang Music
At a house party, a “cool” guy arrives with a six-pack. On his way to the refrigerator, he high-fives some people, smiles at the ladies and opens the fridge door. Placing the beer on the top shelf, he spies the Heinekens. Pulling out two (someone else’s), he leaves his cheapo suds behind. Tagline: “It’s all about the beer.” Admit it. There’s a little “weasel” in all of us.
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y. CD: Chris Wall AD: Bryan Burlison CW: Jeff O’Keefe Agency prods.: Lee Weiss, Lisa Steiman Prod. co.: Ptyka Dir.: Joe Pytka Editor: Adam Leibowitz, Go Robot Music: Brian Banks, Ear to Ear Sound design: Chris Winston, Audio Banks
A guy walks into a supermarket. While security cameras whir, he stuffs food items inside his trench coat. When the man attempts to leave the store, a security guard stops him and says, “Excuse me, sir. Don’t forget your receipt.” VO: “Checkout lines–who needs them? This is the future of e-business.”
Jack in the Box
Agency: Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif. CD/AD/CW/Dir: Dick Sittig Agency prod.: Nancy Koch Prod. co.: @radical.media Editor: Brendan O’Carroll, Oasis Music: Wojahn Brothers
In front of a classroom of kids, Jack in the Box teaches health and nutrition. “Every day, we should have at least one Classic shake combo,” he says– “with a milk shake made with real ice cream.” A kid raises his hand: “My mommy says ice-cream milk shakes make you fat.” Jack replies: “Tell your mommy to be happy with who she is and stop being bitter about her thighs.”
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
Stock Boy/On the Outside
Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago ECD/AD: Bob Akers ECD/CW: Ned Crowley Agency prod.: Ken Gilberg Prod. co.: Moxie Pictures Dir.: Christopher Guest Editor: Chris Claeys, Cutters
“I love Frosted Flakes,” says Curtis the stock boy. “The cereal aisle is my domain.” He likes “new-shipment day ’cause there’s always that box that
didn’t quite make it. And then it’s, like, stock-boy discount.” It’s Curtis’ rule, of course, and who can blame him? Those sugarcoated flakes are greaaat!
his cheating heart
Agency: DiMassimo Brand Advertising, N.Y. CD/CW: Mark DiMassimo AD: Sandra Scher CW: Phil Gable Agency prod.: Carla Hall Prod. co.: Big Picture Communications Dir.: Joe Chapura Editor: Geno Tulchin, Sky Rocket
Shot in black and white, this spot serves up Fred and Ethel. Fred wants to sneak out of the house to meet his hot squeeze. “I think I’ll go out for a magazine,” he says. “You’re going to go out for that! Kozmo.com has magazines,” she replies. At every turn, Fred is thwarted by Kozmo.com–an online service that delivers lots of stuff.
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer CD/AD: Steve Rutter CD/CW: Susan Credle Agency prod.: Annie Angellino Music prod.: Melissa Chester Prod. co.: RSA USA, Will Vinton Studios Dirs.: Thom Higgins, Will Vinton Editor: Don Kleszy, 89 Greene Street
“What are you doing?” asks Puddy.
“What?” replies an M&M.
“You’re eating M&M’s,” Puddy says.
“Yeah, so are you,” says the candy.
“I’m not an M&M. You don’t eat your own kind–it’s unnatural.”
The three M&M’s–plain, peanut and crispy–trade candies, so as not to eat their own.
“Give me the bags,” says Puddy. “That’s just disturbing.”
Agency: McCann-Erickson, N.Y. Dep. CDs: Joyce King Thomas, Jonathan Cranin AD: K.J. Bowen CW: Peter Jones Agency prod.: Greg Lotus Editor: Owen Plotkin, Editing Concepts Music: David Lucas
After falling out of a jet, Mr. Magoo needs contacts ($320). After a feeding frenzy, Yogi Bear needs a treadmill ($800). After stretching, Olive Oyl needs a Wonderbra ($26). Priceless? “Being happy with who you are,” expressed by a lighter-than-air Fred Flintstone.
Agency: Burrell Communications Group, Chicago ECD: Alma Hopkins CD: Brenda Blonski AD/CW: Reginald Jolley Agency prod.: Carol Sohl Prod. co.: Backyard Productions Dir: Don Rase Editor: Greg Snider, The Lookinglass Co.
Sitting at the kitchen table, two kids divvy up the French fries. “Ma said to share these, and you can’t count,” says the girl to her younger brother. “So I’ll divide them up, OK?” Thinking he can’t tell, she tries to rip him off. But little bro knows, gives his best, sad, puppy-lost-in-the-rain face and gets her to start over.
when i grow up
Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass. ECD: Edward Boches AD: Monica Taylor CW: Dylan Lee Agency prod.: Sarah Monaco Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Bryan Buckley Editor: Andre Betz, Bug Editorial Music: Elias & Associates
A group of children says things like, “When I grow up, I want to file all day.” “I want to be a yes man” “I want to be paid less for doing the same job.” “I want to be forced into early retirement.” Super: What did you want to be?” Monster.com can help you find a better job. Let’s not all go there at once.
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative:
Ted Sann ECD: Michael Patti Sr. CD/AD: Doris Cassar Sr. CD/CW: Bill Bruce Agency prod.: Chris Lenz Music prod.: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: HSI Dir.:
Samuel Bayer Editor: John Murray, Nomad
“Put her in a good spot, OK?” requests a well-dressed man. No problem, signals a parking attendant. To Pulp Fiction music, he drives wildly through the garage, careening past cars. He then launches off a ramp, flies into the air and lands on the next building. Super: “What snowboarders do in the off-season.” Tagline (in skid marks): “Do the Dew.”
1999 MTV Movie Awards
lisa & janeane
Agency/Prod. co.: In-house SVP, marketing and on-air: Allan Broce SVP, on-air
promotions: Christina Norman CW: David Horowitz Prods.: Brian Cooper, Michael Engleman AD/Dir.: Anastasia Pappas Editor: T. Antonio Somodevilla
While Janeane Garofalo discusses the opening for the MTV Movie Awards, Lisa Kudrow can’t keep her eyes off her co-host. “Her skin looks really soft She has such a pretty mouth,” thinks Kudrow. “What are you doing? C’mon, Lisa, you’re married, and Janeane is straight I think.” Right then, Garofalo says, “So, do you want to do it?” Hmm.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. CDs: Chuck McBride, Hal Curtis AD: Jeff Labbƒ CW: Mike Folino Agency prod.: Chris Noble Prod. co.: Gorgeous Dir.: Frank Budgen Editor: Adam Pertofsky, Rock Paper Scissors Singer/ Music: Noella Hutton, Elias & Associates
To the strains of “You Are So Beautiful,” maimed athletes–including wrestler Randy Couture (cauliflower ear)–wear their scars proudly. Over the top? Perhaps. But it’s strong, compelling work–impossible to ignore.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. ECD: Jim Riswold CDs: Chuck McBride, Hal Curtis AD: Jeff Labbƒ CW: Canice Neary Agency prod.: Kevin Diller Prod. co.: Partizen Dir.: Traktor (Sam Larsen, Olf Johansson) Editor: Doug Walker, FilmCore Composer: Tom Scott, Asche & Spencer Sound designer: Stephen Dewey, Machine Head
Mark McGwire hits a homer and Heather Locklear swoons. Peeved, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux decide it’s time to learn to hit a home run. So the two pitchers lift weights, study books and run stairs. The hard work pays off. “Hi, Tom,” says an impressed Locklear. The two Braves tap elbows. “Chicks dig the long ball,” says Maddux. Locklear goes on, “Have you guys seen Mark?”
the Morning after
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. ECDs: Dan Wieden, Jim Riswold CD/AD: Hal Curtis CD/CW: Chuck McBride Agency prod.: Robyn Boardman Prod. co.: Satellite Films Dir.: Spike Jonze Editor: Angus Wall, Rock Paper Scissors Music: Elias & Associates Sound designer: Ren Klyce, Mute of Sound
Jan. 1, 2000. After a night of revelry, a runner hits the streets. But his workout is a little different today–he has to avoid looting mobs, armored personnel carriers, riot police, exploding bombs, even a runaway giraffe. No problem–the runner just does it.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. CD/AD: Hal Curtis CD/CW: Chuck McBride AD: Bill Karow CW: Kash Sree Agency prod.: Victor Palumbo Prod. co.: Propaganda Independent Dirs.: Lasse Hallstrom, Doug Limon Editors: Peter Wiedensmith, Sam Selis, Joint Music: Needledrop Music
At the range, Tiger Woods takes his place in front of a line of golfers. After he hits his drive 300+ yards, a kid nearby imitates Woods’ swing and hits his shot 300+. Before long, everyone is mimicking Tiger and hitting the ball 300+. When Woods leaves, the golfers become hackers again, spraying shots everywhere.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. ECD: Jim Riswold CDs: Chuck McBride, Hal Curtis AD: Javier Castillo CW: Mike Folino Agency prod.: Victor Palumbo Prod. co.: @radical.media Dirs: Rick LeMoine, Steve Miller Editor: Charlie Cusumano, Mad River Post
A galaxy of New York baseball stars, present and past, partake in a game of stickball. It all revolves around third base–what is it? Tino Martinez says the fire hydrant, John Franco the car–until Phil Rizzuto drives off in the vehicle. “OK, third base is
the fire hydrant,” agrees Franco. It’s always great to see Scooter again.
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, S.F. ECD: Peter Angelos CD: Rob Smiley AD: Tia Lustig CW: Mike Smith Agency prod.: Peter Feldman Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Bryan Buckley Editor: Gordon Carey, FilmCore Telecine/ Conform: Company 3 Mix: Ravenswork
Rearranging the ottoman can bring you health, prosperity and well-being? That’s the idea behind feng shui, a 5,000-year-old Chinese art. In this funny ad, a family moves a chest of drawers to help grandma feel better. It works briefly–she sits up in bed–but then returns to her unconscious state.
Pacific Bell Wireless
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. CDs: Jeffrey Goodby, Rich Silverstein Co-ACD: Jeff Huggins AD: Valerie Ang-Powell CW: Andy McKeon Agency prods.: Elizabeth O’Toole, Barbro Eddy Prod. co.: HKM Productions Dir.: Noam Murro Editor: Bob Spector, Bob ‘n’ Sheila’s Edit World Music: Asche & Spencer
Meet the receptionist from hell. “Oh, is that what that light was?” she says to a caller. “You’ve been on hold. I just thought it meant the phone was on.” Or: “Is that really your name?” Or: “You know what? I’m never going to remember all that.” Super: “Maybe it’d be
better if you handled your own calls.” A digital wireless could save the day.
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, S.F. ECD: Peter Angelo ACD: Rob Smiley AD: Lew Willig CW: Scott Duchon Agency prod.: Candace Bowes Prod. co.: HKM Productions Dir.: Michael Patrick Jann Editor: Noah Herzog, Lost Planet
“Today, I’m overseeing deliveries for Pets.com–purely in an advisory role,” says a sock-puppet dog (attached to a man’s arm). The wise-cracking mutt compliments the delivery driver, insults a couple of cats and sings the 1960s hit “Spinning Wheel.” This campaign is inspired lunacy. Tagline: “Pets.com. Because pets can’t drive.”
Agency: Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, N.Y. Chief creative: Ron Berger CDs: Phil Silvestri, Rich Roth AD: Rob Leuhrs CW: Israel Garber Agency prod.: Sidney Rothberg Prod. co.: @radical.media Dir.: Tarsem Editor: Robert Duffy, Spot Welders Music: Luna Sound design: CHKW
After she jumps into the passenger seat of a convertible, he turns into a
driveway across the street. While she wonders what’s going on, he opens the garage door to reveal a 64-inch home theater showing Austin Powers. Beautifully shot, this ad gets to third base. (No home runs in this family-values
edition of Best Spots.)
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer CD/AD/ CW: Wil Boudreau ACD/Group CD/AD/ CW: Rick Midler Agency prod.: Grant Gill Music prod: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: Coppos Films Dir.: Mike Bigelow Editor: Clayton Hemmert, Crew Cuts
“Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Donald Trump. We’re all cut from the same cloth, and that cloth is very, very large.” Only The Donald himself has the cojones to say those words. It all sells Pizza Hut’s Big New Yorker pie, which goes for the un-New York price of $9.99.
Agency: NBC On-air Promotion, Burbank, Calif. CDs: John Miller, Vince Manze, Jim Vescera, Val Nicholas AD: K.J.B. Kiely CW: Mark R.
Bennett Agency prod.: David Landau
Prod. co.: Gartner Dir.: Ray Dillman
Editors: Jim Haygood, Nicholas Erasmus, Superior Assembly Music: Elias & Associates
A hearing-impaired child gets on a school bus and sits by himself. After watching this, a second kid goes home, logs onto Snap.com and types in “sign language.” The next day, when the scene repeats, the second kid comes over and introduces himself by signing his name. Tagline: “Snap to the possibilities.”
Agency: Deutsch, N.Y. ECD: Kathy Delaney Group CD/AD: Craig Markus Group CD/CW: Cheryl Van Ooyen Agency prod.: Susan Curbow Prod. co.: Headquarters Dir.: Joe Public Editor: Richard Gordon, Mad River Post
“At Snapple, we know the pressure facing young fruit today, how easy it is to go bad,” says the narrator. “That’s why we’ve created a place where good fruit can come and get even better to interact with other fruit they would never meet on the outside.” At Snapple’s home for wayward fruit, bananas, strawberries, peaches, raspberries and lemons frolic in the grass.
Lost at sea
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative:
Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer CD: Wil Boudreau ACD/Group CD: Rick Midler ADs: Phil Jungman, Cabot Norton CW: Mike Aimette Agency prod.: Deidre Henchy Agency music prod.: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Hank Perlman Editors: Ian MacKenzie, Gavin Cutler, Mike Douglas, MacKenzie Cutler
Dressed in black, a woman looks
forlornly out to sea. “So many years hoping for his return,” she says. “Am I a fool? Perhaps. But still, I wait for you.” In her locket, a picture of Gilligan. She’s going to be more than a while.
unshockable half pipe
Agency: Young & Rubicam, N.Y. CDs: Nelson Martinez, Randy Van Kleeck AD: Tony
Marchesani CW: Darren Wright Agency prod.: Charlie Capuano Prod. co.: Propaganda Dir.: Doug Limon Editorial: Lost Planet
In a small space, a kid hammers and saws as if his life depended on it. And it just may: He’s building an extreme skateboarding “half pipe” platform. The moment of truth arrives. He gets on the skateboard, pockets his Sony MiniDisc player and launches himself. The run is short–he crashes into the low ceiling and disappears. But the music plays on.
Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners, N.Y. Chairman/Chief creative: Lee Garfinkel Vice chairman/ECD: Gary Goldsmith Creative group heads: C.J. Waldman, Dean Hacohen AD: Chris Brignola
CW: Jay Sharfstein Sr. prod.: Liz Hodge Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: Hank
Perlman Editor: Gavin Cutler,
“I’m from the dream-come-true contest,” a club-wielding Sting says to Timmy. “You ready to wrestle?” The wrestler pile-drives the kid into the carpet and uses Timmy’s head to clean off the mantel. “It looks so real,” says Mom. “Obey your thirst,” reads the tagline.
sign of the times
Agency: Peterson Milla Hooks,
Minneapolis CD/AD: Dave Peterson ACD/CW: Amie Valentine Agency prod.:
Gary Tassone Prod. co.: 3 Ring Circus Dir.: Elaine Cantwell Editor: Brett Astor, Fischer Edit Music: Petula Clark
With stellar art direction, this colorful ad showcases Target’s red bull’s-eye logo–in a lava lamp, on wallpaper and clothes, as gelatin dessert and furniture. The spot is also a pleasure to listen to: Gotta love Petula Clark’s 1960s pop hit “Sign of the Times.”
Visa Check Card
Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Charlie Miesmer ECD/CW: Jimmy Siegel AD: Ron Palumbo CW: Eliot Riskin Agency prod.: J.D. Williams Music prod.: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: Gartner Dir.: Jim Gartner Editor: Chuck Willis, Crew Cuts
Dressed casually, a man stares into space. Refusing to speak to anyone, he’s oblivious to pigeons, beautiful women, inclement weather and urinating dogs. Finally, a Buckingham Palace guard saunters over and says, “Dry cleaners wouldn’t take a check, eh, Nigel?”
Agency: Fuel North America, N.Y. Chief creative: Ron Berger CDs: Bertrand Garbassi, Lance Paull AD: Lisa Speer CW: Jason Savage Agency prod.: Pippa Warden Prod. co.: @radical.media Dir.: Alan White Editor: Steve Bell Music: Big Foote
In the dead of winter, three kids throw snowballs at unsuspecting
vehicles. After an SUV skids by, unable to stop in time to chase the culprits, a
Volvo appears, which, the VO says, “brakes more effectively in unfriendly weather conditions.” The kids launch their snowballs, and the Volvo stops on a dime. “Uh oh,” says one before they all run away. Best Spots disclaimer: Kids, do not try this at home