Creative Briefs



Out of the Frying Pan

The work from Cliff Freeman and Part ners only got better, but Church’s Chicken put its $15 million account in review anyway.

Eager to return to the fast-food category after losing Little Caesars in 1998, the New York shop won Church’s in August 1999. The first series of ads included one in which an elderly woman set her house aflame trying to fry chicken. Subsequent spots, which won gold and bronze Lions in Cannes, contrasted bad home cooking with Church’s fare, dubbed “What made from scratch should taste like.” In one ad, a wily grandfather is sent away from the table for showing up naked.

Church’s cited “philosophical creative differences” for the mutual split. The account is still up for grabs.

Strike Hits Admine Contest

The SAG/AFTRA strike put a crimp in Admine.com’s plans to award $200,000 to the creators of the best advertising licensed on its Web site.

The online company, which sells à la carte advertising, was due to announce five finalists on Aug. 21, with a winner to be determined by a vote of registered members. But posting the chosen five—three of which are TV spots—on the Web site has proved to be no easy task.

“The strike has been really bad for us. Really bad,” says Bill Replogle, CEO of the Herndon, Va., company. For one PSA, he says, the talent wanted “10 grand just to post it on the site.” For another spot, talent insisted that Admine get SAG’s OK.

Of the five finalists announced last week, four are speculative work. Two of those come from Ambushfilms in Venice, Calif., which offered a pizza ad and a cell phone ad. A third spec TV spot from Platinum Dragon in Los Angeles shows a squabbling couple resolving their differences through a video game.

Another campaign to make the cut came from freelancer Dan Gier in Kansas City, Mo., whose collection of three print ads for a steakhouse includes the line, “If vegetarians were a little meatier we’d grill them up, too.”

A spec print campaign for breast cancer awareness from Aston Communications in Birmingham, Ala., also made the finals.

Strike Hits Admine Contest Hotline

Fun and Games

Young & Rubicam, New York, has launched its first corporate image TV work for AT&T in two years. The nearly $50 million “Boundless” campaign, developed for the Olympics, includes more than a half-dozen 30-second TV spots. All of them feature AT&T’s globe logo morphing into different objects to illustrate the power and speed of AT&T’s broadband offerings. The campaign was steered by Ross Sutherland, Y&R managing partner, creative. Separately, Nike asks “Why sport?” in a Wieden + Kennedy campaign that broke Friday during the opening ceremonies of the games. The 60-second launch spot, “Horror,” directed by Phil Janou of Villains, features U.S. 1,500-meter qualifier Suzy Hamilton outrunning a predatory, chain-wielding masked man in the wild. The spot ends with the question “Why sport?” and an answer: “You’ll live longer.” Two other spots follow. In “Elephant,” directed by Dante Ariola of Propaganda, Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong revives an elephant using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A third spot, “Gladiator,” directed by Tarsem of @radical.media, pits a gladiator against skateboarder Neil Urwin. Hal Curtis and Jim Riswold were co-creative directors on the campaign.

‘Immigration’ Policy

Amid controversy, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has again reworked a TV spot for John Hancock Financial Services. “Immigration” features what appears to be a lesbian couple in an airport adopting a child from China. Initial edits were made after Hancock received complaints that the ad went too far in endorsing the lesbian lifestyle, sources say. The second version, in which the gay themes were more muted, was said to have rankled gay and lesbian groups. This latest version, expected to air during the Olympics, is an effort to be “somewhere in the middle,” says one source. The line “We’re a family,” for instance, which had been cut, returns. The ad was shot by director Tony Kaye.

Hook, Line and Sinker

Fish take the spotlight in two of three new Panasonic TV ads breaking this month from Grey Worldwide. One spot, rolling out this week, show cases the Panasonic microwave. A fish lying in a micro wavable tray turns to the camera and sings “Just a Bit of Magic,” an original song by Russo/Grantham with lyrics by Grey art director Jim Trippler and copywriter Tony Alfano. The tune is featured in each of the spots and was used in the last campaign. Another spot, touting the company’s high-definition televisions, shows a girl pouring fish food on top of a TV that is showing a scene of colorful fish.

Get Reels

Those seeking TV production companies, directors, talent reps and artists can now head online for contact information and video reels of past work. Los Angeles-based CreativePlanet.com is integrating subsidiaries PlanetPoint.com, an online TV commercial footage clearinghouse, and The Source Maythenyi (www. source tv. com), an interactive talent database. Reels can be bought in QuickTime and Windows Media Player formats. “We’re trying to make the process more efficient,” says Allen DeBevoise, chairman and CEO of 2-year-old CreativePlanet, which secured $38 million in second-round equity funding last month. The Source Maythenyi’s databases contain thousands of TV ads, music videos, production companies, directors, editors and composers.