Creative Briefs

19492000Room for Improvement

“[Flying] used to be so special. It was like the old cruise ships,” says Sarah Block, creative director on Delta Airlines at Leo Burnett.

So it would seem in looking at a print ad from 1949 asserting that flying in Delta’s spacious “Sky Lounge” would leave business travelers feeling “fit as a fiddle” and “in the mood to make a million.”

Current ads from the Chicago agency try to “be up-front and honest about how much it sucks to fly right now,” says Block. The TV spots suggest the Atlanta-based carrier listens to customers’ complaints, unlike other airlines. In one, a man in Delta’s more spacious Business Elite class struggles to retrieve a book from the seat pocket in front of him using only his feet.

Kung Fu Fighting at GSD&M

Bruce Lee returns as oblique pitchman in new TV spots for CyberCorp that broke last week.

The ads, created by GSD&M in Austin, Texas, use footage from what is believed to be the last public interview the legendary martial arts master and actor/director gave before his death in 1973. The ads use the clips to compare the mental strategies behind the kung fu king’s fighting with the mentality of online traders.

The three 30-second spots, introduced as “Training disciplines for the active trader,” reinterpret the esoteric directives of “instructor Bruce Lee” for the Internet era. “Be like water, my friend,” for instance, is taken to mean “Adapt to the market.” The other adages are: “Trading is combat” and “Focus, then execute.”

“Active investors—we used to call them day traders—are like little warriors,” says Daniel Russ, GSD&M senior vice president and group creative director and a holder of two black belts himself. “They sit in their cubicles alone against huge odds. CyberCorp is like kung fu. So it kind of made sense.”

The campaign is GSD&M’s first for the client, which is a division of Charles Schwab.

Kung Fu Fighting at GSD&M FCB: Hot and Cold Production Costs Soar in ’99People

FCB: Hot and Cold

Sunbeam’s Mr. Coffee has joined the ranks of celebrities who have had some work done. A 30-second mockumentary-style TV spot from FCB Worldwide in New York documents the procedure. “I’ve done hundreds of facelifts in my career,” the doctor says, “but this one was different. He’s an icon.” Cut to the doctor’s pre-surgery consultation with the coffee maker. Drawing lines on it with a magic marker, the doc suggests “softer lines through here … maybe move your button.” After a tense operation, the doctor unwraps gauze to reveal a new, streamlined design. The spot broke last week with the tagline, “The legend lives on.” Separately, the agency also introduced a TV spot last week for Sunbeam’s electric blanket. In the 30-second ad, an Inuit man treks across a windy, snow-filled landscape. Entering the only outpost for miles, he asks, “Got an electric blanket?” in Inuit as English subtitles flash across the screen. The man at the counter pulls out a red blanket, noting its quality, craftsmanship and “10 settings!” But it’s not a Sunbeam, so the man leaves to continue his search. The tagline is, “One sure thing.”

The average cost of producing a 30-second national TV commercial increased 16 percent in 1999 to $343,000, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ survey of production costs. It was the largest rise in the 13-year history of the report. Con tributing factors included an increase in hours spent shooting, a tendency to shoot more on location and a 16 percent increase in directors’ fees. Post-production costs also rose significantly: The average cost of editing and finishing increased 26 percent to $43,000.


Deborah Sullivan, executive vice president, director of broadcast production at DDB Worldwide in New York for two years, has joined FCB Worldwide in New York in the same position. She replaces Herb Miller, who is retiring. … Ken Segall, a senior partner and creative director at TBWA\Chiat\ Day in New York, has joined Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/ Euro RSCG as partner and worldwide creative director on Intel. At TBWA\C\D, he worked on Apple’s “Think different” campaign and a number of its product introductions. … Guy Seese, an art director at MVBMS/Euro RSCG, has joined Mad Dogs & Englishmen as creative director in New York, while Nick Cohen, managing partner and chief creative officer, redeploys to the San Francisco office as of Jan. 1. Dave Cook, partner and creative director in New York, has been promoted to executive creative director.