Creative Briefs

THEN & NOWA New Sensation

For more than a decade, York Peppermint Patties and DDB, New York, have inspired adventurous winter fantasies. This year, the ads slope in a different direction.

Spots in the early ’90s introduced the now-famous setup “When I bite into a York Pepper mint Patty …” As people did so, they got the sensation that they were ski jumping or surfing. Recent executions continue the theme. In one, an orderly races with a gurney, imagining that he and his young patient are a bobsled team. In another, though, an elderly man doesn’t imagine himself doing anything. “I’m just glad I get a sensation,” he says.

Pen Pals: GSD&M, Chili’s

NEW YORK—GSD&M art director Gene Brenek’s collection of 90 special pens—the kind with a window and objects floating inside—provided inspiration for the latest Chili’s campaign.

The first of several ads follows an animated retro-looking family cruising in a neighborhood sprinkled with peppers. The camera pulls back, revealing that the idyllic scene is taking place inside the pen of a Chili’s waiter.

To get the effect, Red Sky in Boston built a 20-foot-long “floaty pen,” and large renderings of the objects inside were mounted on motion-control rigs. It took six hours complete the continuous stop-motion animation shot—not long compared to the weeks spent preparing the huge scene, notes Red Sky executive producer Matthew Charde.

The idea, says Guy Bommarito, creative director at GSD&M in Austin, Texas, is to bring the restaurant’s trademark chili pepper to life each time. In “Butterfly,” which breaks March 12, a chili pepper morphs into a mushroom that flies away to a sizzling fajita, also thanks to Red Sky animators.

Four more commercials are set to go into production, says Bommarito, and the concept lends itself to a variety of animation techniques. Thus, he explains, “I don’t see us putting people in pepper suits anytime soon.”

Pen Pals: GSD&M, Chili’s A Room Fit for a King Take It on the Run Oscar Nod People

To resurrect Elvis in a new TV spot for Wyndham International, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners needed actors of kingly proportions. The ad, part of a $30 million yearlong branding effort, highlights the hotel company’s program of satisfying visitors’ preferences in everything from the contents of the minibar to the number of towels. Using the tagline “Request the things that make your room your room,” spots depict housekeepers preparing for out-of-the-ordinary guests such as Cinderella and a vampire. In one, a housekeeper stocks the room with a gold record album, black hair dye and a leopard-skin bedspread. Only at the end do viewers see a hand clad in outrageous rings and hear the familiar, “Thank you very much.” With rhinestone-studded Elvis impersonators aplenty, finding one for the shoot would seem as easy as plucking one from the Las Vegas strip. Not so, says Stuart D’Rozario, creative director at the New York agency. It took three or four castings to find the right voice, a casting agent to narrow down the selection of hand models, plus approval from the Presley estate.

The last thing a businessperson wants to see is computer data fading away. But in new spots from Grey, executives carry trans parent PDAs and laptops to convey how GoAmerica’s wireless data and Internet services make them more fluid. Breaking this week, two 30-second spots and print ads position the service “as a ‘must-have’ for business professionals—not a ‘nice-to-have,’ ” says Dave Tutin, executive creative director at Grey in New York. “People want to be able to access corporate data wherever they are.”

Michael Montes of music house Sacred Noise in New York will be watching the Academy Awards closely this year. One Day Crossing, for which he composed the music, is competing in the best live-action short category. Set and shot in Budapest, Hungary, the film follows a woman’s struggle to save her family during the last days of World War II. “It has an incredibly authentic feel,” says Montes, who scored complementary East European music performed by a 40- piece orchestra. Although Montes has composed for a variety of award-winning commercials, as well as movies, this is his first film to make it to the Oscars.

Jim Jenkins, a former freelance commercial director and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, signed with Hungry Man in New York. … John Racik and Jeff Cammisa were named general manager and svp, creative director, respectively, of Sentrix Global Health Communications in Short Hills, N.J. Racik previously was a principal at Blunt Hann Healthcare Marketing in West Paterson, N.J. Cammisa was an associate creative director at Sudler & Hennessey in New York. Sentrix is part of WPP’s Young & Rubicam Group.