Creative Briefs

THEN & NOWAccustomed to His Face

After 12 years of commercials, Dave Thomas is the face of Wendy’s. But the founder of the fast-food chain was initially a reluctant star. Jim McKennan, Bates New York group cd, says Thomas was uncomfortable on camera. “Seeing the first group of ads, I thought my career was over,” he admits. But Thomas’ hesitation gave him a regular-guy charm. “The good part is, he hasn’t gotten much better,” says McKennan.

Last week, Thomas completed his 725th commercial. McKennan bets he won’t hang up his apron anytime soon.

Men Who Love Golf

ATLANTA—Golf infuriates even the best players from time to time. But aficionados in new work for Maxfli Golf balls are calm, cool and cocky.

Created by Mullen/LHC in Winston-Salem, N.C., the spots broke last week and tout the high-performance ball with celebrities and golf-oriented humor. In one, PGA Tour icon Fred Couples is so nonchalant in the face of pressure his caddy has to wake him before the final round. In another, players fearlessly watch a grumpy groundskeeper place the cup at the edge of a cliff. The player’s voiceover says to him: “Drill where ever you want, Mr. Just Got Dumped, ’cause me and my Revolution are all over you.”

“We stuffed the spots with inside jokes about golfers, including a universal unwritten rule: If you can’t hit it past the ladies’ tees, you must play the rest of the hole with your manhood flying,” says Mark Fisher, creative director and copywriter. Luckily, the golfer is off screen when he unzips his pants.

Men Who Love Golf Family Matters Cool Beans Let Your Fingers Do the Dancing Phone Home People

Family Matters

Beautiful black-and-white images of a sleeping baby and a Brahms’ lullaby set the mood for a new anti-violence PSA from Flashpoint Advertising, New York, on behalf of Adults and Children Together Against Violence and the Ad Council. Peaceful close-ups of the baby’s face and stomach are juxtaposed with disturbing images of a man yelling, a woman slapping a child and, finally, a small boy shooting a pistol. A voiceover says, “What a child learns about violence, a child learns for life. Teach carefully.” ACT hopes to reach children by encouraging adults to resolve their differences without violence, in response to startling statistics. About 900,000 children aged 12-18 are subjected to violent crimes in the United States each year—more than 10 times higher than the rate of other industrialized nations, according to the World Health Organization. The spot will be distributed to media outlets starting March 26.A poster campaign from Russell & Herder aims to attract young people to the Eclectic Café in Brainerd, Minn., with pictures of coffee beans given a new twist. One photo caption reads, “Ath Electhic everybothy ith welcome,” and shows a coffee bean that resembles a pierced tongue. Another effort from R&H appears to be a double-pierced ear and says, “If our coffee doesn’t wake you up, our music will.” The cafe provides customers a substance-free environment—caffeine is the only exception.

With a cross between a girl band concert and a hand-puppet show, DDB New York introduces Shoezies, Hasbro’s line of collectible toy shoes. Sized to fit on a finger tip, the platform heels and sandals are featured on fingers composited to the torsos of live-action dancers who groove to a pop beat. The tag asserts, “A girl can never have enough shoes.” Ever in style, Hasbro will update the Shoezies line every season, retiring old numbers as new ones make their debut.

AT&T’s latest “1-800-Call ATT” campaign, which is called”Reality Check,” breaks this month and continues to capitalize on celebrity appearances. FCB in New York tapped TV, film and music notables, such as the urban R&B quartet Destiny’s Child and ex-Soprano star Vinny Pastore to save kids caught without quarters. The point? Fantasies about being rescued by celebrities are never going to happen—so it’s a good idea to remember AT&T’s toll free number to call collect.

Monica Perez replaces cd Simon Dixon at Attik in San Francisco; he leaves to helm creative at Attik’s U.K. offices in Huddersfield and London. … Doris Hiw joins Doremus, Hong Kong, as senior art director from Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore. Her accounts include Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Barclays and Business Week.