Creative Briefs

Still Crazy After All These Years

The Dew Dudes first appeared in an ad for the diet variety of Mountain Dew. Bill Bruce, senior cd at BBDO New York, created the thrill-seeking troupe to tap into the popularity of extreme sports. Now brand icons, they “have changed as culture changed,” says Bruce.

To reflect today’s “more sophisticated” youth, says Bruce, a spot that broke last week offers a parody of nature films. Marty Stoufer of Wild America narrates. The footage, which he provided, features rams butting heads. The spot was edited to look as if an actor and a ram had locked horns. With the help of special effects and a harness, it did. “We were concerned about him breaking his neck,” admits Bruce.

A Game of Cat and Mouse

CHICAGO—In DDB’s upcoming spot for Anheuser-Busch, it seems the ad, not the cat, is the one with nine lives.

In the 60-second spot “Pay Back” from DDB Chicago, a Clydesdale, the longtime corporate icon for the St. Louis brewer, motions for a mouse to do him a favor and scratch his ear. The Clydesdale returns the favor by protecting the mouse from a cat.

“The first 45 seconds were working so fantastically,” recalls John Immesoete, a DDB group creative director. “Then came the cat,” he says. After market research found that cat lovers were offended, the commercial was pulled from its original debut during the Super Bowl this year.

The spot was subsequently rewritten. In the new ending, the Clydesdale takes the mouse for a ride. This time, the fur didn’t fly. DDB creatives market tested the spot with a version of the ad using old footage, prior to shooting the new ending.

The revised spot was set to bow during the Academy Awards, but it was yanked at the last minute when A-B decided to split its airtime with two 30-second spots.

“Pay Back” is expected to break soon. A-B executives just haven’t figured out when.

A Game of Cat and Mouse Pro-Choice Campaign Is a Challenge Blue Light’s Guest Appearances Give a Little

Pro-Choice Campaign Is a Challenge

The location for Devito/Verdi’s new print campaign for The Pro-Choice Education Project took on almost as macabre a tone as the work itself. After searching the New York area in vain for a certain kind of bathroom, art directors Scott Kaplan and Chris Turner found the one of their dreams—thanks to a management connection with a Chelsea apartment building. Kaplan and Turner learned an occupant had recently died in one of the flats. In it, there was a bathroom with the grimy look they wanted. So they hurried over with Los Angeles-based photographer, Christopher Wray-McCann, chosen for his “gritty” style, says Kaplan, which was necessary for the hard-hitting campaign. In the ad, a sign over the soiled bathtub identifies it as an “Operating Room.” Other ads in the campaign, which break this week in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, show a seedy alley labeled “Patient Recovery Room” and an abandoned car dubbed “Abortion Clinic.” The campaign includes outdoor and public transportation ads and will appear in 35 college newspapers.

Blue Light’s Guest Appearances

The Blue Light special makes a comeback in TBWA\Chiat\Day’s first effort for Kmart. An integrated campaign leverages the nostalgic nature of the discount chain’s 36-year-old marketing push, according to Dallas Itzen and Patrick O’Neill, executive creative directors at the New York agency. In introductory spots that break this week, Kmart’s blue lights pop up in surprising places, such as a traffic light, a beauty-shop hair dryer and the Statue of Liberty. Music for the spots, including songs from Dave Berry and Peggy Lee, were chosen to broaden the campaign’s appeal, says O’Neill. The creative team will also influence the music selections for the new, centralized Blue Light special areas in stores. Negotiations are in progress to tap celebrity voices for the familiar in-store announcement, “Attention Kmart shoppers …”

Give a Little

Delivering the welcoming speech at the third annual Producers Conference in San Francisco, Jennifer Golub, executive producer at TBWA\Chiat\ Day, urged approximately 200 attendees to find time to leverage their communications resources for advocacy—as well as advertising. “I am asking you to harness the talent and ability that surrounds you every day on behalf of something that is meaningful,” said Golub, who distributed a list of W eb site addresses leading to more than 600,000 charities at the end of her talk. Co-sponsored by Shoot magazine, the conference addressed a wide range of topics, everything from animation and sound design to interactive television and agency contracts. “I appeal to each and every one of you to pick up a phone and find your passion,” she said.