Creative Briefs

Déjà VuLogo a Go-Go

Life is easy when you’re one of the world’s most recognized brands. Recent “Life tastes good” ads don’t even show the entire Coca-Cola logo, just a condensation-covered portion of the familiar design. The idea behind the print and outdoor ads, from Amster Yard, New York, “is that people know it,” says Rob Bas kin, a representative for the Atlanta bottler.

Last year, Carmichael Lynch, Min neapolis, used the familiarity of the Coke logo to sell the idea of advertising. For an American Advertising Federation campaign, tagged “How great brands get to be great brands,” CL got permission from Coke to use “Advertising” in place of “Coca-Cola” in the logo as a reminder that it took a significant investment in marketing to establish the soda’s dominance. “[Coke’s] use of the logo was the whole point of our campaign,” says Jack Supple, CL’s chief creative officer.

Boomer and Silent Jay

NEW YORK—A few weeks into creating a promotional campaign for Fox Sports Net’s NFL This Morning, Cliff Freeman and Partners had to scrap it and start over.

Fox had signed a deal with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and wanted to include him in the spots along with fellow co-host Jay Moore, the caustic comic and Saturday Night Live veteran. Adam Chas now and William Gelner, writers at the New York agency, devised a new concept: Sitting in a diner booth, the ex-football player tries in vain to make the comedian laugh. In one spot, Esiason urges Moore to open a can of nuts, which, naturally, contains coiled snakes. “Seeing someone fail is funnier than seeing someone succeed,” says Gelner.

The writers wanted the humor to come from Moore’s reactions to Esiason’s poor attempts at jokes. “You wouldn’t be able to write comedy for [Moore] that would be as funny as what he writes,” Gelner says. In fact, at the shoot in Los Angeles, the first challenge was getting Moore to keep quiet. “He’s lightning fast” at turning conversations into comic routines, says Chasnow. Adds Gelner: “We had to let Jay do stand-up between takes—let him get it out.” It worked, apparently. Moore utters nary a word in the finished spots, directed by Cliff Freeman vets Rick LeMoine and Steve Miller of The first ad broke in August; at least six more are due in the coming months.

‘Freestyle’ Bounces to Europe

Undaunted by a shutout at Cannes this summer, Wieden + Kennedy launched a Nike “Freestyle” campaign in 25 countries in Europe last month. New spots feature soccer stars and footage recut from the original, award-winning “Free style” basketball spot, directed by Paul Hunter. Like its U.S. counterpart, the new campaign of 60-, 30- and 15-second spots takes place on a dimly lit set, with the athletes grooving to a soundtrack that blends the music of Steven Brown and Afrika Bambaataa with the sounds of the players—bouncing balls and squeaking shoes. Director Charles Randolph-Wright shot the soccer footage in Rome, and Savion Glover was on hand to reprise his role as choreographer. Soccer stars including Totti, Ronaldinho, Silvestre, Mendieta and Lopez are featured along with “street ballers.” The campaign reflects hip-hop’s worldwide appeal, says copywriter Jimmy Smith of Wieden in Portland, Ore., who collaborated with creative directors Paul Shearer and Glenn Cole of Wieden’s Amsterdam outpost. “Most people over 30 don’t get that,” he says. The two-and-a-half-minute music video of the basketball spot is running on European music channels such as The Box.

Baby Talk Disrupts Bush

Who knew Bush’s inauguration ceremony wasn’t part of the public domain? Ned Connolly, a 29-year-old copywriter at Campbell Mithun, had his Verizon radio spot nixed by the Minneapolis agency’s legal department because it incorporated audio from the event. But the spot was revived when Connolly’s script won Oink Ink Radio’s Dead Radio Contest. The radio-advertising company annually picks one rejected script to produce. In Connolly’s ad, Bush is interrupted repeatedly by a man speaking in baby talk to his girlfriend on his cell phone. The Campbell Mithun legal team told Connolly that using Bush’s voice for commercial gain is “a violation of Bush’s rights as a private citizen,” even though they acknowledged that “chances are, Bush wouldn’t come after us,” he says. Since the spot was not going to air, the Oink Ink team used the inauguration audio, with the sticky-sweet conversation eventually upstaging the president. The best thing about producing a commercial with no client input? “I cut out all the unnecessary copy,” Connolly says. The 20 seconds detailing the Verizon promotion was cut in half.