Creative Briefs

Close-up: Effects
Basketball 101

Five TV spots from WongDoody in Seattle place Seattle SuperSonics coaches and players, wearing tight white shorts and knee socks, in 1940s basketball instructional films, complete with grainy black-and-white footage and a formal narration.

To blend old and new, explains creative director Tracy Wong, players were shot in a gym at the same perspective and with similar lighting as the stock foot age used. They were digitally inserted into the footage with a “difference matte” process, de scribed by director Tony Ober of Compulsive Pictures as “a high-tech version of a weatherman.” The proc ess, completed by Modern Digital, Seattle, allowed the team to avoid painting the gym for a green-screen shoot.

To re-create the quality of the old film, the video was de graded by add ing scratches, grain and gate-weave so that the picture moves around. Clatter & Din, Seattle, added pops, hisses and warbles to the audio.

Poetic License

LOS ANGELES—Chimpanzees Hank and Phil swing back onto the airwaves in Publicis Seattle’s latest TV spots for VoiceStream, introducing its AOL instant messaging. The three ads, which launch today, open with the same setup but end with different scenes. Publicis chief creative officer Kevin Kehoe says they are designed to “keep it fresh” during a strong media buy.

In the first spot, Hank sends a message from his cell phone to Phil’s computer, announcing that he has “passed” and adding that the “third time’s a charm.” Hank then steps up in the line at the Depart ment of Motor Vehicles, smiles for the camera and gets his driver’s license. His face falls when he sees his picture. The license bears the name of Hungry Man’s Hank Perlman, who directed the spots. Kehoe says it’s a “happy accident” that ape and director share a name, making it easy to get permission to use the name on the license.

Kehoe was secretive about the other two endings, saying only that they follow Hank through “the next steps after he gets his license.” The campaign runs through Dec. 23.

Size Does Matter

A small integrated campaign for Lifestyles condoms from CreatAbility makes a big deal of the size issue. Using guerrilla street teams, the Miami agency is targeting young Hispanic men in south Florida with a “Hispanic is bigger” theme. The $100,000 campaign was inspired by the client’s March 2001 “penis size survey.” Says Alejandro Bar reras, CreatAbility’s creative director, “We take advantage of ‘macho’ attitudes and challenge them with humor.” Street teams on scooters are giving away T-shirts and postcards with per forated, detachable rulers and copy that asks in Spanish, “Are you small, medium or large? Con doms for all sizes.” A “con dom-mobile,” an SUV wrapped in the Lifestyles ad, is used to dispense product samples. Indoor/outdoor components consist of Spanish-language posters placed above urinals in bars and clubs around Miami-Dade County. “Are you well equipped?” they ask. “No, don’t look at the person next to you.”

Bringing Back Business
A grimy construction worker walks into Caress Nails on Nassau Street in lower Manhattan for a manicure. A bald man patronizes An tonello’s Barber Shop on Beek man Street. The point: “You may not need it, but downtown does,” says Logan Wil mont, executive creative director at Kirsh en baum Bond & Partners in New York, which has produced a pro-bono effort for the Down town Alliance. To bring business back to the more than 2,000 retailers in lower Manhattan, particularly the mom-and-pop shops, Kirsh en baum conjured up unpredictable scenarios and cast a combination of actors and real workers. The one-day shoot, within a mile of the World Trade Center site, took place on Sun day. “We had to turn this around quickly,” says director Gary Mc Kendry of Go Films. “A lot of companies down there have only one month’s money left.” The five print executions, which will start appearing before Thanksgiving, feel like small retail ads done big, says Wil mont. One ad, for instance, reads, “Have your shoes shined downtown and get 20 percent more spring in your step.”

Memory Book

When a 240-page hardcover coffee-table book, Brother hood, ap pears in stores the week of Dec. 3, it will be the culmination of an idea born shortly after Sept. 11. On the Saturday following the attacks, Rick Boyko, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather, New York, visited several firehouses in the city and was inspired by people’s spontaneous outpouring of appreciation. “The memorials [of candles and flowers] looked like they grew out of the cement,” he re calls. The hefty book of photographs is a way for Boyko and his collaborators and sponsors to pay tribute. More than 60 photographers, including Albert Wat son, Mark Seli ger, Mary Ellen Mark, Christian Wit kin, Jim Knight and several Ogilvy staffers, donated their services to capture 74 engine companies affected by the tragedy. Frank McCourt, Mayor Rudolph Giu liani and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen wrote introductions. Ogilvy donated time and manpower to the project, covering hard costs, while American Express Pub lish ing donated printing and distribution costs for the 40,000 books. Profits will benefit the families of rescue workers.