Creative Briefs

Déjà-VuSplit the Difference

What is it about Microsoft that can’t be contained in one screen? Multiple screens solved creative problems first for Microsoft’s Ultimate TV, and then for its “Agility” brand campaign.

For Ultimate TV, Rodgers/Town send, St. Louis, wanted to demonstrate how a click of the remote could record shows or rewind live TV. The problem is that focusing on the remote would make for “the most boring commercial you’ve ever seen,” says creative director Tom Townsend. The quadrants spiced it up. In one ad, a woman rewinds her soap when a lawnmower blocks the sound.

To show Microsoft’s business systems with “one degree of separation,” McCann-Erickson in San Francisco used a classic two-screen approach—like Pillow Talk, says executive cd Dante Lombardi. One ad pairs the sales team with the IT guy to achieve record-breaking sales.

Lombardi was surprised that no one had remarked on the similarities. “[Microsoft clients] usually remember every detail.”

Animal Instincts

CHICAGO—To bring the bull and bear to life in Ameritrade’s latest campaign, Ogilvy & Mather turned to Aardman Ani mations, of Chicken Run fame.

In a 60-second spot that breaks this month, the animals stand in line at a coffee shop, bantering about different industry sectors until the bear realizes that the bull isn’t listening. In another upcoming spot, the odd couple plays pool, with the bear running the table as the bull rattles on about the market’s two-point loss. The idea behind the series of three spots is to liken the characters to regular guys with different opinions, illustrating that Ameritrade can help customers with varied investment styles. The $80 million campaign also has print and online components, minus the bull and bear.

Instead of using real animals or costumed actors, Ogilvy opted for character animation—a first for the Chicago shop. “We wanted the bull and bear to look as real as possible and have humanlike characteristics,” says Joe Sciarrotta, Ogilvy’s executive creative director and co-managing director. Ogilvy even wrote biographies about the duo, to give the Bristol, England, animators a sense of their personalities. The bear’s heroes? Alan Greenspan and Ronald Reagan.

The process of blending the animated characters into the live action was painstaking, but one of the biggest challenges turned out to be the deadline. “We were all a bit stunned,” says Victoria Spurgeon, Aardman’s production coordinator. “Essentially, we had to do something in two weeks that typically takes four to six weeks.”

Animal Instincts Mobius Winners AnnouncedBrotherhood AuctionTime Traveling

The 31st annual Mobius Advertising Awards winners were chosen last week from more than 6,000 entries. Topping the television category was a spot for Cottons tampons, from Young & Rubicam Mat tingly, Melbourne, Austra lia. The spot features a burly road con struc tion worker, who doubles over in pain and tells his co-workers, “I just got my period.” The rest of the crew chimes in with homey advice about herbal teas and hot packs. The point: Until men understand, Cottons understands. Y&R creative director James McGrath says the agency tried to be different in a difficult category, replete with “women running in the surf and riding horses.” The spot was directed by Great Southern Films’ Vicky Blanche, whose work—including Cottons’ “Sympathy Pains”—was featured in last year’s New Directors’ Showcase at the Cannes festival. Best of Show honors went to BBDO Chicago for “Perfect Mar tini,” a radio spot for Allied Domecq/Beefeater Gin; McCann-Erickson Guang ming, Hong Kong, for a PSA print campaign for the Association for the Advancement of Feminism; and Kolle Rebbe Werbeagentur, Hamburg, Germany, for the outdoor ad “Frux Fertilizer” for Gebr. Patzer.

More than 70 photographs that capture the outpouring of hope and grief expressed by New Yorkers in the aftermath of Sept. 11 are available for sale through an auction on Yahoo Auctions ( Many of the photos are featured in the book Brotherhood, a pro-bono collaboration that was created and designed by Ogilvy & Mather and showcases the work of 69 acclaimed photographers, including Mary Ellen Mark, Christian Witkin and Martin Parr. The auction will run through Wednesday. Proceeds will be split between the Twin Towers Fund and the Family Assistance Project of the Fire Department of New York.

Nike Basketball’s latest campaign from Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., kicked off last week with a retro spot set in Harlem’s famous Rucker Park circa 1975. The park, right down to the trees, was re-created in a Toronto studio, and extras were done up with period clothes and hairstyles. Shot by brothers Allen and Albert Hughes, directors of From Hell, the spot depicts an intense showdown between the Uptowns and the Westsiders, and introduces the character Dr. Funk, played by Vince Carter of the Tor onto Raptors.