Creative Briefs

Déjà Vu – Cliff Freeman’s Greatest Hits

Cliff Freeman and Partners’ first work for Midas—three spots that broke this month—seems to be right out of the New York shop’s archives. The tag, “We do that,” is reminiscent of Staples’ “Yeah, we’ve got that.” One Midas spot has a dotty old lady asking about lifetime guarantees. She sheds her coat and blouse and asks if the technician can do anything about “these” as he gags. She appears to be the latest incarnation of Coke’s wheelchair-wielding grandma, Church’s Chicken’s fire-starting cook and, of course, Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” lady. A second Midas spot features a faux children’s show with a guy dressed as an air-conditioning system. “Mr. AC” is so cold, his arm falls off. Care for a Mike’s Hard Lemonade with that?

AWNY Praises and Razes

NEW YORK—A Gold Lion-winning spot for Brandt appliances by CLM/BBDO in Issy les Moulineaux, France, earned a Grand Ugly distinction last week at the Good, Bad and Ugly Awards, tying for the “honor” with a Today’s Man spot from Sillery Mayer & Partners, Stamford, Conn. The Advertising Women of New York sponsors the annual event with the aim of improving depictions of women in advertising.

In the Brandt spot, a woman destroys her washing machine with her son’s skateboard, then pretends it happened because she tripped. Her husband screams at their son for leaving his skateboard out, while the super explains, “She wants a Brandt.” In the Today’s man ad, an Italian woman in red underclothes provocatively describes the store to her husband: “It’s, how you say, huge, just like you.”

A MasterCard spot by McCann-Erickson, New York, won the Grand Good. The ad lists items a little girl needs to grow up to be a wild success. As she dumps cereal on herself, it ends, “Remembering to take things one day at a time: priceless.”

The crowd reacted with dismay to a Bad for “Horror,” Wieden + Kennedy’s Nike spot in which Suzy Hamilton escapes a chain-saw-wielding maniac. A cry of “I love that spot!” rang out from the McCann table, while numerous people hissed.

The event, originally set for last September at the pool hall Pressure, was rescheduled after the terrorist attacks. It was also relocated to the Roosevelt Hotel after the judges bestowed three Bad awards on suggestive ads—for Pressure and its parent, Bowlmor Lanes—that showed scantily clad women.

AWNY Praises and Razes Riney Takes a Bow Touched by an Angel, Uncensored Steinbrenner’s Soft Spot

Sporting his trademark bowtie, the gravelly voiced Hal Riney sprinkled dry humor into his thank-you speech after he was inducted into the American Advertising Fed eration Hall of Fame last week. Noting the “fun and satisfaction” he’s had in his 46 years in advertising, Riney noted, “There is no other business like it. At least not where you can do all these things with somebody else’s money.” Riney’s work, including ads for Bartles & Jaymes, Saturn and First Union bank, was screened at the luncheon, held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The 69-year-old chairman of San Francisco’s Publicis & Hal Riney joked that among the induc tees, which included True North chairman emeritus Chuck Peebler, “I’m the only one who doesn’t seem to be retired.” Bemoaning the short amount of time he got to reflect on five decades, Riney said, “Since I usually get 30 seconds, I guess four minutes should be enough.” Introducing Riney, John “Jock” Elliott, chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, praised Riney’s work for its understatement. He noted that 28 agencies in San Francisco have been opened by alumni of Riney’s shop, a fact that speaks to his legacy there. Still, Elliott quipped, “That suggests that Hal’s strongest suit was not his ability to hang on to those people. … Now that’s an understatement.”

A crew of college kids fully exposed the power of advertising during a recent visit to the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif. One of Leagas Delaney’s recent ads for the client was an outdoor execution reading, “Naked snow angels. When friends get together, anything can happen.” A rep for the resort reports that about two dozen towel-clad students subsequently showed up at the main lodge, dropped their cover and flopped, angel-like, in the snow. Employees at the San Francisco shop weren’t surprised. According to the agency, “It’s life imitating art.”

Love conquers all, even in advertising. As DDB was filming a commercial for the Yankees Entertainment and Sports network, which launched last week, Yan kees owner George Steinbrenner nixed the concept, says executive creative director John Staffen. The ads center on ingenious ways fans try to get close to the team. In this execution, the Yankee Stadium ground crew was to roll out a tarpaulin as rain starts; a man pops out of it and runs around the field bellowing, “Go Yankees!” Steinbrenner thought it treated security breaches too lightly. DDB quickly came up with an alternative in which a female member of the grounds crew appears to paint a giant love note on the tarp for second baseman Derek Jeter. Grabbing a bouquet of roses, she loudly proclaims her devotion while a stadium full of soaked fans looks on. Steinbrenner approved. “I guess he couldn’t resist a display of affection,” says Staffen.