Creative Briefs

Close-up: Effects – A Matter of Life and Death

The tale of a Mercedes-Benz’s demise in a new spot from Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, New York, reaped the benefits of life’s little mishaps.

As a vintage Mercy-B is crushed in a junkyard, its life flashes before its eyes. That is, the viewer sees several scenes through the car’s windshield, a POV suggested by Go Film directors Rad-ish (Moritz Friedel and Christoph Chrudimak). Milestones—such as the owner presenting the car to his wife—fade in and out until the car goes into a bright light and emerges as a new model. For the 60-second spot, 20 scenes had to be shot over four days.

Rad-ish originally tried double- exposing the film to produce the effect of one scene fading into the next, but then turned to Quiet Man effects artist Johnnie Semerad to simulate the look. For one scene showing a kid on a scooter, the directors had Semerad use a shot that captured the boy accidentally falling. “That’s when I knew I liked these guys,” says Sem erad. “Most directors say, ‘Take our mistakes out.’ They said, ‘Put this mistake in.’ ”

DDB ‘Heroes’ Triumph at ADC

NEW YORK—DDB’s “Real American hero” radio campaign for Bud Light swept the Art Directors Club’s 81st Annual Awards, winning eight of the 12 top honors in the ad categories.

The irony of heaping awards on a campaign in a non visual medium is not lost on ADC executive director Myrna Davis. “The judges loved it,” she says. “[The ADC] is still a creative club that embraces the whole industry. It would be artificial not to include radio.”

The eight 60-second spots from the Chicago agency humorously salute heroes such as “Mr. Male Fur-Coat Wearer” and “Mr. Toilet-Paper Refiller.” The copywriters were Barry Burdlak, Pat Burke, Bill Cimino, Mark Gross, John Immesoete, Kitty Schulz and Bob Winter.

Other top winners included Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which garnered two golds for the Nike magazine ads “Treadmill” and “Dots Fence.” The Nike TV spots “Tag,” “Tailgating” and “Shade Running” earned four silvers.

A gold also went to TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, for its “Absolut L.A.” billboard, featuring headshots of about 80 hopeful actors in the shape of the Absolut bottle. The San Francisco office of TBWA\C\D won four silvers for the Fox Sports spots “Boat,” “Leaf Blower” and “Nailgun,” which show factory workers distracted on the job by Fox baseball games. Wirz Werbung AG, Zurich, Switzerland, won the final gold for a 30-second TV PSA, “Fight Violence,” for the Foundation Against Racism and Anti-Semitism.

The awards will be presented at a June 6 gala at the ADC gallery. The winners will be exhibited there until mid-July.

DDB ‘Heroes’ Triumph at ADC Adding Fuel to the Freaks The Magic Fades People

Fallon’s first work for the National Oilheat Research Alliance—a coalition of 8,000 oil-heat distributors—features a family of clean freaks who live in a white house with a white carpet, white walls, white furniture, even framed “art” of a bar of soap. The message: Oil heat is clean. Or, as the tagline says, “The choice of clean homes everywhere.” The fam ily of four interacts with outsiders, such as the daughter’s date and a couple from the neighborhood, covered from head to toe in plastic bags. In one spot, the husband and wife are playing cards with the neighbors, who are wearing plastic gloves to be polite. At one point, her husband offers to wash his neighbor’s pants. “Don’t start with me, Frank,” says the neighbor, who adds, “It starts with the pants. Then you’re going to tell me how clean your oil heat is. Then you’re going to come to my house and wash my roof.” The neighbors leave in a huff, but not before getting in a parting shot: “We don’t need your cleaner-than-thou attitude.” Other spots feature the grade-school-age son, who has a nightmare about a “dust ball” in one ad and gets quizzed by his father about cleanliness in another. The first of four spots, all directed by Phil Morrison (Arnold’s “Mr. Roboto” spot for Volkswagen), broke two weeks ago. Radio and print will follow. Fallon landed the $10 million-plus account last summer.

Battered by the downturn in the ad market, Industrial Light & Magic Commercial Production plans to close this summer. The visual-effects house, whose recent credits include Budweiser’s “Come Home” Super Bowl spot from DDB Chicago and the launch campaign for XM Satellite Radio from TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., aims to complete current projects and shut down by June 28. Since Industrial Light & Magic launched the division in 1989, it has produced commercials for companies such as SuperCuts, First Union Bank, Alcatel and Gatorade. After the division closes, ILM plans to continue limited commercial production for key clients.

Copywriter Linus Karls son and art director Paul Malmstrom, the Fallon creative team known for surreal work for MTV (“Yukka Bros.”) and Miller Lite (“Dick”), have landed at the agency’s New York office after about five years in Minneapolis. Referred to informally as “the Swedes,” they have already contributed to new-business efforts in New York and a campaign for And1, which broke last month. Karlsson and Malmstrom are expected to remain in New York at least through the end of the year, says the office’s executive creative director, Kevin Roddy. Separately, Roddy is seeking a creative director with a strong design sense to serve as his partner. He also is searching for a “midlevel” creative team as the shop regroups after several rounds of layoffs.