Creative Briefs

Close-up – Set Design: Big and Beautiful

Influences ranging from German mil itary bunkers to the cement architecture of Louis Kahn can be detected in the set of an upcoming print ad for Epson Multimedia Projectors from DDB, Los Angeles.

Set designer Vincent Mazeau of Big Room, New York, created the unusually large set (it was 40-by-24 feet and 12 feet high), which portrays an underground clean-room where Epson engineers proudly display their creation. Mazeau used a variety of materials, from stainless-steel laminate (to create lightweight walls that look like solid steel) to anti-fatigue floor mats (the kind that operators of industrial machinery stand on to reduce physical stress). The vault door, which pivots in the middle, rather than on one side, was a particularly tricky creation, Mazeau says.

“I like the way he works: He thinks before he builds,” says campaign photographer Craig Cutler of Art & Commerce, New York. “What he builds actually functions.”

The ad will break in August.

Simply Irresistible

NEW YORK—Male exotic dancers got nothing on mayonnaise.

That’s one conclusion to be gleaned from Lowe’s first work for Hellmann’s since the agency landed the Unilever Bestfoods product in a global brand realignment last year. Two TV spots breaking this week use humorous, exaggerated plot lines to illustrate a single-minded devotion to the brand. They also introduce a new tagline, “Hellmann’s at its best,” which replaces the long-standing, “Bring out the best.”

In “Bachelorette Party,” muscular dancers in vests and black pants gyrate to a cheesy R&B song. Oblivious to the show, four women chitchat around a buffet table that includes Hellmann’s—until one dancer cries out, “Ladies!” They look up briefly, only to return to the spread.

The other spot, “Vault,” shows a security guard tied to a chair outside an open vault, no doubt the victim of a heist. He struggles to hop across the room toward a phone. But once he reaches it, he notices a sandwich slathered with Hellmann’s and dives nose-first into the snack.

“People love [Hellmann’s], they just don’t talk about it,” explains Gary Goldsmith, chief creative officer at the New York shop. “This campaign should change that.”

The art director was Michael Vitiello, the copywriter Seth Fried and the producer Steve Ford.

The brand’s last TV work, from BBDO, was set in a diner and featured a bespectacled boy savoring a turkey sandwich with Hellmann’s.

Simply Irresistible Soccer on the Brain An American-Indian First Wedded Bliss

A mysterious new illness causes involuntary movements that look suspiciously like soccer moves. Fortunately, the malady exists only in the imaginations of the 180\TBWA creatives who crafted an Adidas campaign monitoring the outbreak of “football itis.” Touting the client’s sponsorship of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the global campaign will break May 1. The idea came from the 180 creative team in Amsterdam, which partners with TBWA\Chiat\ Day on the Adidas account. The series of 11 spots was directed by Traktor in its offbeat, retro style and center on research at the “Institute for the Study of Footballitis.” Soccer players jump uncontrollably and kick their legs in the air while scientists take frenzied notes. One scientist concludes, “There is no known cure, but we are working on an ointment.” Adidas soccer pros including David Beckham, Zine dine Zidane, Fabien Barthez and Alessandro Del Piero make appearances. “Adidas has such a long history of being the premier soccer brand,” says Peter McHugh, executive creative director at 180. “We wanted to reignite its leadership and obsessive passion for soccer.”

An American-Indian First

“It’s been kind of a battle,” says Michael Gray of his efforts to get the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to approve the first anti-drug spots aimed at American Indians. Gray is president and creative director of American Indian shop G&G Advertising in Albuquerque, N.M., which previously has created print and radio for the ONDCP and its lead agency, Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Gray planned the two-spot campaign, which breaks this week in 20 markets, for a year. He tested storyboards around the country to ensure that the ads would ring true to American Indians—and to persuade the ONDCP that they were resonating with the target. Joe Pytka directed the spots, shot last month in Moab, Utah; Los Angeles; and on the Navajo reservation in Monument Valley, Ariz. “Joe has a wonderful way of working with American Indian people—he really dives into understanding particular tribes,” Gray says. One spot juxtaposes tribal dances and games with modern-day activities. The tag is, “Native pride. My anti-drug.”

For the first time, The Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education is honoring commercials as part of its annual Smart Marriage Image Awards. Nominations are still open for the awards, which recognize research, activism and media content that help create a climate supportive of marriage. Winning spots will demonstrate, for example, that marriage can be sexy or that enduring marriages are as romantic as new relationships. Strong contenders so far include Dannon’s “French Maid” spot from Young & Rubicam, New York, and “Hands,” a “Diamond is forever” spot from J. Walter Thompson, New York. Awards will be handed out in July in Washington, D.C.