Creative Briefs

Food Fight

NEW YORK—Trying hard not to look like advertising, Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s latest work for Lipton foods is a cross between a World’s Strongest Man competition and Iron Chef.

Three spots, the first of which breaks this week, depict moms squaring off in a series of bizarre contests, each with the goal of quickly creating a delicious meal. Directed by Traktor, the work has a decidedly cheesy feel, thanks to the use of video and the set, which includes make-shift kitchens, AstroTurf and a bleacher full of fans. There’s also a referee and some cheerleaders.

“It’s like programming—that’s the look and feel of it,” says executive creative director Kevin McKeon.

The “Dinner Games” take many forms. In one, the mom who gets all three “kids” to the table first wins. The kids, actually 300-pound men with goatees, have to be lured from mud pits. One man-boy flips the table over in disgust at his mom’s white rice. The spot ends with the winner getting her son to dinner with Lipton Beef Lo Mein Noodles.

Another spot depicts two moms racing in beat-up minivans. A third commercial shows moms trying to cook while obstacles such as an unhelpful husband get in the way. The $25 million campaign uses the tagline, “A little help from dinner.” It includes print and connects to a contest featuring tamer games.

The creative team included group creative director Thomas Hayo, copywriter Peter Kain, art director Gianfranco Arena and executive producer Mary Cheney.

Food Fight Calling Mr. Sandman The Green Mile Lone Star

Good thing Sealy doesn’t make rugs. Or cars. Otherwise, dates and other activities would come to a quick halt, according to a new campaign from Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C. TV spots that broke last week during the Ken tucky Derby broadcast feature scenarios in which other “products” made by Sealy are so comfortable, they cause the user to fall fast asleep. In one, a couple sit side-by-side on a fluffy white rug, with the man struggling to tell the woman what she means to him. The woman remarks, “Nice rug,” and he responds, “It’s a Sealy, and I …” He’s interrupted when the woman falls backward and passes out. “This is why we don’t make rugs,” a voiceover says.

In another spot, a man admires a car in a showroom. A salesman invites him to get behind the wheel and mentions that it’s made by Sealy; the shopper’s head immediately hits the steering wheel, oblivious to the blaring horn. Both spots close with the tag, “It’s made for sleep. It’s a Sealy.” The campaign runs through the summer on network and cable stations.

Going green has taken on a new meaning for Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles. To promote Toyota’s RAV4 EV—an electric version of the automaker’s RAV4 sport utility vehicle available only in California—the agency created living billboards featuring a combination of silk and real vines and flowers. They’re meant to “visually communicate how good this product is for the environment,” says Saatchi & Saatchi chief creative officer Steve Rabosky. “Using all plastic and silk didn’t seem right, given the nature of the product.” The target? “Environmentally sensitive people, but not necessarily classic tree huggers,” Rabosky says. The boards were placed in Los Angeles and, naturally, Berkeley. They have required more than the standard amount of work, particularly for L.A. production company Atomic Props. “They send somebody over there every couple of days to water the live vines,” Rabosky says. Longtime Chicago creative Phil Gay ter is working with an old client at a new address. Gayter started his own shop, Shooting Star, shortly after he was let go in one of several rounds of layoffs at Euro RSCG Tatham late last year. His partner is veteran client-side executive Mark Stroh, previously at Chicago hot dog icon Vienna Beef and, more recently, an IT consultancy. Shooting Star recently shot two commercials for Beltone, a hearing-aid marketer that was a Tatham client until spending dropped off to project level last year. The spots, which are set to break next month, use actor Peter Graves as a pitchman.

Gayter was a group creative director at Leo Burnett for 11 years before joining Tath am in the same role three years ago with partner Joe Gallo (who has also left Tatham and will work with Shooting Star on a freelance basis). One of the attractions of the new gig, Gayter says, is his short commute to the agency’s storefront office in his hometown of Lake Bluff, 35 miles north of downtown Chicago. Gaytor plans to take advantage of his locale by putting up advertising for clients in the window.