Creative Briefs

Close-Up: DirectorDoctor Denim

Ivan Zacharias has landed one of the most coveted creative assignments around: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York’s first campaign for Levi’s, which is set to debut in July. The Czech director, represented in the U.S. by 2-month-old Villains satellite Smuggler, will direct the commercials in South Africa next month for the San Francisco apparel maker.

Zacharias has directed numerous award-winning spots, including Stella Artois’ “Doctor” out of Lowe Lintas, London. In the commercial, a physician who is ostracized for having treated victims of the plague is temporarily redeemed when a priest shares his Stella Artois. The ad recently won Best Commercial honors at the British Television Advertising Awards and is a favorite for a Cannes Lion.

Zacharias won a gold Lion in 2000 for Land Rover’s “Born Free” out of WCRS, London (below). In the spot, a group of men release a the Freelander SUV into the wild to join others of its kind.

Track Record

BOSTON—Every year after the horses cross the finish line at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Lawrence Jones paints the victor’s colors on the weather vane at the Pim lico racetrack. It’s the kind of long-standing tradition that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is known for, a 125-year heritage that is the focus of a set of new spots.

Conover Tuttle in Lynnfield, Mass., created the 30-second TV commercials promoting races sponsored by the NTRA.

The Preakness takes place May 18, and Jones will have his brushes at the ready. “His work never hung in the Met, the Louvre or any other museum,” a voiceover says. “It won’t demand millions at Sotheby’s. In fact, it’s probably more blue collar than blue period. But Lawrence Jones can take pride in knowing his work belongs to an even greater institution—the simple painting of the winning horse’s colors at the Preakness.”

That tradition dates back almost 100 years, according to Chip Tuttle, evp and cd at the shop. “The events have a rich, glorious tradition,” he says. “We want to tap into the tradition somehow, but in a way that’s fresh and contemporary.”

An Irish pub served as the setting for a spot that promoted the Kentucky Derby, held on May 4. The agency is planning more spots promoting other upcoming events.

Track Record Sub Par? The Truth Is Out There Young Creatives People

Sub Par?

Jared gets his comeuppance in a new Kaplan Thaler Group campaign for Blimpie. In a 30-second teaser spot that broke last week, a man meets up with a female friend, played by an upside-down mop. She attributes her skinny figure to a diet that she saw “in that commercial where the guy loses weight eating subs,” a jab at Subway’s Jared Fogle. When the man asks how she can eat the “presliced deli meat,” she explains, “I don’t. That’s why I’m so skinny.” Two more spots—the core of the $15 million campaign—will break May 20. The work will use “hyper bolic executions where anyone, anywhere will want a Blimpie over anything else that’s offered to them,” says Linda Kaplan Thaler, the shop’s CEO and chief creative officer. In one spot, a couple thinks their baby is asking for her “binky,” but it turns out she wants her father’s Blimpie sandwich. The assertive youngster kicks her dad, and the sandwich flies into her bassinet. The last shot shows the sandwich in her mouth, poking out of her cheeks. The other ad features a pet fish that swallows a Blimpie whole. A new one-line jingle, “I Want My Blimpie,” was composed by Thaler’s husband, Fred Thaler of Macrose Music, New York.

Long known as the only major awards show that considers advertising effectiveness, the Effie Awards this year turns to truth in advertising—in a sense. Colin Moch rie, co-star of Tim Hamilton’s 2000 ad-industry spoof, Truth in Advertising, is set to host the 34th annual awards show June 5 in New York. Mary Lee Keane, executive director of the New York American Marketing Association, which owns the Effies, wasn’t aware of the Truth connection when Moch rie was booked but says, “Ad agency people have good senses of humor and usually like people who take risks.” Mochrie played a marketing director in the acerbic short, originally created for a Canadian ad-industry show but then widely cir culated in the industry. Mochrie stars in ABC’s Whose Line Is It Any way? and has appeared in commercials for Mohegan Sun and SunAmerica.

Young Creatives

Rebecca Peterson and Stephen Lundberg of Lowe, New York, will represent the U.S. in the annual Young Creative Competition at the International Advertising Festival at Cannes. They win a trip to the festival from co-sponsor Susan Friedman Ltd., New York, and will compete with international teams in a 24-hour marathon to create a nonprofit/public-service ad.

Julio Desir, a partner in the short-lived venture of Rathbone, Monca leano, Desir, has joined Burrell Communications in Chicago as a group creative director. He will work on accounts including McDonald’s, Verizon, Sears, Roebuck and Procter & Gamble at the African American shop. … Art director Mike MacNeill and copywriter Mark Abellera joined Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, New York, as a creative team. MacNeill was previously a freelancer; Abel lera was most recently a senior writer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.