Creative Briefs

PC Users, Take That!

LOS ANGELES—In an unusual twist on the typical cattle-call casting session, the people in the new TV and print ads for Apple Computer were culled not from a slew of Hollywood hopefuls but from a group of some 10,000 former PC users who wrote to the company to proclaim their love for Apple.

The estimated $50 million national campaign from TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., broke last week with an open-ended media run. Documentarian Errol Morris filmed the Apple converts against a white backdrop as they discuss why they made the switch. The testimonials are set to a plodding bluegrass ditty. “Mac OSX gets out of your way,” says one man, “whereas Windows wants to constantly be in your face.”

The effort is one of Apple’s most direct and aggressive challenges to the PC market in recent years. Last year, spots referred to the company’s determination to raise its percentage share of the market with the theme, “5 down, 95 to go.” Two years ago, it used a snail to ridicule the comparative slowness of the Pentium chip.

According to Apple, the eight people in the ads were chosen for their race, age and gender diversity, and for their varying occupations, from Windows LAN administrator to DJ.

The campaign is designed to dovetail with Apple’s push into the retail business. So far it has opened 30 stores in high-traffic areas such as malls where consumers are apt to wander in out of curiosity.

PC Users, Take That! Java Juice Mood Lifter Johnnie Keeps Walking Lost Highway Fish Tales

Java Juice

Starbucks launches its Doubleshot drink with a five-spot campaign breaking this week on national cable TV. The animated spots from Fallon, New York, which also promote Starbucks’ Frappuccino, are set on a little imaginary planet populated solely by a young, hip coffee drinker. “We like to call him Joe,” says executive creative director Kevin Roddy. In one, Joe trudges through what looks like deep mud; he is able to walk on the surface of the planet only after drinking his Doubleshot. The creative team, including art directors Jeff Hale and Dave Mashburn, worked with New York animation/design house Psyop on Joe’s world. “It has its own rules and its own physics,” says Psyop’s Kylie Matulick, who worked with fellow directors/ designers Todd Mueller and Marie Hyon on the project. Justin Booth-Clibborn was executive producer. Storylines and color palettes were adjusted for each product. For Doubleshot, a strong espresso with cream, Joe is active and the colors are brighter than for the mocha Frappuccino. Original music was done by Yo La Tengo.

Mood Lifter

Compared to its outrageous predecessors, the 12th annual Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase, to be held in Cannes this week, will be a little less flamboyant. Last year, Saatchi commissioned a short film, The Reel Truth, a sequel to the runaway Internet hit Truth in Advertising. Wednesday’s show, themed “Bright Sparks,” will hopefully provide a light spot amid the gloom and doom of a rough year, says Deborah Peake, executive director for the worldwide creative board at Saatchi in London. The group reviewed 500 reels from directors around the world with less that two years’ experience to find the 24 featured in the show. Names to watch out for include Christian Loubek, Philip Atwell and Jay Chandrasekhar.

Johnnie Keeps Walking

Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s first U.S. TV work for Johnnie Walker continues to position the scotch as the brand for smart, aggressive go-getters. Two ads feature the “Keep walking” tagline. In one, set in an upscale restaurant, a man in his late 20s pitches a business idea to investors. Afterward, he returns the “props” he used in the meeting—a laptop, blazer and watch, and ends up in a kitchen, donning an apron. The other spot, a “Drink responsibly” effort, shows a guy who keeps leaving messages for a prospective employer to show that “too much of anything can be a bad thing.” Thomas Hayo was the art director and Josh Miller the copywriter on “Follow-up.” Peter Kain was the copywriter and Gianfranco Arena the art director on “Restaurant.”

Lost Highway

A lost couple consult a map. “How could we have missed the Grand Canyon?” the wife says. Simple. The map is the Monopoly America Edition gameboard. The deadpan ad, breaking today from Arnold McGrath, New York, was directed by Tony Kaye and is part of a campaign Kaye helmed that will roll out in the coming months to promote new and classic versions of Hasbro games. “I really like how [Kaye] portrays the kids looking a little askance at their parents,” says Arnold chief creative officer Rochelle Klein. “There’s one absurd premise, but the rest is very natural.” The art director was Steve Magee, the copywriter Andrew Cahill.

Fish Tales

Young & Rubicam’s latest outdoor work for the New York Aquarium, featuring the tagline “See life,” blends bright photos of sea creatures with one-word captions such as “Contrast” and “Volume.” The words appear next to the bars that show up on a TV when the levels are adjusted by a remote control. The nudge: Get your kids away from the tube and take them to the aquarium, says Ross Sutherland, an ecd at the New York shop. “It’s hard to advertise fish,” he notes. The art director was Yutaro Kojima, the copywriter John Battle and the creative director Betsy Petropoulos.