golden opportunity

Like many who live normally quiet lives in normally quiet Salt Lake City, the staff at ad agency Love Communi cations had some doubts about hosting the Olympic Games. But then, like a surprise snowstorm on a barren ski slope, a plum assign ment fell in their lap.

The shop, which shares Utah’s anti-tobacco account with crosstown agency Crowell & Asso ciates, was asked if it wouldn’t mind making a few national anti-smoking ads featuring U.S. athletes from the Games. The work was requested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Like a lot of people here, we had some trepidation about having the Olympics in Salt Lake,” said John Youn gren, a group account director. “But it turned out we were in the right place at the right time. We ended up having access to world-class athletes who volun teered to be in the spots.”

All told, the shop created ten 30-second spots showing athletes offering their own perspective on smoking, including one story about a loved one who died from lung cancer. “There was no script,” Youngren said. “The athletes just ad-libbed to express their own point of view.”