Inside Joke

Putting agency staffers’ names in ads is a time-honored industry tradition, but Ground Zero has taken the practice to absurd lengths.
Characters in three movie-trailer ads from the Marina del Rey, Calif., agency on behalf of the Los Angeles Times are named after someone who works at the shop, a friend of someone who works there, someone who used to work there and even the husband of someone who used to work there. (The name of the latter, Rohitash Rao, was too good for the creatives to pass up.)
The in-theatre spots lampoon the famously callow nature of local broadcasting, following faux “news stories” including a low-speed cop chase starring a grandmother and “breaking news” about Donny Osmond being arrested on suspicion of murdering his goldfish.
Featured in the spots are characters with the names of former media director Chuck Labiner, head of broadcast production Trish Phelan, MIS head Tom Goodson, assistant office manager Kimba Rogers, brand manager Janine Carlson and Martha Garcia, a friend of one of the agency’s copywriters.
“We have the name skills but not the acting skills,” summed up Andrew Gledhill, agency president.