It Takes a Global Village in L.A.

If the best defense is a good offense, then Gold Coast Advertising’s new creative approach for Office Depot may keep the wolves at bay.

The account of the Delray Beach, Fla., client has been in review since December. Planning and buying, performed by SFM Media in New York, are not in question.

Gold Coast held the $60 million account from 1987 to 1996, when the retailer handed its business to J. Walter Thompson in Chicago. Wyse Advertising in Cleveland then acquired it but lost it to New York’s DeVito/Verdi. In October 1999, Miami’s Gold Coast regained the business, which it helped launch and is now defending against BBDO in New York and DDB Chicago.

The latest ad broke in late January and will air this quarter on network television. Five-second promo and category intro tags will be added to selected spots later this year.

While retaining the “Taking care of business” theme, Gold Coast departs from previous cozy glimpses into customers’ lives with a 60-second montage of vignettes targeting small and midsize businesses around the world.

Director Marcus Nispel created village scenes at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. In the backgrounds of a Latin American marketplace, Bavarian town and an Israeli schoolroom, Office Depot trucks brand the client as a global leader of business and educational supplies and products.

“The beauty of working with Marcus is that he’s able to re-create the look of these countries without requiring us to travel,” said Stuart Dornfield, agency president and creative director. “He has a wonderful eye for making these scenes feel real.”

“Nobody in the world sells more office products to more businesses than Office Depot,” says the voiceover as the spot introduces some 30 vignettes of the client’s three distribution channels: retail, e-commerce and catalogs. “We needed to demonstrate how each channel works in various countries,” said Dornfield. “We had an equal representation of the trucks, the Web sites and the stores.”

Office Depot is seeking an agency with a worldwide reputation, sources said. According to Dornfield, the global positioning of the current spot was presented four months ago. “Few can understand this business better than we can because we’ve lived it from the beginning,” he said.