Sexy Saatchi Ads Hit Target

Eleftheria Parpis’ article, “Risqué Business” [A&C, July 8], was excellent, with one exception: I have to disagree with her comments about Saatchi’s Club 18-30 print work being “an easy sex joke.”

With the Internet making award-show material accessible to everyone who can type ‘www.adweek.com,’ we’ve all become judges. But most of us aren’t the target, and we haven’t the slightest idea about the problem the ads are trying to solve.

It isn’t that Club 18-30 is using sex to get noticed—the brand is all about sex. The true brilliance of Saatchi’s work is that it understands precisely how the target relates to the brand.

While every Brit knows that Club 18-30 has been offering the promise of sex for the last 20 years, Saatchi found a smart way to fit the brand back into popular culture and make it relevant.

To truly critique the advertising, we either need to be the 20-year-old sex-crazed Brits the ads are designed for, or be willing to imagine how they would see it. Club 18-30 never intended their ads to attract 45-year-olds living in Leeds or even Des Moines, Iowa.

Ed Cotton

Director of account planning

Butler, Shine and Stern

Sausalito, Calif.

Judging Wine by the Glass?

Comparing Nike and Microsoft’s Xbox’s similar ‘Play’ themes while he was jury chair of the International Advertising Festival in Cannes (Nike’s is “Play,” while Xbox’s is “Life is short, play more”) Jeff Goodby wrote: “Xbox tells you life is short, please spend it in front of a computer killing aliens. That does it. On the next ballot, Nike wins big” [Creative, July 1].

With all deference due Goodby and the other jurors, this seems a startling admission of having judged the wine by the glass, the glass itself that is. Aren’t video games and athletic shoes simply the transparent stimulus for these remarkable ads? Does hauling out value judgements on the product categories as an eleventh-hour tie-breaker seem fair to either piece?

George Tucker

Creative director

Tucker and Partners

Berkeley, Calif.

For the record: In a news story [July 22], the name of Nissan’s Altima model was misspelled in a caption.