Life Beyond Live Action

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. Advertising is a changing industry, but the stalwart TV spot still reigns. But how do you get people’s attention with a TV spot in an increasingly cluttered media landscape? Mark Tutssel, Clio Awards’TV and Cinema chair, recommends taking another look at animation.

In a speech at the Clio Awards Festival on Tuesday, accompanied by video of several examples of animation in advertising, Tutssel urged the crowd to make spots “fresh, interesting and engaging” so people watching would be entertained.

“I don’t think people have lost their ability to watch TV ads, he said. “Instead, I think the industry has lost the ability to write great TV ads.”

He screened the gold Lion-winning Evian spot by Euro RSCG in Paris, “Waterboy,” which shows an animated figure made out of water stomping around and singing “We Will Rock You,” as an example of work that “dared to be different.”

“I’m not standing here advocating that animation is the answer,” he said. “I’m standing here asking you to realize all of the options out there.”

Other spots the Leo Burnett worldwide deputy chief creative officer showed included MTV’s “Instructoart” campaign, NSPCC’s wrenching “Cartoon” ofan animated boy being abused, the “Got milk?” campaign’s “Russian Family” ad featuring the Pillsbury doughboy, and Diesel’s short film by animator Pez, who re-creates an air strike with found objects such as Christmas tree balls.

He urged people to strive for originality, not only in ideas, but in execution as well. Two companies creating outstanding visual executions are Aardman Animation and Pixar Entertainment, Tutssel noted.

Animated shows like The Simpsons break new ground, so “why can’t ads do the same?” Tutssel, who is based in Chicago, asked.

Tutssel, who began his presentation with a video showing himself inserted into animated TV ads and artwork, including the Mona Lisa, Honda’s “Grrr” and memorably an Apple iPod “Silhouette” spot, concluded by screening in full the “Grrr” spot, which carries the tagline “The Power of Dreams.”

“‘The Power of Dreams,’ I think that sums it up,” he concluded.

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