New Campaigns

Client: Buffets, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.
Agency: BBDO/Minneapolis
Art Director: Steve Michels-Boyce
Copywriter: Peggy Poore
Directors: David Rosen and Laurie Rubin.
Buffets, Inc., the parent company of Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Country Buffet, continues its “What’s on your plate?” campaign for those restaurants with four new TV spots. Two of the ads bring back Sam, the company’s 12-year-old spokesboy. In “Waiters,” Sam notes that Old Country Buffet has no waiters, which means no waiting. “Look I’m eating, not waiting,” he says. In a second spot, “Chicken,” Sam points out the diversity of the menu, suggesting he needn’t worry about finding something he wants.
The campaign continues without Sam in two other spots. “Car Kids” opens with two children arguing in the back seat of a car over what they want for dinner. One wants chicken, the other spaghetti. When mom takes them to Old Country Buffet, they each declare themselves the winner, prompting another fight. In the fourth spot, a woman can’t decide what to eat because the restaurant has so many choices. “What are you going to have?” she asks her exasperated husband, who’s already eating.
“The spots are all done in good fun, yet they make important points about the problems consumers face at other restaurants,” said Steve Michels-Boyce, art director at BBDO/Minneapolis. –Aaron Baar

Client: The Flood Company, Hudson, Ohio
Agency: Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications, Cleveland
Creative Director: Chris Perry
Art Directors: Ted Kolozsvary, Sue Prue
Copywriter: Rick Riley
Director: David Rosen
Employees of The Flood Company take their wood seriously, as Meldrum & Fewsmith’s new campaign makes clear. The paint additive and wood care product company’s inaugural branding effort includes a TV spot that humorously depicts the company’s “wood school,” an actual place where Flood employees learn about the many qualities of wood.
The 30-second spot opens with instructor Mike McEnroe explaining that all wood is porous, like thousands of tiny straws packed together. As the students view educational films about wood quality, one turns to the camera and whispers to viewers that the school is mandatory for all employees. The spot closes with one pupil correctly naming all the types of wood McEnroe is holding. The tagline for the campaign is, “Flood. How wood should be treated.”
The TV work, which is airing on national cable networks including ESPN and USA, will be complemented by a print campaign that aims to educate consumers about wood care products. –Aaron Baar

Client: Blue Coral/Slick 50, Cleveland
Agency: Stern Advertising, Peper Pike, Ohio
Creative Director: Tom Papadimoulis
Copywriter: Mark Thompson
Associate Producer: Laura Romis-Levine
Stern Advertising’s first work for Rain-X, a water repellent for vehicular windshields and windows, takes a dramatic look at the product’s attributes. The TV spot was shot with dim light in an abandoned brewery outside Los Angeles, a place replete with giant exhaust fans.
It features a car buffeted by wind and rain and employing the reliable side-by-side test: one half of the car’s windshield is treated with Rain-X, the other is not. The water, of course, sheets off the Rain-X side.
“The idea was more or less to recreate a test situation,” said Tom Papadimoulis, the creative director. “We just made it a little more dramatic, a little more inviting visually.”
The ad, which broke March 27 and is targeted toward male viewers of ESPN, attempts to remind people how dangerous driving at night through a storm can be, a clanging soundtrack giving an ominous backdrop to the postapocalyptic setting. The dark and dangerous atmosphere is abetted by the appearance of a man wearing a long black coat who is observing the test.
“We weren’t quite trying to put the fear of God in people, just make it seem a little more serious,” Papadimoulis said. –Trevor Jensen