New Campaigns

Client: Altec Lansing Technologies, Milford, Pa.
Agency: Hampel/Stefanides, New York
Creative Director/Art Director: Dean Stefanides
Creative Director/Copywriter: Larry Hampel
Account Director: Bob Ireland
Photographer: James Salzano
Altec Lansing, a leader in the high-end computer audio market, bows the tagline “Sound with vision” in a new print campaign by Hampel/Stefanides. The work is the agency’s first since winning the estimated $3-5 million account from New York shop Anderson & Lembke in June, without a review. The first execution sports a striking visual of a man seated calmly in front of his personal computer in the middle of a stampede of zebras. He stares intently into his computer screen, seemingly oblivious to the danger that surrounds him. The first line of body copy, set off from the rest in bold typeface, asserts “No other computer speakers get you this close.” This phrase will also appear in subsequent executions to play off the power and clarity of Altec Lansing speakers. “We want people to know Altec Lansing computer speakers provide the most realistic sound quality in computers and these ads visually evoke that in a powerful way,” said agency president Brian Goodall. The two-page spread, intended to reinforce the company’s positioning as a key player in digital multimedia via its True Digital Audio technology, is framed by a pair of inset product shots in its upper corners. Previous ads from Anderson & Lembke featured a firecracker ready to explode with the headline, “A soft sizzle is replaced very suddenly by pure adrenaline. That’s True Digital Audio.” There was no tagline. Hampel’s campaign will break in September issues of personal computer publications such as Yahoo Internet Life. –Hank Kim

Client: Comedy Central, New York
Agency: Dweck & Campbell, New York
Creative Directors/Copywriters: Lori Campbell, Steve Pearson and Scott Vitrone Director: Hank Perlman
If Comedy Central’s new wave of spots–22 of which will roll out over the next few weeks–have a similar feel to Wieden & Kennedy’s work for ESPN SportsCenter, it should come as no surprise: The spots were directed by Hank Perlman, who co-directed the ESPN ads that also featured Craig Kilborn, formerly a SportsCenter anchor and now host of Comedy Central’s sarcastic The Daily Show. As with Wieden and ESPN, agency Dweck & Campbell is hoping Comedy Central’s campaign will develop a following of its own as each new spot airs. Each ad revolves around Larry Shanet, the fictitious and irritable president of the network, as he interacts with Comedy Central’s stars, either in his office or in the boardroom. Shanet also happens to be a clown–an expert on comedy. In one spot, Kilborn approaches Shanet to complain that his show is “too mean,” and asks if he can’t become nicer on air. Shanet yells his reply: “Mean is kicking your wimpy blond ass on out of here, pal!” In another, Shanet wants Ben Stein, the comically dull host of Win Ben Stein’s Money, to “spice up his image.” He asks if Stein has ever done anything dangerous or criminal. Stein’s response: a monotone “no.” Comedy Central initially approached D&C after being impressed by the agency’s reel of humorous ads. One hilarious Dial-A-Mattress spot on that compilation, “Squirrel” (featuring a man in a squirrel suit who needs a mattress to hibernate for the winter), won a gold Lion in Cannes. “The President’s Campaign” is a change from previous agency Holland Advertising’s “Save World Sanity” effort, in which Neighborhood Sanity Watch officer “Jackson” saves the day by exposing viewers to Comedy Central. This year’s ad budget: about $5 million. — Lori Lefevre