New Campaigns

Client: Formica Corp., Cincinnati
Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis
Creative Directors: Kerry Casey, Jud Smith
Art Director: Brian Kroening
Copywriter: Phil Calvit
Producer: Brenda Clemons
Photographer: Ron Crofoot
Formica, best known for its countertops, launches its first major consumer ad campaign for its laminate flooring with print work from Carmichael Lynch. The three ads mix gentle humor and straight-ahead product photography. One ad for bathroom flooring couples a photo of a garden fountain and the headline, “Imperfect aim,” to talk about product resiliency in an area of the house that’s difficult to discuss too graphically. Another, for basement flooring, can be a bit more overt, showing a steam iron with the headline, “Heavy things very seldom fall up.” An image of an overflowing dishwasher helps sell kitchen flooring in the third ad.
The ads, running in national lifestyle magazines, primarily target suburban homeowners looking to upgrade their homes’ interiors. Copy includes a toll-free number consumers can call for information and local dealer names. Those dealers can air a new 30-second TV spot locally. –Scott Hume

Client: American Electric Power, Columbus, Ohio
Agency: HMS Partners, Columbus
Executive Creative Director: Steve Fechtor
Art Director: Rocco Volpe
Copywriter: Mark Borcherding
Director: Leonardo Ricagni of Villain, Los Angeles
The recurring “AEP Guy” character, who popped up in unlikely places to offer energy information in this energy company’s past advertising, is gone. And while the tagline, “America’s energy partner,” continues, HMS Partners has moved to a more serious, business-targeted message.
“Rather than positioning AEP as a company just with ideas about power, the new advertising evolves to talking about powerful ideas,” said Steve Fechtor, HMS executive creative director. “Business does not run on new technology, new techniques or systems. Business runs on new ideas,” says a voiceover in one of two 30-second TV spots, which cast AEP as a business problem-solver. That shift in focus is important as deregulation not only allows consumers to choose energy providers, Fechtor said, but also moves energy companies into wider business roles.
The TV and print campaign is running regionally in the seven states, primarily in the Midwest, where AEP operates. –Scott Hume

Client: Garden Escape Inc., Austin, Texas
Agency: Arian, Lowe & Travis, Chicago
Creative Director/Director: Mike Fornwald
Art Director: David Estoye
Copywriter: Shannon Lavin
Producer: Lee Lunardi
Production Co.: Crossroads, Chicago
Just as changed the bookselling business, Garden Escape hopes, the Internet site it launched last year, will transform the gardening tools and supplies market.
To draw the increasing number of Internet-connected consumers to its online offering of 12,000 gardening products, the company this month broke a 15-second TV spot from Arian, Lowe & Travis in Chicago. In the spot, a bee flits from flower to flower in an enormous garden, prompting the voiceover question: “Is there such a thing as too much selection?” The spot, airing on the HGTV and A&E cable networks, closes with the Web site address.
Banner ads on other Internet sites coupled with traditional print ads complete the campaign. Former Better Homes and Gardens garden editor Doug Jimerson provides advice on the site and oversees’s online magazine.
–Scott Hume