New Campaigns

Client: Blockbuster, Dallas
Agency: Young & Rubicam, New York
Executive creative directors: Manny Perez, Peter Murphy
Creative directors: Randy Van Kleeck, Nelson Martinez
Art directors: Martinez, Paul Safsel, Peter Rosch, Ron Arnold
Copywriters: Van Kleeck, Darren Wright, David Leite
New TV spots for Blockbuster Video keep the tagline “Go home happy,” but little else–three spots, which broke last week, take wildly different approaches. One cinematic ad begins with felons boarding a bus outside a desert prison. Upon returning from a trip along a dusty road, they emerge all smiles, clutching videos. The voiceover: “It ain’t easy getting out of the house. That’s why each week Blockbuster guarantees select new releases will be here, so everyone gets their movies and goes home happy.” Another bemoans the time it takes for theatrical releases to reach TV. A jellyfish evolves several stages before becoming a pot-bellied, middle-aged man, still waiting for something to appear on the screen. Y&R’s recent efforts have featured a computer-generated dancing baby and comedian Richard Lewis. Creative variety was the goal, the client said. Variety is also Blockbuster’s rule when it comes to agencies; its roster includes Bernstein-Rein Advertising and W.B. Doner & Co. Another three Y&R spots will break in July and August. The client has budgeted $80-100 million for video store ads this year. –Andrew McMains

Client: Equinox Fitness Clubs, New York
Agency: Anton & Partners, New York
Creative Directors: David Anton, Scott Cimock
Art Directors: Cimock, Scott Bassen
Copywriters: Anton, David Rosen
Photographer: Frank Herholdt
The next stage of Equinox’s entertaining war with Crunch Fitness includes three print and outdoor ads that, like the TV spots which broke last November, contain humorous tableaux in which improved fitness might be useful. One of Anton & Partners’ ads riffs on the serial-killer-vs.-sorority-girl scenario beloved in horror movies. The tables are turned, however, as the pigtailed heroine has obviously been working out at Equinox: The masked ax murderer lies hog-tied in her hair dryer cord. Another shows a mafia type sprawled on a pier near New York’s East River. Dripping wet, his feet are encased in a cement block. The implication is that, despite being sent to sleep with the fishes, he was fit enough to swim to safety. A third ad shows a pale, tanned Sumo wrester who is so trim that he has to hold his oversized Sumo belt up with his hands. “Get results” remains the tagline. Unlike Crunch (and DDB Needham’s oddball loner in a bunny suit) which makes “no judgements” about its customers, Equinox is after stressed-out, high-strung, athletically minded New Yorkers who might desire superhuman strength. Equinox budgeted approximately $2 million overall for the launch of the campaign. Ads will appear outdoors first in July, before making their way into New York magazines such as Hamptons in the fall. –Sloane Lucas