What’s New: Portfolio



By Mark Dolliver





CALIFORNIA’S ANTI-TOBACCO CAMPAIGN





Among the reasons for death to be not proud, it’s pretty useless in ads that seek to dissuade people from smoking. Especially among young folks, the prospect of dying is too remote to discourage indulgence in pleasures of the moment. If anything, the risks enhance the glamor of tobacco for those who wish to show the world how tough they are. But this ad gives a shrewd twist to the mortality theme. The guy’s problem isn’t that he’ll die at some indefinite point in the future; it’s that he looks dorky right now. In short, the ad enlists the power of ridicule. Good idea. While lots of people shrug off moral disapprobation these days, the fear of looking ridiculous is as potent as ever. Instead of focusing our attention on health risks, the copy colors the way we perceive this social situation. A cigarette was once a natural accessory to black-tie elegance, but it serves here to highlight this fellow’s vapid grin. Judging from the look on her face, the woman he’s chatting up couldn’t care less if he dies–not the reaction men hope to elicit from attractive women. It isn’t the sort of ad that will prompt a smoker to kick the habit (if such a thing exists), but it chips away at the cachet of smoking.








AGENCY: Asher/Gould, Los Angeles





CLIENT: California Department of Health Services Tobacco Control Program, Sacramento





MEDIUM: outdoor





CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bruce Dundore





ART DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: Art Weeks





PHOTOGRAPHER: Myron Beck





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ARIZONA’S ANTI-TOBACCO CAMPAIGN





We know that fastidious people are disgusted by chewing tobacco. This spot shows that rodeo cowboys–and rodeo horses, for that matter–feel the same way. As one rider comes out of the chute, a voiceover drawls: ‘Ever wonder why horses buck?’ The answer becomes clear as we see the local hangers-on chewing tobacco and spitting the juice onto the rodeo grounds, where it forms an ocean of grossness. The horse does everything in his power to keep his hooves off the ground–hence the bucking. As the rider is thrown into the muck, the voiceover answers its own question: ‘Probably the same reason that guy doesn’t want to fall off.’ Like earlier executions in the series (mostly aimed at smoking), this one skips the lecture about tobacco’s long-term effects and focuses on its repulsive aspects in the here and now. With tobacco juice dribbling down their faces, the expectorating spectators don’t look like Wild West heroes; they look like slobs. Tapping into our squeamishness about falling into a pool of someone else’s spit, the spot dispels the masculine aura the product’s own ads toil to create.








AGENCY: Riester Corp., Phoenix





CLIENT: Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix





MEDIUM: 30-second TV





CREATIVE DIRECTOR: David Robb





ART DIRECTOR: Shawn Eichenauer





COPYWRITER: Tom Ortega





AGENCY PRODUCER: Louise Parker





PRODUCTION COMPANY: WertsFilms, Los Angeles





DIRECTOR: Bill Werts





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SAUZA TEQUILA





Considering that it features a horizontal naked woman with a shot of tequila perched on her body (along with the inevitable lime and salt), the ad seems remarkably tasteful. If only by contrast with the party-hearty oafishness that often marks the category’s ads, this one is coolly elegant. The connection between drinking Sauza and having sex could hardly be clearer, but it’s presented in an unsmirky way. The face bespeaks grown-up longing, not adolescent groping, and that elevates the stature of a product one connects with blotto 20-somethings throwing up on their way home from the bar. Sexual imagery in advertising often fails to make the product seem more seductive and instead makes sex seem less so. Popular wisdom says, ‘Sex sells,’ but the sexual sell is much trickier than people suppose. With its frank and giggle-free sensuality, this one gets it right.





AGENCY: Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York





CLIENT: Domecq Importers, Old Greenwich, Conn.





MEDIUM: outdoor





CREATIVE DIRECTOR/COPYWRITER: David Angelo





ART DIRECTOR: Greg Bell





PHOTOGRAPHERs: Herb Ritts, Steve Hellerstein





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TACO BELL





It’s one of the unwritten laws of food marketing: Don’t tell people the stuff you’re selling will inflict a disease on them. Taco Bell cheerfully breaks the rule in a spot featuring Taco Neck Syndrome–jauntily abbreviated as T.N.S. Sufferers of this syndrome have their necks chronically tilted sideways in the posture one adopts when shoveling a taco down the hatch. We see a scientist gravely discussing the epidemic, T.N.S. victims at a doctor’s office whose doorway has been altered to accommodate the tilted heads passing through it, a rehab program that trains taco eaters to alternate between right-side tilts and left-side tilts so their necks won’t lock in either position. The spot doesn’t say Taco Bell’s tacos are the tastiest on earth–which is just as well, since we wouldn’t believe such a claim anyway. Instead, its humor creates a plausible connection between Taco Bell and fun food.





People often take pride in their addictions to certain foods. So, even if Taco Bell doesn’t win over taco gourmets, the spot will appeal to taco gourmands. Even better!





AGENCY: Bozell Worldwide, Costa Mesa, Calif.





CLIENT: Taco Bell Corp., Irvine, Calif.





MEDIUM: 30-second TV





CREATIVE DIRECTORs: Harvey Hoffenberg, Jon Parkinson





ART DIRECTOR: Yvonne DeSanti





COPYWRITER: Chris Brown





AGENCY PRODUCER: Nancy Rose





PRODUCTION COMPANY: Lopes Picture Co., New York





DIRECTOR: Rob Lopes





Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





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