What’s New: Portfolio

Franco Sarto Shoes For Women
AGENCY Needleman Pilla, New York
CLIENT Pentland USA, New York
MEDIUM consumer magazines
No question, this campaign gives Franco Sarto a distinct persona. Is it a persona the target audience will find attractive? Other things being equal, consumers do prefer to buy goods that are created by an identifiable human being, not manufactured by a faceless corporation. But women endure enough uninvited male weirdness without seeking it out in the shoes they buy. Some readers will find the ad too self-consciously louche for their tastes. Others, though, will proceed on the theory that all men who design high-style women’s shoes must be fetishists of one sort or another. In Signor Sarto, at least they’re getting a fetishist with a sense of humor. Of course, that raises another question: Do women have a sense of humor about shoes? On that score, I’ve got my doubts.

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
AGENCY Manhattan Marketing Ensemble, New York
CLIENT Nathan’s Famous, Westbury, N.Y.
MEDIUM outdoor
agency partner
Don Raskin
creative DIRECTOR/copywriter
Mat Zucker
Linda Haase
art director
Brad Eisenstein
Can consumers be persuaded that a Nathan’s hot dog tastes better than others? Unlikely. But, given the brand’s Coney Island provenance, they probably can be led to believe that Nathan’s dogs are more fun. This is one of those rare cases in which the brand name evokes a batch of pleasant associations that have little to do with the product. Clearly, then, the campaign is pointing its humorous energies in the right direction. There is, however, a downside to ads that focus on the reader’s state of mind. (Another in the series shows a sauerkraut-laden hot dog along with the headline, “Don’t be such a sauer puss.”) People don’t like being told how they should feel. I’d be willing to bet that no one in human history has stopped being in a bad mood because someone said to him, “Stop being in a bad mood.” While readers will enjoy this campaign’s smiling visuals, they may feel the headlines border on the presumptuous.

California Strawberries
AGENCY Smith, Bowen & Burghardt, Monterey, Calif.
CLIENT California Strawberry Commission, Watsonville
MEDIUM trade print
CREATIVE DIRECTORs Bradley Smith, Eric Edward Brown
COPYWRITER Eric Edward Brown
Harry Briggs
With all due respect to adjectives, I wonder whether this ad is wise to subordinate “profits,” “sales” and volume” to “Fatter,” “Higher” and “Bigger.” Grocers surely care about those nouns; they may or may not be grabbed by the modifiers. That quibble aside, this is an appealing ad. In an era of short attention spans, it cuts through the clutter simply by daring to
rattle on for 700-odd words. Will grocers read it all? Not unless business is awfully slow. But that won’t prevent them from getting the impression that there’s much to be said for strawberries as a boon to supermarket profits. Statistics are judiciously used to garnish the text–for instance, the fact that “41% of consumers will switch stores just to shop a strawberry ad.” The sight of those percentage signs cues us to believe that the strawberry people have a factual basis for their sales pitch and aren’t just blowing smudge-pot smoke.

California Grapes
AGENCY McCann-Erickson, San Francisco
CLIENT California Table Grape Commission, Fresno
MEDIUM 30-second TV
COPYWRITER John Mattingly
agency producer
Jon Rosenberg
production co.
Fahrenheit Films, Santa Monica, Calif.
Neil Tardio Jr.
The cops at the station house sound skeptical as they question a man who’s seeking their help. Cop 1: “So you’re being followed?” Citizen: “Everywhere I go, they go.” Cop 2: “Yeah, like where?” Citizen: “I go to the beach, they’re at the beach. I go to the park, they go, too. In my office, they’re right there at the desk.” As the police sketch artist listens intently, the man describes these ubiquitous beings: “They’re big and round and plump a whole bunch of them.” Cop 1: “Do they look anything like this?” And he dramatically presents a sketch of a bunch of green grapes. Nailing down the point that grapes are a conveniently portable snack, a voiceover tagline adds: “Wherever you go, grapes go.” The acting here is so broad that you might feel you’re watching a spot for the California Ham Commission. And much of the spot’s appeal lies in its surprise ending, so viewers may tire of it on repeated viewing. In the meantime, though, it’s amusing enough, even if it doesn’t have the off-beat brilliance of commercials for other California commodities, such as cheese, milk and raisins. Maybe grapes are just funnier after they’ve dried out.
What’s New submissions should be in the form of proofs, slides or (for TV spots) videotape. Please list creative director, art director, copywriter, agency producer, production company (and its location), director and illustrator or photographer. Describe the media schedule, including break date for the ad. Preference will be given to the newest work. Materials cannot be returned. Send submissions to:
What’s New Portfolio, Adweek, 1515 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036.