What’s New: Portfolio

AGENCY: Wallwork Curry, Boston
CLIENT: White Mountain Shoes, Wellesley Hills, Mass.
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Bob Curry, Jack Wallwork
ART DIRECTORs: Frank Perrone, Alyn Carlson-Webster
COPYWRITER: Arlene Maltman
PHOTOGRAPHY: Hornick/Rivlin, Boston
Never underestimate the power of literal-mindedness. I’d be willing to bet that the first reaction of many people upon reading the headline and looking at the photo will be something along the lines of: “She’s gonna go mountain climbing in those shoes?” Readers who recover from this perplexity will find the ad engaging. The photo introduces us to one Rachel Somerville, age 17, described as an “aspiring opera singer.” Silent print is surely the best medium through which to meet an aspiring opera singer, and we’re happy to encounter a real-life person (as opposed to an unreal-life model) who has such an exalted ambition. The headline manages to sound flattering, as if White Mountain is acknowledging that young women routinely surmount one challenge or another. (Note that the headline doesn’t ask readers whether they climb mountains, but simply asks them to specify the one they climb.) It all adds up to a brand image that’s high-spirited and energetic–in other words, an image with which the target audience will be glad to identify. Then, they can prompt themselves to buy a pair of White Mountains next time they’re at the shoe store.

AGENCY: Voice LLC, Seattle
CLIENT: Sierra Designs, Emeryville, Calif.
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
COPYWRITER: Dylan Tomine
A reference to “glass ceilings” is usually prelude to a complaint. And, however justified they are, complaints make their authors sound whiny. Wryly noting the absence of glass ceilings in the outdoors, this ad creates a rapport with women who’d rather light a campfire than curse the darkness. Thus, a phrase that usually denotes female powerlessness is enlisted in aid of female empowerment. “Out here, the sky’s the limit,” copy begins. It goes on to explain that Sierra makes serious outdoor apparel specifically for women. “So whether you’re trekking in the Himalayas or trail running in the Rockies, you’ll always be on a level playing field.” Looking beyond the indoor concerns of conventional feminism, the ad lays claim to the wide open spaces as a field of action where women belong quite as much as men do–so long as they’ve got a good jacket.

AGENCY: Hammerquist & Saffel, Seattle
CLIENT: Physio-Control, Redmond, Wash.
MEDIUM: publications for emergency-services, medical personnel
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Fred Hammerquist, Hugh Saffel
ART DIRECTOR: Mike Proctor
PHOTOGRAPHER: Hunter Freeman
Can’t beat that heart-attack humor. Actually, some readers in the target audience will likely find the ad too flippant. Not that they’ll care about an affront to the dignity of geezer men with child brides. Rather, they may feel the ad makes light of their own importance as professionals who heroically drag patients back from the brink of premature death. People are gluttons for respect, and this quirky ad doesn’t exactly lavish it on them. Still, plenty of readers will appreciate a respite from the grimly clinical style of the category’s typical advertising. The humorous tone is also in sync with the positioning of Likepak 12 as a “user-friendly” machine whose easy-to-use features make training simple. The lighthearted approach underscores the point that there’s nothing intimidating about this machine, which “can be used by healthcare professionals with varied skill levels.” As the cutups in the cardiac unit like to say, it ain’t brain surgery!

AGENCY: Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, San Francisco
CLIENT: Mother’s Cookies, Oakland, Calif.
COPYWRITERs:Robert Solis, Andy Sohn
PRODUCTION CO.: Palomar Pictures, Los Angeles
DIRECTOR: Francine McDougall
MUSIC: John Beach
This campaign is very charming and a little annoying. It presents a series of deliberately kitschy song-and-dance numbers starring employees of Mother’s, a brand that’s been around since the Year 1. As graphics identify the employees and list their years of service, people belt out lyrics in which “There’s no place I’d rather be” rhymes with “Mother’s original one bakery.” One spot adds a forklift ballet to a repertory of dances that could have been choreographed by Busby Berkeley. Throughout, the style of presentation (aptly termed “over-the-top” in a letter from the agency) lets us know we’re not supposed to take any of this too seriously. Well, thanks just the same, but I’m happy to take it seriously. What’s winning about the spots is the sweetness of the loyal employees and the natural verve of big production numbers–not the undertone of parody and ironic distance. Look, we’ve got irony coming out our ears these days. But how often do we hear a chorus of bakers singing about how much they enjoy making cookies for us? When the employees sing, “We love baking cookies and Mother’s is our family,” we believe them. That’s what makes the campaign so effective.

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.