What’s New: Portfolio

AGENCY: Gabriel Diericks Razidlo, Minneapolis
CLIENT: Preston Trucking, Preston, Md.
MEDIUM: trade press
ART DIRECTOR: Wayne Thompson
But if Preston’s driver brakes for all creatures small and smaller, will he get the customer’s cargo to its destination on time? Granted, that’s not what the reader is meant to think about here. But if an ad gives people a chance to get distracted, they’ll take it. The body copy helps to restore order, mentioning a few ways in which the trucking line might go out of its way to “keep your valuables well, valuable.” For instance, it might give a particular shipment “a little more breathing room.” Or, harking back to that bumper sticker: “Sometimes it all just comes down to that one person who cares a little more.” The ad manages to sustain a tone that’s earnest, not boastful, and it leaves the reader with good vibes about Preston–plus an 800 number to call if they’d like to act on those vibes.


AGENCY: Hunt Adkins, Minneapolis
CLIENT: Rafiki Wine Co., Minneapolis
MEDIUM: consumer magazines
ART DIRECTOR: Steve Mitchell
PHOTOGRAPHY: Shawn Machienzi, stock
CALLIGRAPHY: Marshall Ferster
Going over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Traversing Antarctica? Scaling Everest? If you seek an experience that sets you apart from the common herd, none of the above will make the cut. “You’re too late,” explains each ad in this series. And if your ambitions go no farther than the tattoo parlor, you’re way behind the curve: Getting yourself pierced, much less tattooed, is “now about as daring as croquet.” By contrast, wine from South Africa’s Cheetah Valley is “undiscovered territory.” Maybe so. But then, plenty of things qualify as undiscovered territory, and lots of them are ghastly. If this wine’s main appeal is its novelty, can that bode well for its intrinsic quality? Anyway, as the campaign itself suggests, today’s undiscovered territory will be tomorrow’s well-trodden path. As such, why bother being the first on your block to try this wine?

AGENCY: Big Bang Idea Engineering, Carlsbad, Calif.
CLIENT: Polaris Pool Systems, San Marcos, Calif.
MEDIUM: consumer print
PHOTOGRAPHY: Paul Beauchamp
Well, there’s laziness and there’s rigor mortis. Far be it from me to quibble with the headline’s invocation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of laziness.” At first glance, though, the photo seems to depict a floating stiff rather than a pool owner at leisure. They don’t call it “dead man’s float” for nothing. Once you get past that obstacle, the ad makes a good, brief pitch for a gizmo that cleans your pool without demanding any effort on your part. “Lay back, relax, and let the world’s most advanced pool cleaner scour your pool in three hours or less. It’s not only the laziest way to clean a pool, it’s also the smartest.” (Yes, the copywriter’s junior-high English teachers are turning in their graves over the substitution of “lay” for “lie.”) As shown here, the product looks like the vehicle that scuttled around Mars during NASA’s recent jaunt, so it’ll appeal to people for whom domestic gadgets are the grown-up equivalent of toys.

AGENCY: Foote, Cone & Belding, New York
CLIENT: Daily Soup, New York
MEDIUM: 30-second TV
ART DIRECTOR: John Colquhoun
PRODUCTION CO.: Jon Francis Films, San Francisco
DIRECTOR: Jon Francis
Shrewish wife is on phone, kvetching about her husband. “Fuggedaboudit, Joanie. I ask him to help, he goes deaf and dumb. In fact, he’s useless.” Indifferent to the invective, Useless unpacks a takeout container of Daily Soup’s Burmese Shrimp Curry. When the baby starts bawling, though, Shrew slaps Useless on the head, thus instructing him to deal with the tyke. Useless places the boy on the kitchen table to diaper him. However, before the new diaper is in place, the kid sends an arc of urine through the air and into the soup. Not having noticed, Shrew picks up the soup and begins to eat it. Useless makes a momentary effort to stop her, but then–a smile crossing his face–lets her proceed. The tagline: “Every Day’s an Adventure.” Leaving aside considerations of decorum, since everyone does these days, is this a smart way to introduce viewers to a fledgling brand? Let’s review: The only people we’ve seen buying the product are distinctly downscale; and the only vessel of Daily Soup we’ve seen has been adulterated by urine. I’m sorry, but why on earth would this give us an appetite for the product? The vignette is amusing, and we’re glad to see Shrew get her comeuppance. But unless the brand’s positioning is something along the lines of “our soup is so delectable that it still tastes good after your kid has pissed into it,” the spot can hardly make the stuff seem appealing.