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WHAT’S NEW Portfolio By MARK DOLLIVE

MITA

AGENCY: Lord, Dentsu & Partners, New York
CLIENT: Mita Copystar America, Fairfield, N.J.
MEDIUM: 30-second TV
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: Ron Arnold
COPYWRITER: Tom Cunniff
AGENCY PRODUCER: Elise Baruch
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Aardman Associates, London
DIRECTOR: Peter Lord
A new gizmo brings an office out of the Stone Age. It’s a standard message in office-equipment ads, but Mita freshens it by substituting dinosaurs for people. The spot achieves a Simpsons-like tone in its depiction of the office as dysfunctional workday family: The drowsy mailroom dinosaur pushing his cart over another dino’s tail; two amateur Mr. Fixits trying to dislodge a paper jam in the old copier; choleric boss Tyrone Rex yelling at his minions. . . . There’s lots of funny detail to keep you watching even after the novelty of white-collar dinosaurs has worn off. And the spots take good advantage of your rapt attention to give a clear pitch for Mita’s plain-paper faxes (33% sharper resolution than 90% of the competition) and copiers (rated tops for ‘up time’) as shortcuts to productivity.
BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
AGENCY: Richardson, Myers & Donofrio, Baltimore
CLIENT: Maryland Aviation Administration, Baltimore/Washington International Airport
MEDIUM: regional print
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ken Majka
ART DIRECTOR: Margie Weeks
COPYWRITER: Mike Smith
PHOTOGRAPHER: Evan Cohen
Heavy-duty travelers will enjoy testing their knowledge of airports’ three-letter code names as they read this ad. Best word of the batch: ‘burden,’ combining Burbank and Denver. Of course, readers who casually glance at the ad will easily come away with the misimpression that it’s touting some airline named BWI – maybe British West Indies or some such. But attentive readers will take the point that BWI is calmer than other Beltway-area airports. On the other hand, any flight involves (you hope) at least two airports. So if these destination airports are zoos, as the ad suggests, flying to or from BWI is no guarantee at all of a sane trip. Doesn’t that somewhat undercut the sales pitch?
CALAVO AVOCADOS
AGENCY: Kresser/Craig, Santa Monica, Calif.
CLIENT: Calavo, Irvine, Calif.
MEDIUM: trade newspapers
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ron Goodwin
ART DIRECTOR: Guan Hin Tay
COPYWRITER: Charles Grant Guest
PHOTOGRAPHER: David McMacken
In a consumer culture that’s notoriously hostile to any notion of deferred gratification, people don’t want to buy something they can’t eat for some days until it ripens. But supermarkets have been wary of ordering almost-ripe avocados from their suppliers for fear of mistiming their inventory and ending up with overripe fruit on their shelves. This ad addresses that fear in a lively way. The visual is a bit elaborate – an avocado walking a tightrope, with a safety net underneath – but is charming once you see what’s going on. And copy – assisted by a chart that shows ‘days to ripen’ on one axis and ‘fruit firmness in lbs./sq. in.’ on the other – gives a persuasive account of how Calavo has solved the ripeness problem in ways that will increase retailers’ avocado profits.
AUDI
AGENCY: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London
CLIENT: VAG U.K., Milton Keynes, U.K.
MEDIUM: consumer press
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: John Hegarty
ART DIRECTOR: Graham Watson
COPYWRITER: Bruce Crouch
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jerry Oke
Now that baby boomers are loading their cars with children and not with boozy friends, there’s a big audience for safety-oriented car ads. The problem is that safety messages tend by their nature to be unexciting, and unexcited consumers aren’t so likely to spring for a premium-priced car. With its Magritte-like visual, this British ad gives Audi’s safety positioning an unexpected panache. But lots of cars are touting safety these days, and you have to get to the small-type line of copy here to discover Audi’s competitive message. ‘Most cars are tested against headwinds in a wind tunnel. The new Audi 80 Estate is also tested against crosswinds that can cause loss of control.’ That’s a telling sales point, but one the casual browser could easily miss.
PHILLIP MARTIN SHOES
AGENCY: Taylor Smith, Houston
CLIENT: Univshoe, Houston
MEDIUM: trade publications
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Dick Smith, Holly Bea
ART DIRECTOR: R. Hutson Kovanda
COPYWRITER: John Zapf
PHOTOGRAPHER: Robert Tran
Copy of ad: ‘Although not a violent shoe by nature, The Phillip Martin is about to kick down a few doors.’
Some words just sit on the page; others jump out at you. This headline’s italicized words are jumpers, and they get you right into the ad. (Indeed, the words themselves are sufficiently potent that the use of italics seems superfluous, especially as it gives an awkward rhythm to the sentence.) Meanwhile, the offbeat tone – an artful blend of real boastfulness and hyperbolic shoe-biz humor – helps disarm the sales resistance of shoe retailers while making it clear the client does have great confidence in its work. Lest the ad seem too jokey, body copy plays things straight, giving a lucid description of the shoe’s features. To translate the reader’s interest into action, copy gives an 800 number.
STOUFFER STANFORD COURT HOTEL
AGENCY: Wyse Advertising, Cleveland
CLIENT: Stouffer Hotels & Resorts, Cleveland
MEDIUM: consumer travel magazines
CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR: Thomas B. Smith
COPYWRITERS: George Plimpton, Sharyn F. Hinman
PHOTOGRAPHY: First Light Productions, Atlanta
Welcome to the age of literary product placement. Except for the copy at far right, the text here is a story by George Plimpton, using Stouffer’s San Francisco hotel as its setting. ‘She arrived late in the afternoon, carrying a small blue suitcase – young, outfitted in blue jeans, and striding for the registration counter as if late for an appointment.’ The woman poses as a relative of Bill Clinton’s, but our narrator learns she’s really a local newlywed who allows herself to be pursued to the hotel when she and her husband have had a quarrel. ‘ ‘It’s much easier to make up in a nice hotel room’ ‘ than in their small apartment. The story is cutesy but entertaining, though it could have skipped the stock hotel-ad rhetoric about ’19th-century elegance’ and ‘oversized bathtubs.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)