MOLSON DIAMOND MILD LAGER AGENCY BBDO, Toronto CLIENT Molson Breweries, North York, Ontario MEDIUM on-premise posters CREATIVE DIRECTORS Stephen Creet, Michael MacLaughlin ART DIRECTOR Sue Boivin COPYWRITER Katie Barni PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Burstyn TYPOGRAPHER John Silva Consumers treasure their skepticism. The last thing they want is for an ad to strip away that armor and leave them defenseless. Instead of confronting such wariness head-on, this ad smartly redirects it. In truth, nobody will have trouble believing that Molson Diamond has just 2.5 percent alcohol. The label says as much. What’s hard to believe is that a mild brew can be as satisfying as the high-octane variety. By jokingly focusing our doubts on the alcoholic content, the ad gets us to treat as a given the proposition that Molson Diamond has the gusto of “100% beer.” Those of you who like to put a pat of margarine atop your beer will recognize this as the time-honored “I can’t believe it’s not butter” formula. Hey, if it sells solidified vegetable oil, it can sell beer. As for Casanova the “babe magnet,” lads who’ve come to the bar hoping to score more than a beer will doubtless take heart from the unbelievable success of that ill-favored man. PYRAMID DRAUGHT PALE ALE AGENCY Cole & Weber, Seattle CLIENT Pyramid Breweries, Seattle MEDIUM event program guides, beer-enthusiast press, alternative weeklies CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR Bill Karow CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kevin Jones COPYWRITER Steve Howard PHOTOGRAPHY Daniel Proctor “Not available in 1%, 2% or skim,” the copy concludes. “Just 100% beer.” If there were magazines for people who enjoy leering at photos of beer, this curvaceous pint could be the Brewmate of the Month centerfold. It’s a good thing a picture is worth a thousand words, because the copy gets off to a puzzling start: “You don’t need to be a movie star, an acrobat or even a magician to tilt back a pint of Pyramid Draught Pale Ale.” True enough, I’m sure, but who said you did have to be a movie star, acrobat or magician? (Even when the ad is seen in the program guide for a film festival, the connection between DPA and movie stars will be an ungainly stretch.) The headline strikes a better rapport with the sudsy soul (and soggy upper lip) of the serious beer aficionado. One complaint, though: The sentence sounds awkward as it switches from the indeterminate “Who” to the specific “you.” WASHINGTON STATE POTATOES AGENCY EvansGroup, Seattle CLIENT Washington State Potato Commission, Moses Lake MEDIUM newspapers CREATIVE DIRECTOR Gail Anne Grosso ART DIRECTOR Lori Rodhall COPYWRITER Randy Nargi PHOTOGRAPHY stock Some ads are too funny for their own good. This depiction of a Washington-grown spud as a bundle of carbohydrate joy is a hoot. So is the headline. But the reference to eyes draws our attention to the worst aspect of the potato. People would buy more spuds than they do were it not for the tiresome chore of paring away the inedible and unappetizing parts. No matter how amusing the joke, can it really be wise to remind us of the product’s downside? It’s enough to drive the harried consumer to baked eggplant, mashed squash and french-fried zucchini. Meanwhile, Washingtonians who’ve been content to eat potatoes imported from faraway Idaho won’t see a compelling reason to change their ways. Instead, they’ll be left wondering why the plural of potato is potatoes while the plural of Watato is Watatos. TABASCO SAUCE AGENCY Kragie/Newell, Des Moines, Iowa CLIENT McIlhenny Co., Avery Island, La. MEDIUM 60-, 30-second TV CREATIVE/ART DIRECTOR, PRODUCER Kent Fieldsend CREATIVE DIRECTOR Scott Hall COPYWRITER Mark Schildberg PRODUCTION CO. Konk, New York DIRECTOR Chris Koch The scene: a remote roadside diner. A waitress frets over the fact that the supply of Tabasco sauce is nearly exhausted. The guy who just got a plate of spaghetti is dousing his meal with the last bottle. The camera now cuts to a race car with Tabasco’s emblem conspicuously painted on it. The car is speeding down the road, but its engine sputters to a stop. The driver hops out and pours a bottle of Tabasco into the gas tank. Thus fueled, the car rockets down the road, a trail of fire behind it. The camera cuts back to the diner, where the waitress cringes as Spaghetti Man asks if there’s any more Tabasco. In the nick of time, the car is heard screeching to a halt outside. When the waitress runs out front, the driver tosses her a full bottle of Tabasco. All is well! A tagline pulls things together, noting that Tabasco is a sponsor of NASCAR racing. Hokey though it may be, the plot line does hold our attention. Contrived suspense is much better than no suspense at all. The spot also does an exemplary job of exploiting the sports sponsorship. All too often, commercials that tell of such tie-ins deserve a “so what?” in response. Here, the spot makes it clear that the brand and the sport share the same macho character. As such, we don’t feel as though a company has horned in on a popular sport to which it has no genuine connection.