What’s New : Portfolio By Mark Dolliver

Stila Lip Gloss
Agency: The Press Cabinet, Los Angeles
Client: Stila, Los Angeles
Medium: Consumer Magazines
Creative Director: Price Deratzian
Art Director: Flavia Cureteu
Copywriter: Rozanna Leo-Fields
Illustrator: Jeffrey Fulvimari

But these aren’t pouts. They’re smiles. And that, as much as the illustrational style, is what sets this ad apart from the crowd. Surely Stila is traducing the canons of cosmetics advertising by delivering such good-natured imagery instead of the haughty glares to which we’re accustomed. No wonder the ad uses an illustration rather than a photo. You couldn’t pay a model enough to look so cheerful in a lip-gloss ad. She’d never work in this town again. Anyway, the contrarian approach helps this small brand to convey a distinctive identity–indeed, quite a marketable one. After all, while few women truly believe a tube of glop will make them wildly glamorous, plenty can imagine the glop enhancing an upbeat prettiness.

Agency: Lowe & Partners/Sms, New York
Client: Mercedes-Benz Of North America, Montvale, N.J.
Medium: 30-Second Tv
Chief Creative Office: Lee Garfinkel
Creative Group Heads: Marty Orzio, Randy Saitta, Andy Hirsch
Art Director: Steve Kashtan
Copywriter: Amy Borkowsky
Agency Producer: Gary Grossman
Production Co: Venus Entertainment, Venice, Calif.
Director: Jim Sonzero

In an era of ridiculous reverence for celebrities, it’s a luxury to condescend toward lesser lights of the celeb firmament. And that brings us to Robert Goulet–a lesser light who plays that role to the hilt in this funny spot. When a woman stops her Mercedes C-Class car at a toll barrier, Goulet is the toll taker. He bursts into a rendition of “It’s Impossible,” which is aimed at the car rather than the driver. As the spot continues, Goulet turns up as a biker who stops next to the woman at a red light; as the mop man at a car wash; and, finally, as a meter maid. Needless to say, he’s belting out that song the whole time. A couple of on-screen supers tie it all together. The first asks: “An even better Mercedes starting at $30,450?” The next answers: “Not impossible.” Even apart from the pleasure of seeing Goulet in wig and skirt, the spot is altogether winning. And, simple as it sounds, that’s partly because it throws all its energy into pleasing us. The spot doesn’t emit attitude. It doesn’t wallow in irony about the fact that it’s a commercial. And it doesn’t clobber us with a hard-sell sales pitch. So, what does it say about the C-Class? In this context of sheer funniness, the car’s (relatively) affordable price comes across loud and clear without diminishing the marque’s Mercedes cachet. After all, would anything less than a real Mercedes have the sangfroid to send out a skirted Goulet as its spokesman?