THE ONE SHOW WINNERS: Tracy Wong believes the standard of work for this year’s One Show in New York showed consistency with flashes of brilliance. Here, he picks out some of the Gold winners
By TRACY WONG, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 06 June 1997 12:00AM
My overall comments on the One Show? There seemed to be few, if any, trends or changes in the ads this year over recent years. If anything, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
My overall comments on the One Show? There seemed to be few, if
any, trends or changes in the ads this year over recent years. If
anything, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the
I found that a great deal of the ads in the show reminded me of work
done during the late 60s by agencies such as Doyle Dane Bernbach and
DKG: ’real life’ as seen through a somewhat humorous filter. In
particular, work like Polaroid (incidentally a DDB client 30-odd years
ago) and ’got milk?’ seemed reminiscent of ads created by the great
Howard Zieff. Very few things, if any, were affected by technology and
digital effects wizardry, the one exception being Nissan’s ’toys’.
Though they are extremely popular among American advertisers, effects
such as morphing, which were popularised by sci-fi movies such as
Terminator 2, did not bode well with the judges (thank God).
Once again, the most important (and perhaps the most effective) work
came from outside the US. The prudishness and political correctness of
American clients and television networks forbids us from airing graphic
depictions of normal, everyday occurrences such as traffic accidents
(Transport Accident Commission), illness (Duracell/Mexico),
extermination (Humane Society of New Zealand) and bowel movements
(London Borough of Islington). It’s OK to show such things between
commercials, not during.
I would characterise this year’s One Show as a very, very consistent and
very, very good show of work with a few flashes of brilliance.
Brilliance, I feel, is determined by an advertising message expanding,
contorting or recreating the medium in which it exists.
I believe the Sandstrom Identity System did this.
The Humane Society of New Zealand did this too.
As with any show where you are a judge, often you are surprised at the
outcome. ’I didn’t vote for that ...’ ’That won a gold?’ ’Whatever
happened to that one piece ...?’. The process is admittedly not perfect,
but the One Show is run just about as close to perfection as you can
get. Imagine having a room full of (mostly) undisciplined, supposed
industry-leading egomaniacs trying to agree on what is the BEST. Good
luck. But in the end the very best seems to rise to the top.
Tracy Wong has won more than 250 awards during his career. He is the
creative director and chairman of Wongdoody, Seattle, and a former
senior art director at Goodby Silverstein and Partners, San Francisco,
and at Goldsmith Jeffrey, New York. In case you were wondering, he says
it’s OK for us to point out that that he’s 100 per cent male.
Gold Consumer Television over 30 seconds: campaign
Title ’triple squeeze’, ’shepherds’, ’subway’
Client John Hancock Financial Services
Agency Hill Holliday/Connors Cosmopulos, Boston
This addresses the financial issues that plague all of us - caring for a
sick parent, educating a child, planning for retirement. The first spot,
’triple squeeze’, provides a twist on Sophie’s Choice. With scenes of a
viewer’s parents and children, he/she is posed the question: ’In whose
eyes can you look and say you just can’t help? For in both you will
surely see your own self.’ The second spot, ’shepherds’, features
beautiful little girls dressed as ballerinas, prancing about a studio
discussing the financial issues that will shape their lives. ’Subway’
features a man walking through deserted airports, subway stations,
office lobbies, an empty meadow and finally the ocean’s edge. The copy
talks about preparing for retirement.
While not as ground-breaking as the ’real life. Real answers’ Hancock
campaign of the 80s - which sparked a generation of ’reality-based’
advertising - the execution makes it special. The film of Tony Kaye. The
voice of Sigourney Weaver. Poignant, emotionally-charged topics.
Gold Consumer Television over 30 seconds: single
Agency TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice CA
Arguably the most talked-about commercial of the year in the States, not
just by advertising folk, but by the television-viewing public. Why?
Because it features two of America’s most beloved celebrities (which
happen to be toys): GI Joe and Barbie (in flaming red hair to match the
car, I suppose). The storyline involves a typical scene of a guy (Joe)
with a really hot car (Nissan 240Z) who steals a girl (Barbie) from her
dull boyfriend (Ken). What better male fantasy is there than wearing
army fatigues and driving off into the sunset with your boyhood wet
dream scantily clad in a sequinned dress? The storyline is so obvious,
yet so primal. Accompanied by every guy’s favourite air guitar band, Van
Halen, the spot can’t miss.
Ultimate fulfilment. But the question remains - is GI Joe anatomically
Gold Collateral self-promotion
Title Sandstrom identity
Client Sandstrom Design
Agency Sandstrom Design, Portland
Each and every piece of stationery contains humorous copy that refers to
(or completely ignores) Sandstrom Design. For instance, atop the
letterhead, the copy reads: ’’The Adventures of Letter Head’. Today,
Letter Head discovers he has no arms or legs. Is he able to accept his
fate? Or will he shred himself in a frenzy of self-pity and despair?
Stay tuned for another exciting episode of ’Letter Head’!’ Sandstrom
Design, address ... The system is delightful and conveys the personality
of the design firm ironically through words, not eye candy.
Gold Consumer Magazine colour full page or spread
Title ’look, lady’
Agency Goodby Silverstein and Partners
In a simple depiction of everyday life, the ad chronicles a continuing
argument between neighbours about whether or not one of their dogs
defecates in the other’s yard. The Polaroid is the proof. The charm lies
in the fact that this is real life - no more, no less - and seems to
remove us from the fact we’re reading an ad.
Gold International Foreign Language Commercial
Title ’old man’
Agency Ogilvy and Mather, Mexico City
Creative simply conceived and stated knows no societal or geographic
boundaries. This commercial from Mexico shows a wheelchair-bound
billionaire very near death dictating to a video camera who will receive
his fortune: ’It is one single person, and that special person is ...’
The camera goes dead, the batteries drained. We never know the outcome,
but are told that Duracell batteries last 50 per cent longer. A
A delightful (and inexpensive) execution.
Gold Consumer Television: 30 seconds: single
Title ’the kid’
Client ESPN Sportscenter
Agency Wieden and Kennedy, Portland ESPN Sportscenter is the news hub of
a 24-hour all-sports cable station.
The campaign highlights the on-air news personalities parodying the
sports world at large. Here, in a send-up of high-school kids bypassing
college and making the leap to professional sports, a young
freckle-faced boy is heralded as the next big thing in sports
journalism. We cut to his on-camera performance where he provides
commentary worthy of a 15-year-old, for instance: ’Did you see that
game? That game sucked!’ We see the lad being yanked off the air and
later at a press conference where he announces his return to school.
In the final judgment, a reporter states the boy ’was not emotionally
Gold Public Service/Political: single
Title ’bush telegraph’
Client Transport Accident Commission
Agency Grey Advertising, Melbourne
This spot is part of the campaign that won Gold for Public
Service/Political Campaign and Best of Show. We open on a group of chums
having a couple of beers. The group urges a man to have one more before
he leaves with his son. They pull away in a truck, the man looking
fatigued, but apparently in fine condition to drive. We cut to a camera
view from behind the truck where the driver pulls up to a stop sign and
out into the path of a semi-articulated lorry. The crash is
gut-wrenchingly graphic, and we assume father and son are killed. The
spot ends where we started, the remaining men getting a call about the
accident. I had the honour of presenting this at the One Show ceremony
and, having seen it during judging, watched the audience’s reaction
Their collective recoiling said it all. Despite its conceptual approach,
it was the most impactful, moving piece in the show.
Gold Public Service/Political outdoor and posters
Title ’every dog has its day’
Client Humane Society of New Zealand
Agency Ogilvy and Mather, Auckland Here, a real dog is caged inside an
outdoor board, awaiting death. This pushes the normally passive poster
medium beyond its preconceived limitations by forcing you to experience
It’s gut-wrenching because the dog is alive. How can you not react?
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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