I will do my best to comment on what I perceive as breakthrough
work from other Canadian agencies.
And the current campaign for TV12 seems a fine place to start. Created
by Palmer Jarvis DDB, it features print and outdoor ads which mock the
network’s own programming. This campaign highlights syndicated TV shows
including programmes such as Star Trek, Baywatch, Xena and Cheers.
Stills from each show are lifted and overlaid with a computerised TV
registration bar or command, in most cases with a high- or low-graphed
ranking. But instead of indicating the level of volume or sharpness, the
bars register a dominant attribute of each show. For example, Baywatch
is given a low ranking of one for plot, Xena receives a high ranking for
cleavage, while Norm and Cliff from Cheers get a low ranking for
This humorous approach connects with the consumer on an emotional and
honest level, even at the expense of the station’s lighthearted
The ads, as a result, have achieved international recognition.
The second ad worth mentioning is ’tribe’, a TV spot for 7-UP developed
by BBDO Toronto. The ad opens in Africa where the tribal leader’s son is
being offered a variety of goods, including animal carcasses, by
flirtatious, attractive tribal maidens who are vying to be his bride.
Each is rejected until an unattractive tribal woman coyly presents
herself as a surprise candidate. She withholds her offering until she is
within arm’s length of the suitor before revealing a bottle of 7-UP to
the astonished tribe.
Amid the furor which follows she twists off the cap in her armpit and
offers it to the impressed son who quickly downs the thirst-quenching
product. The happy couple climb onboard a tribal chariot strung with
7-UP cans trailing behind and ride off to live happily ever after. The
endline reads: ’It’s an odd number.
7-UP.’ It’s a wonderfully branded line that provides tremendous latitude
to creative people for future work.
The Lung Association’s ’having a little trouble quitting smoking’
campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, is a graphic illustration of the
possible (but exaggerated) extremes an addicted smoker could be driven
One ad features an astronaut smoking inside a spacesuit. Another
execution shows a bride smoking and apparently oblivious to the fact
that the cigarette has burned a hole through the veil which covers her
face. The ads use a ridiculous and perhaps obscene illustration of human
behaviour as a means of motivating change.
Douglas Robinson is chairman and creative director at Ammirati Puris