As Ogden Nash once said, ’Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.’ I
guess drugs weren’t as widespread when he wrote that. But that’s what
adfolk are talking about in the States: candy, beer and drugs.
When the Brothers Mars decided to punish the Brothers Karamazov, they
awarded their business to BBDO. Its insight was to see candy as fun. It
also saw athletes as the most relatable theme: team prayers, led by
every conceivable religious guru, and all the while our sports heroes
munching away. There’s also a groundskeeper who paints the team’s name,
Chiefs, without the ’i’. These spots have garnered many awards and sales
are moving briskly, as did the team that created the campaign - from
BBDO to Goodby Silverstein.
Next, a campaign vilified by columnists, attacked by creative directors,
assaulted by focus groups, condemned by ... you get the picture. I
personally found it sophomoric, silly, unfocused and I wish I’d done
Back in the 70s and 80s, Miller Lite was the beer that made Augie Busch
apoplectic. Retired athletes sold the virtues of the less-than-robust
brew. Alas, the campaign got tired and, through the natural process of
evolution, the loyal drinkers were dying off.
Fallon McElligott to the rescue. It created Dick, a fictitious (I think)
character, who presented the new commercials to the oft-mentioned
Generation Xers. The ads featured a semi-naked man, a bunch of old
cowboys heading to the WC to empty their Miller Lite-filled bladders,
plus two of my favourites.
First, the magician who makes a bottle of Miller Lite and two white mice
disappear, only to have the latter appear under the armpits of his
beautiful assistant. Second, an elderly couple, weathered and wrinkled,
making out on a living-room couch.
Finally, a serious and important campaign for the Partnership for a Drug
Free America. The Partnership enlists the services of every agency in
America in the battle against drugs. If you’ve got an idea that will
prevent someone sticking a needle in his arm, or whatever, the
Partnership will see it gets on air.
Last year, J. Walter Thompson gave us ’teeth’, a powerful deterrent to
those young women wanting the fast life heroin promises. Jack Levy &
Associates gave us ’drowning’, another award winner, this one dealing
Then Cliff Freeman’s ’Lenny’ made some people want to puke and have
second thoughts about smack.
Stan Becker is the vice -chairman and chief creative officer of Saatchi
& Saatchi New York.