CAMPAIGN INTERNATIONAL: WHAT’S HOT IN THE US - Sweets, alcohol and drugs inspire some quality work. By Stan Becker

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.

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

it.



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

with inhalants.



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.