The Screen test - Campaign Screen's international ad picks 11-1-2002

In this week's International Pick, Campaign Screen editor Lisa Campbell looks at ads from Volkswagen, Visa, the city of New York, the PGA Tour and Magic TV.

Volkswagen - 'Demon Baby'

This creepy yet hypnotic commercial conveys the explosive speed of Volkswagen's latest baby, the Lupo. An intriguing treatment sees Fredrik Bond and DP Ben Seresin follow baby Lupo's attempt to escape from a spooky hospital in Barrendov, Prague (originally built by Hitler for his propaganda films). Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided shockingly realistic animatronics during the shoot while The Mill effectively polished the final product. It's certainly dividing audiences. Some dub it "ad of the year" while others positively abhor it.

Visa - 'Fantasy'

A creatively-refreshing approach to finance which aims to demonstrate Visa's position as the payment system for the future. Bruce Willis's cameo is almost a bonus in this already action-packed mini-feature. Shot in downtown LA, director Sam Bayer was joined by the cream of Hollywood, including Spielberg's camera operator. An original script and stunning visuals, this will certainly stand-out in the category. Targeting over-18s, this highly-researched ad will be aired Europe-wide, excluding the UK.

Miracle of New York - 'Skating' and 'Turkey'

Desperate tourism officials are going to great lengths to encourage visitors to New York, to the extent of poking fun at Hollywood greats in an ad campaign. The "Miracle of New York" highlights must-see venues and events and uses humour to demonstrate how you too can be part of the "New York Miracle". The ads include performances from Woody Allen, Ben Stiller, Kevin Bacon and Robert De Niro. The media response has been overwhelming and the spots have been broadcast by news organisations worldwide.

PGA Tour - 'Shopping Cart' and 'Gutter'

A strong and memorable idea which aims to promote the PGA golf tour by showing that serious golfer-types really do have a sense of humour. Outsider directors Dom & Nic use a simple observational style and skilful pacing to allow the comedy of the writing to come to the fore. "Shopping Cart" features Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia masterfully returning his trolley while David Toms demonstrates his obsession with the sport using the exterior of his home.

Magic TV - 'Hospital'

Singalong, happy nuns were deemed to perfectly embody the brand values of Magic TV and they are used to great effect in this latest ad by Mother. The nuns perform a raucous rendition of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now in a hospital ward, much to the consternation of patients. It's an uplifting, feel-good ad with some hilarious choreography. We particularly like the drips which double as air guitars, the helium-induced solo and the bedpan finale.

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