01.16.02


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GSD&M emboldens Kohler
New York Office goes shopping
Deals: Hothaus Editorial becomes N2O
Moves: Publicis/New York adds three
On The Web: Boone/Oakley woos Hornets fans

GSD&M Emboldens Kohler
On Monday, Austin agency GSD&M broke its first television work for Kohler bathroom fixtures since winning the account last year. Though the longstanding tag, "The bold look of Kohler," remains, the new work puts the emphasis on bold. In one spot -- all of which were directed by Partizan's Dominik Murphy -- the members of a rock band trash a hotel room but are mesmerized by the Kohler-equipped bathroom. In another, a couple race each other home to the shower, shedding all their clothes along the way. But a rock band? Are restless anarchists really in the market for this stuff?

"We didn't want to do a commercial where the target immediately knew they were being spoken to," says co-group creative director Jeremy Postaer. "We wanted to do a total head-fake. The people that we're trying to talk to are the influencers. People who are into design and movies and art in general."

"It is a fashion brand," explains co-group creative director David Crawford of the campaign, which is accompanied by vivid print work shot by chic photographer David LaChapelle. "How people decorate their home is where their personality comes out more than anywhere else."

Another spot in the campaign (which can be viewed here) merges the values of style and taste. At a fashionable party, a stylish young woman and a blind hipster discuss how nice their host's house is before the young man excuses himself. After washing his hands in the bathroom he returns. "You should see the bathroom," he says. "A hip young guy saying you should see the bathroom is a fashion statement," Postaer says. "A 40-year-old guy saying it is pandering."

New York Office Goes Shopping
Bicoastal repping firm New York Office announced last week that it has acquired the bicoastal Alexander/Vienot Agency and Los Angeles-based Ria Images, nearly doubling its roster of DPs and other production talent and expanding its presence on the West Coast. "What it brings to us is clients, and it gives us a bigger presence on both coasts, which is good," says Carolyn Hill, VP-head of sales. The expanded presence will immediately affect longtime New York Office client Red Car Editorial, which has been without West Coast representation for a year, duties Office now adds to its East Coast responsibilities.

New York Office's commercials clients include Complete Pandemonium, Great Guns, Hum Music & Sound Design, Squeak Pictures, Smoke & Mirrors Visual Effects and Urban Myth Media. The agency also took over East Coast representation for comedy director Jeff Gorman's production company, JGF, late last year.

Although Hill admits the current economic climate is "scary," she thinks "it's an opportunity to grow, and when it rebounds we should be in good shape. We want to be the one call clients have to make when things aren't so scary." Does that mean the buying spree will continue? "Could be," Hill says. "We have other ideas of acquisitions we want to do down the road."

Deals
On January 1, Dallas' Hothaus Editorial was rechristened N2O Editorial, a change that reflects a restructuring of the business, now owned and operated by executive producer Lisa Hill, editor Brent Herrington and finish artist Dan Hill. The shop has also added editor Marc Stone, formerly of Post-Op, Dallas, and producer Stefany Sabo, formerly of GSD&M/Austin. Santa Monica-based Area 51 Films recently announced that it will launch a feature film division. Headed by Area 51 head of production Rachel Griffin, the unit will seek out feature opportunities for the shop's commercials roster, which includes directors John Adams, Scotty Bergstein, Toby Phillips and James Dalthorp. San Francisco-based animation house Wild Brain announced this week that it has signed a co-production/development deal with Denmark's Egmont Imagination. The first project for the partnership will be Vanilla Pudding, an animated series about a little girl who imagines she is a superhero. The series, created by Wild Brain director Nicholas Weigel, will be distributed internationally by Egmont.

Moves
At Publicis/New York: Tom Godici, formerly of Ogilvy & Mather/New York, has joined the agency as senior principal and creative director. Andi Bird, formerly of TBWA/Chiat/Day, and Stephanie Sigg, formerly of Wieden & Kennedy/Portland, have both signed on as art directors. ... Chad Vander Lugt, formerly of Frankel/Chicago, Simon Kao, formerly of D'Arcy/Detroit, and Greg King, formerly of Messner/New York, have joined Cramer-Krasselt/Milwaukee as senior art director, art director and copywriter, respectively. ... Art director Angel Evan and copywriter Bruce Fougere, formerly of the Leo Burnett Technology Group in Boston, have joined Philip Johnson Associates, also in Boston. ... Mariedith Ashford, formerly of Click 3x/L.A., has joined Santa Monica's Fence Post as a visual effects producer.

On The Web
The NBA's Charlotte Hornets -- who are playing to half-empty arenas amid talk that the team will move out of Charlotte next year -- certainly need something for their fans to cheer about. Why not a commercial? A promo spot for the team by agency here, but the fans have gotten the hang of it. According to ESPN.com, the call has become a shrill sound that would drive a Doberman crazy."

"It's incredible," says partner and creative director David Oakley. "Everybody talks about advertising resonating. This is definitely resonating, because it's loud." Oakley says it was particularly loud last Friday, when the Hornets bested the Clippers with a last second shot from Davis, who triumphantly wooed back at the crowd. "The place went crazy," Oakley says. "It was Woo City. It was like a woo-off."

Send tips, comments, and letters to the editor to online editor Jim Hanas.

 

 


In this spot from GSD&M, Kohler bath fixtures have such a bold look, a blind man is impressed.
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