By: Joe Strupp
$100,000 go to creators of Hewlett-Packard ads by Joe Strupp
A series of Hewlett-Packard ads promoting the company’s ability to provide smooth-running products ? to the point of customer boredom ? garnered the top $100,000 prize at the Newspaper Association of America’s (naa) 1999 athena Awards, which honors newspaper advertising.
Goodby, Silverstein and Partners of San Francisco, which created the ads for h-p, captured the top prize for three, half-page designs that offered images of h-p customers practically twiddling their thumbs because their products worked so well.
“It had to be subtle, or the humor wouldn’t have played correctly,” said Joel Clement, the ad campaign’s art director. “We thought it would help them stand out.”
One of the h-p ads showed two people on an elevator, with the caption, “Having no printer problems to discuss, is manager and co-worker experience an awkward moment of silence.”
A second showed an office cubicle filled with gifts, flowers, and balloons, which stated, “Upon entering his cube, is manager receives some positive feedback concerning the new printers.”
The third award-winning ad presents a man sitting at a desk practicing tricks from a magic book, with copy that says, “Due to a lack of printer problems, is manager had time to focus on other, more important matters.”
The team the developed the h-p ads included Clement; Steve Simpson, creative director; Harold Einstein, copywriter; and Jenny Taich, producer.
“From the start, we wanted to keep the ads as visual as possible,” Clement said.
The top award for the h-p ads was among 50 honors passed out during the Sept. 23 event, held at the Supper Club in New York and hosted by comedienne Sandra Bernhard. In all, 1,100 entries were submitted in 30 categories.
“The creative possibilities of newspaper advertising once again were aptly demonstrated by all the athena winners,” said naa President John F. Sturm. “It’s terrific to see how different uses of typeface, art, and text create such a variety of great newspaper advertising.”
The gala included video displays of each ad during a circus-themed production, followed by a live jazz band that serenaded the 200-plus crowd during a late buffet supper.
The $5,000 grand prize in the student competition went to the Creative Circus, an Atlanta advertising design school, which won for a Rubbermaid ad showing a beat-up metal garbage can inside a sturdy, new Rubbermaid can. That award went to Art Director Julie Eyerman and Copywriter Brad Mislow.
athena Gold Awards in other categories were presented to: bbdo West of Los Angeles for a Starbucks ad; core of St. Louis for three ads promoting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Fallon McElligott of Minneapolis for a bmw ad; Ground Zero advertising of Marina del Rey, Calif., for a Virgin Cola ad; Katsin Loeb/Loeb Advertising and Sandstrom Design of Portland, Ore., for a George Vogt ad; and the Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., for two ads promoting saab Cars usa and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
A full list of the award winners can be found at the naa Web site, http://www. naa.org.
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