Last we heard from Escape Pod/Chicago creative honcho Vinny Warren, he was madly blogging away about the latest setback to befall his creative alma mater DDB/Chicago, which is now furiously trying to hang on to high-profile Bud Light as a client. It’s a tough challenge for the agency, which has been through a significant regime change recently.
But none of that is Warren’s concern. In his blog entry, he was merely trying to reflect on what an honor and a joy it was, for a time anyway, to have been part of the Bud Light creative team at DDB.
In our mind, what has always set Warren apart among Chicago creatives is the obvious pride he takes in the work he does. That’s something that we haven’t seen exhibited in enough of the advertising creatives who toil in Chicago.
Maybe it’s just that they are shy. Or, more likely, their bosses have told them to keep their traps shut and the work they do out of the hands of anyone who might, just might, dare to utter a negative word about said work. If nothing else, paranoia and insecurity run rampant in Chicago’s creative ranks.
But not with Warren, who passed along to us the latest effort in his wild and woolly Sir Edwin Horsham ad campaign for Claussen pickles.
If you are familiar with the previous work in this saga, you know Horsham is famous for taking unsuspecting shoppers on perilous trips via dogsled to the chilled foods section of the grocery store, where, in all their refrigerated glory, sit the resplendent bottles of Claussen pickles.
Warren, of course, has had great fun trying to outdo himself in creating seemingly insurmountable obstacles for Horsham and his fellow travelers to overcome before reaching the promised Claussen pickles.
Tongue-in-cheek tone lets us in on the joke
The latest video, “Clipping In,” posted on YouTube, has Horsham and his mates taking what has been dubbed the dreaded “northern approach” to their destination.
First they snake through the aisles in a bicycle-propelled dogsled, only to abandon it as they hold tight to a single climbing rope. A pesky polar bear attacks the expeditioners along the way, but they break free and venture on as the bear ungracefully skates away (Michelle Kwan it ain’t).
Finally, with fake beards now grown long and streaked with ice and snow, Horsham and company make one last turn and, there at last they spy the pickles they have been seeking.
What is remarkable about Warren’s work here is his ability to go full out and fully invest in the adventure story he is telling, without ever losing that just-so tongue-in-cheek tone that lets us in on the joke as we revel in the humorous heroics of it all.
This may seem like a relatively easy thing to do in the realm of commercials.
But believe us when we say we have seen many a brave creative soul fail miserably when attempting such a feat.
See the video at youtube.com/claussenpickle.
Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com