Articles by Mark I

Blood, sweat and laundry detergent. ERA and the exploding simulated washing machine.

July 16, 2012

At one time or another, we’ve all put a load of clothes into the washing machine and hit the start button. But what really happens then? What kind of underwater gymnastics routines do your clothes perform when the agitator goes …

Mark I
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Mark I

A harrowing New Zealand shoot.
A very real Nestle Crunch.

March 9, 2012

Every commercial has its own production challenges. It’s all part of the process. But every once in a great while, there is such a confluence of bad decisions and unhappy accidents that it adds up to a perfect storm of catastrophe. This is the story of a one such shoot and it is very much a cautionary advertising tale.

Mark I
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Mark I

Jungle kayaking with Whitewater Fresh Zest

December 22, 2011

The trek through the dense, tropical jungles of Chiapas, Mexico felt like something right out of an Indiana Jones movie. I strained to keep my imagination in check but I almost expected a burst of poison darts to pepper the trees as we passed. Local Mayan Indian guides, weighed down with Panavision cameras and lights trudged before us while large, strange spiders scurried under our feet and brightly colored birds flew overhead. Suddenly, the jungle parted to reveal the destination of our journey…

Mark I
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Mark I

Ice Boating above the Arctic Circle

December 1, 2011

Black ice, laced with white webs of blowing snow stretches as far as the eye can see. At 30 degrees below zero, it’s far too cold for the snow to the stick to the glassy black surface and so it blows relentlessly across this vast, frozen lake at the top of the world. At temperatures this frigid, it’s best not expose your skin to the elements for long and so each of us has been given an Arctic Survival suit.

Mark I
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Mark I

Nestle Crunch launches a Russian Submarine.

November 12, 2011

In 1989, the cold war was still going on between us and the USSR. And while there was no imminent threat of real armed conflict, a very real tension did exist in our relations. That stress would be in full display in the upcoming film “The Hunt for Red October” with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin.

Mark I
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Mark I

Reflections Of A Madman Part 18.

December 23, 2010

This quote from The Devil in the White City is not specific to advertising. In fact, it was written by an architect before the turn of the last century.

Mark I
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Mark I

Reflections Of A Madman Part 17.

December 6, 2010

Jim Jordan, former Creative Director and President of BBDO New York and later Chairman of Jordan, Case & McGrath, never used a typewriter. Instead, he wrote every TV commercial, print ad and client correspondence in a bold, forceful script that immediately identified its author.

Mark I
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Mark I

Reflections Of A Madman Part 16.

October 22, 2010

You build the skyscrapers.

In 1986, I was given a new piece of business from Procter & Gamble,  Zest Soap. (Actually, it’s not really a soap but that’s another story.) At this point, Jim had already created the campaign “You’re not fully clean unless you’re Zestfully Clean”. The catchy song and the famous towel snap were already part of the concept, but Zestfully Clean had not yet assumed its place as part of the American vernacular. 

For our first commercial, my Art Director, Jerry Pruitt, and I created a spot that set the visual tone for the brand for years to come. To dramatize how Zestful a shower experience could be, the commercial utilized the beauty of water shot in slow motion. We would see men and women flying through the air, bursting through dazzling, aqua walls of water or hanging from ropes being hit with torrents of water as they spun in the air. The bar shots of Zest would be equally exhilarating. 

Mark I
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Mark I

Reflections Of A Madman Part 15.

September 30, 2010

One of the true joys of the ad business is getting paid for dreaming out loud. Even with the most specific creative strategy, (and the most productive ones are very precise), there are infinite commercial ideas just waiting to come to life.

Mark I
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Mark I

This Labor Day, EBL made a difference for MDA.

September 8, 2010

For the third year in a row, my wife Sandy and I spent Labor Day weekend at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas working on an annual event that has become an intrinsic part of the American experience, the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

Mark I
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Mark I