Anti-smoking and AGF ads sweep Crafts

Ten spots have been recognized with 2004 Bessie Craft Awards for performance. Four of them feature Fubar creators Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence, who also won this year's Kari Award for performance.

Ten spots have been recognized with 2004 Bessie Craft Awards for performance. Four of them feature Fubar creators Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence, who also won this year’s Kari Award for performance.

In ‘Great Reasons to Smoke’ for the Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion, Spence and Lawrence recreate their smokes-lovin’ characters from the 2002 Canadian feature cult hit Fubar.

TBWA’s AGF Financial Services campaign also lent itself to fine acting, featuring protagonists in ordinary jobs who strive to be something more. Three of the four AGF spots honoured with Craft Awards were directed by Steam Films’ David Wellington – ‘Private Investigator,’ starring Ron Gabriel, ‘Flight Attendant,’ featuring Nigel Hamer, and ‘Court Stenographer,’ with Norma Dell’ Agnese. The fourth featured Geoff Gustafson as a ‘Land Surveyor’ treating his job as a high-fashion photo shoot.

Also making the cut – with only one line of dialogue – is Nancy Anne Fowler in DDB Canada’s spot for the British Columbia SPCA, entitled ‘Husband.’ She says, ‘Don’t do that’ twice after leaning into the refrigerator and having her husband treat her like a dog, in an endearing fashion.

The final spot recognized is ‘Potato Sack’ for Hockey Canada, also via DDB Canada. Ross McKie plays an overzealous father at a potato sack race. Last year’s Kari winner was Jessica Amlee for ‘Groceries,’ from the first round of Hockey Canada’s ‘Relax – It’s Only a Game’ campaign.

Fubar dudes land the Kari

And the Kari Award goes to…Dave Lawrence and Paul Spence who recreate their Fubar characters, Terry and Deaner for the Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion. In the ‘Great Reasons to Smoke’ campaign, created by Extreme Group, the halfwit characters justify smoking as the smart choice, while making the practice of lighting up notably unglamorous.

According to Extreme Group CD/art director Sean King, he and writer Shelly Dwyer used the anti-Marlboro Men as inspiration for the campaign. Then Spank Films director Sammy Ray Welch coincidentally used the characters in his treatment and presented it to the agency.

‘We thought that was terrific because we were clearly on the same page,’ says King. ‘We figured, ‘why don’t we stop using them as character references and see if we can use them?”

Spence and Lawrence were excited about the project. Dwyer and King presented the actors with four scripts, but ran with the duo’s reputation for improvisation. ‘It was an interesting process for Shelly and I because we’re used to sticking to a script,’ but when the camera started rolling, these guys turned on and it was really terrific to watch.’ The actors churned out so much quality material, says King, that the four spots became six, in addition to two other spots in the campaign featuring Trailer Park Boys’ Lucy Decoutere and Fubar’s Andrew Sparacino (reprising his role as Tron).

The Kari Award was first presented in 1981 to honour late commercial actor Kari Hannikainen, who was killed in a car accident shortly after appearing in a spot for Heinz ketchup.

Craft Awards: Performance

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Communication’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Performance: Paul Spence, Dave Lawrence

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Better Manners’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Performance: Paul Spence, Dave Lawrence

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Save Money’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Performance: Paul Spence, Dave Lawrence

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke:

Live Longer’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Performance: Paul Spence, Dave Lawrence

Title: ‘Land Surveyor’

Advertiser: AGF Financial Services

Agency: TBWAToronto

Production House: Avion Films

Performance: Geoff Gustafson

Title: ‘Flight Attendant’

Advertiser: AGF Financial Services

Agency: TBWAToronto

Production House: Steam Films

Performance: Nigel Hamer

Title: ‘Private Investigator’

Advertiser: AGF Financial Services

Agency: TBWAToronto

Production House: Steam Films

Performance: Ron Gabriel

Title: ‘Court Stenographer’

Advertiser: AGF Financial Services

Agency: TBWAToronto

Production House: Steam Films

Performance: Norma Dell’ Agnese

Title: ‘Husband’

Advertiser: BC SPCA

Agency: DDB Canada (Vancouver)

Production House: Circle Productions/Hungry Man

Performance: Nancy Anne Fowler

Title: ‘Potato Sack’

Advertiser: Hockey Canada

Agency: DDB Canada (Vancouver)

Production House: Untitled

Performance: Ross McKie