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30for30

GSP celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 15, 2013.

To mark this milestone, we reached out to a group of distinguished GSP alumni—creatives, strategists, media planners, producers, account leaders and others—and asked them to vote for their 10 favorite things produced at GSP in our first 30 years.

Here are the top 10 and the next 20. (The top 10 are in order, but 11 through 30 were so close that we decided to share them in alphabetical order by client.)

Enjoy the trip down memory lane.

  • Goodby Silverstein & Partners | 30for30

    1. California Milk Processor Board, “Aaron Burr” (1993)

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    To say that “Aaron Burr” won our alumni poll by a landslide is a bit of an understatement—it got four times as many votes as any other spot or campaign.

    And that makes sense: it was the spot that launched a 20-year campaign and a 20-year client relationship, both of which are tremendous sources of pride for the agency.

    Director Michael Bay (well before he was known as a big-time movie director) disagreed that the spot should clarify who Aaron Burr was before the hero tries to say the name. Bay reluctantly got one shot of the painting with Burr’s name—the last shot of the day as the film rolled out, making it potentially unusable. (It was the rollout that created the flashing you see in the spot.)

    Producer Cindy Epps remembers looking at Erich Joiner and Chuck McBride and the three of them crossing their fingers, hoping it would be enough. It was.

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  • 2. E*TRADE, “It’s Your Money” (2000)

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    In the late ’90s it seemed as though everybody was making money in the stock market, and online brokerages such as E*TRADE were seen as heroes, providing access to the average Joe.

    But in 2000, when the market went south and people started losing money, category leader E*TRADE lost some of its luster and was seen as an enabler of the dot-com mania.

    The “It’s Your Money” campaign showed the breadth of E*TRADE’s services, suggesting that the ability to self-direct was as important in the tough times as it was in the good times.

    Whether it was featuring a dancing monkey or cash out of the ass, the campaign captured the craziness of the market and was a reminder that individuals were better off making their own decisions.

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  • 3. Chevys Fresh Mex, “Fresh Mex” (1991)

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    It started with a simple question: What if the commercial was as freshly baked as the tortillas? What if a fresh-food restaurant served fresh advertising?

    Filmed in the morning, edited in the afternoon and transmitted that day, these Chevys commercials marked a big departure from how advertisers usually thought about broadcasts and demonstrated how inventive media choices could underscore a brand promise.

    Today, in the film-it-and-post-it-immediately-to-YouTube age, there’s something almost quaint about this campaign. But in 1991 nobody had ever seen anything like it.

    “Should have won a Titanium, but they didn’t exist back then,” said GSP alumnus Gerry Graf.

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  • 4. Saturn, “Sheet Metal” (2002)

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    Here’s an idea: let’s do a car commercial in which you don’t show the car.

    You can imagine how well that would go over with most clients. But that’s what made “Sheet Metal” such a compelling idea for Saturn, a different kind of car company. In many ways, Saturn’s product was  the relationship Saturn drivers had to the brand.

    Focus groups didn’t like the spot. They said it didn’t tell them enough. GSP was lucky that our client, Jill Lajdziak, didn’t agree. In the end, the spot probably captured Saturn better than anything in the history of the brand.

     

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  • 5. Budweiser, "Budweiser Lizards" (1997)

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    “How on earth are we going to get rid of these goddamn frogs?”

    That was one of the first briefs GSP received from Anheuser-Busch, who were faced with the challenge of evolving what was, at the time, America’s favorite ad campaign.

    GSP’s answer was quite simple: kill them. We introduced two disgruntled lizards, Louie and Frank. We then dramatized their jealousies and ended with Louie actually electrocuting the frogs, only to be outdone in the end by a charismatic weasel.

    That campaign went on to become one of the most awarded and beloved ad campaigns of its day, leading to the inevitable question, “What now—do we have to kill off the lizards?”

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  • 6. Norwegian Cruise Line, “Fantasies” (1994)

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    There is no doubt that this is a lovely campaign, but the fond place it has in the hearts of many alumni may be a result of two things.

    First, the weeks on end that teams got to spend in the Caribbean and Seychelles.

    Second, an infamous all-agency cruise that stemmed from a barter arrangement in place of client fees. The stories from said cruise are too racy for a public site, but they end with the ship’s captain telling Jeff Goodby that “his people” were no longer welcome on the high seas.

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  • 7. California Milk Processor Board, “Birthday” (2003)

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    The classic “got milk?” campaign is one of the country’s longest-running and most beloved ad campaigns.

    On the 10th anniversary of the campaign (which was originally launched in 1993), GSP produced “Birthday,” an eerie reminder that nobody cares about milk unless it’s not available.

    The moody, cinematic spot featured a creepy young lad who could see the future, and it held the reveal of the campaign’s “depravation strategy” until the final moments of the spot.

    The resulting commercial is one of the most celebrated spots of the 20-year “got milk?” campaign.

     

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  • 8. Nike, “Skateboarders” (1997)

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    Skater paranoia is real. With few official skate parks, skaters have to take to the streets, which means scorn from passersby, cops, ticketing and board confiscation for these urban outlaws.

    The strategy we developed with Nike was to speak to skaters as athletes, to take their feelings of persecution and harassment and turn them into a defense. Yes, skateboarders are athletes. But athletes don’t get treated like skateboarders. What if they did?

    That question sparked a campaign that shares traits with many other GSP classics: a smart insight; a funny, almost absurdist spin; and great performances.

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  • 9. California Milk Processor Board, “gettheglass.com” (2006)

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    When you go back and read some of the development materials for gettheglass.com, you realize that the team was in uncharted territory at the time. To explain the idea, they had to say things like “It’s an online board” because a term like “microsite” hadn’t really been invented yet.

    The microsite era has now passed, but this digital execution of the milk “superdrink” strategy attracted more than 3.28 million unique viewers and had an average visit time of nine minutes.

    And in proving that there was a place for rich storytelling in the digital space, it was the big reason GSP was named Digital Agency of the Year in 2006.

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  • 10. Hewlett-Packard, “François (Picture Book)” (2004)

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    Like many of GSP’s best pieces, this was a wonderful collaboration between agency and director.

    French director François Vogel, who had directed the HP “You” spot the year before, got a brief for a new spot and decided to make a test ad. He set up a camera and shot himself putting empty frames around his head and neck. Then, using some software he wrote himself, he transformed the footage to create the illusion ultimately seen in the final spot.

    He got the job. And CDs Rich Silverstein, John Norman and Steve Simpson were so grateful for Vogel’s visual ingenuity that they named the spot after him.

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  • Anheuser-Busch, "Weird Without Beer" (1996)

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  • Budweiser, "What Are You Doing?" (2001)

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  • California Milk Processors Board, "Heaven" (1994)

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  • Chevy, "Sonic Launch" (2012)

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  • Comcast, "Rabbit" (2008)

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  • Doritos, "Hotel 626" (2008)

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  • eBay, "Toy Boat" (2004)

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  • Foster Farms, "Cops" (1993)

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  • Haagen-Dazs, "Honey Bees" (2008)

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  • Hewlett-Packard, "The computer is personal again" (2006)

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  • Isuzu, "Practically Amazing" (1995)

    Isuzu, "Practically Amazing" (1995)

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  • Logitech, "Ivan Cobenk" (2010)

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  • Mill Valley Film Festival, "Mill Valley Film Festival" (1984)

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  • NBA, "There can only be one" (2008)

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  • Pac Bell DSL, "Neighbors" (2000)

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  • Partnership for Drug Free America, "Long Way Home" (1994)

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  • Polaroid, "See What Develops" (1996)

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  • Porsche, "Kill Bugs Fast" (2005)

    Porsche, "Kill Bugs Fast" (2005)

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  • SF Examiner, "Wild Will" (1985)

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  • SPCA, "Toby" (1989)

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13for13

We started 2013 by asking our alumni to rank their favorite things produced at GSP in our first 30 years. We’re ending the year by asking current employees to pick their favorites from this year. The votes are in; here at the top 13. 


GSP wins 4 gold, 3 silver at American Advertising Awards

June 3, 2014
  • GSP was honored to collect seven awards at the 2014 American Advertising Awards (a.k.a. The National ADDYs), handed out May 31 in Boca Raton, Florida.

    The American Advertising Awards is one of the advertising industry's largest competitions, attracting more than 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club (Ad Club) competitions.

    GOLD

    Digital Advertising – Apps
    Nickelodeon (Nick Moms) – Sick Tats for Rad Moms

    Radio – Regional/National – Campaign
    California Milk Processors Board – Seeds of Doubt

    Advertising Industry Self-Promotion – Broadcast
    Goodby Silverstein & Partners – 150th Anniversary

    Elements of Advertising – Visual
    NBA – Jingle Hoops

    SILVER

    Comsumer or Trade Publication – Campaign
    Häagen-Dazs – Made Like No Other

    Advertising Industry Self-Promotion – Digital Advertising
    Goodby Silverstein & Partners – goodbysilverstein.com

    Integrated Campaigns – Consumer – Regional/National
    California Milk Processors Board – Sweet Dreams

    How The Competition Works

    Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the local Ad Club phase is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie to win ADDY Awards--recognition as the very best in their markets. GSP was the big winner in the local competition, collecting 21 awards.

    At the second tier, local ADDY winners compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. GSP was honored 18 times at the regional competition. 

    District ADDY winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards.

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