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Timing Is Off for Right Guard Spokesman

January 15, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Gillette Co.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

Challenge: Find a fresh execution of the 10-year-old "uncivilized" campaign for Right Guard deodorant.

The Ad: Two versions of the TV spot, 15 and 30 seconds, respectively, show Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith at a high-brow dog show. Smith, wearing a vest over shirt sleeves, has four cute bulldogs on leashes. "When one is competing for the eye of the judges," Smith says in the 30-second spot, "one must keep a firm leash on odor and perspiration." The dogs perform tricks while Smith calls play signals. The spot ends with Smith accepting his trophy as he recites the tag line that unifies the campaign: "Right Guard--anything less would be uncivilized."

Comment: This may be the only trophy Smith collected during the 1997 football season. The timing of this commercial is unfortunate for Gillette, as the Dallas Cowboys didn't even make it to the National Football League playoffs. Smith is a likable athlete, but for now at least, he isn't a winner. $$

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being the highest.

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