First Presidential topical ad ran this morning - "Duobaan?"

The first topical ad using the stand still in the U.S. Presidential race wasn't produced in the states - it's the Dutch who jumped on the subject.

Publicis in Amsterdam ran an ad in the Telegraaf this morning for their client Capacity, a job recruitment agency specializing in middle and top personnel for marketing communication and sales.

The ad depicts both Gore and Bush shaking hands and looking happy, but with the headline suggesting they should share the job of President: "Ever thought of a shared leadership?" In Dutch the word "duobaan" means that two people share the same job, each person working part time.

Victor Silvis and Peter Clercx are the Creative directors of Publicis and the people who gave this project to Copywriter Maxim van Wijk and Art Director Åsk Wäppling with strict orders to return with an ad on the topic within an hour.

Contrary to popular belief, multinational agencies don't always move slow.

"We won the client, Capacity on Monday, on Tuesday we watched the Presidential Election on T.V., on Wednesday we made the ad, and it ran this morning." says Victor Silvis, rather humbly.

"So how does it feel to set a speed record?" I ask, to which both Victor and Peter respond. "It feels great!"

Clients that are willing to let some control go always helps too - Capacity never even saw the finished layout before the ad ran, there was simply no time. Åsk and Maxim worked late into the evening and as soon as the account and CD's signed off the ad went to print in the morning newspapers.

"With clients like them, there are more great ads to come," says Sophie Brüggen, the Account Director on this project.

Has anyone out there seen any other topical ads on the same subject?

Editorial note: In early February 2001, Publicis lost Capacity as a client. This turned out to be the only ad they ever made for this client. The reason for their discontinued co-operation is not revealed. Not even to us who worked there and on this client!

(Full disclosure if it's not clear: I art directed the above ad. my CW Maxim van Wijk wrote the body copy and headline - we were handed the gig on Wed morning from our CD's at the time, Peter and Victor. I asked permission to post this and interviewed each person for quotes.)

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Why not again?'s picture

Why didn't people make more ads that was referencing the most recent election and all that re-counting in some states? Seems it was a ripe time for a topical press ad for the right client. Or social media ad. Everyone was talking about it. Maybe for an accounting service or something, "we count right the first time"