Executive Creative Director
Last year, Mendelsohn/Zien attracted headlines when a TV commercial it created for juniors clothing retailer Clothestime was rejected by all the major broadcast and cable networks.
There’s a reason the networks were concerned: The spot portrayed a completely naked man talking about certain male biological responses that occur when a man gets a look at a sexy woman clad in Clothestime attire.
It wasn’t the first time a TV network, newspaper or magazine has rejected a Mendelsohn/Zien advertisement, and it probably won’t be the last. The agency and its executive creative director Jordin Mendelsohn have a reputation for pushing the envelope of edginess or at least of good taste.
Mendelsohn’s main target is young men, the demographic the agency has corraled in spots for Carl’s Jr. restaurants that depict gooey hamburgers dripping ketchup and mustard.
One spot, which drew concerns from network censors but which ultimately was allowed to run, features horror-movie-style footage of a man with a knife running through a house, tracking what seems to be puddles of blood (actually ketchup from a Carl’s hamburger).
To attract the attention of young people today, you have to go as far as the censors will allow, Mendelsohn says. Or beyond.
“I don’t think it’s possible to go far enough for our target audience because the networks won’t let you,” Mendelsohn said.
But not everything he puts out has an edge the spots Mendelsohn has created for the BMW Dealers of North America, for example, are considerably more conservative.