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Peace, Love And Computer Magic

Up Front: MAD AVE


Pushing a message of world harmony during the Winter Olympics, John Hancock has been airing a remarkable ad where 24 natural enemies--including a wolf, a lamb, a jaguar, a llama, a hawk, and a rabbit--congregate peaceably in a sylvan tableau, a TV version of Edward Hicks's famous painting, The Peaceable Kingdom. This gathering, arranged by ad agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, was done electronically: Film of trained animals made separately was stitched together later. Otherwise, it would have been reminiscent of Woody Allen's take on the Book of Isaiah: "The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won't get too much sleep."

One shot in the ad, part of a $7 million series, was live: The pairing of the wolf and the lamb. "It was cheaper," explains Kathleen Driscoll, spokeswoman for Boston-based Hancock. So why didn't the wolf devour the lamb? The lamb was coated with a eucalyptus lotion that rendered it unappetizing. Not just unappetizing: Driscoll says the wolf actually seemed afraid of the sheep. The filmmakers wanted to put others together physically, notably the lion and the zebra, yet backed down. They weren't sure that changing the zebra's scent would fool the lion.

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