Archive for the ‘advertising’ category

NJM’s “Ferret Interview” Commercial…

November 24, 2021

I have long been of the opinion that ferrets are wonderful animals whose potential has barely been touched in commercials, the furry fandom, and society in general. They are cool, cute, endearing, smart, and move well. Perhaps through commercials such as this one, the Day of the Ferret will finally have arrived!

Just check out this little guy…small in size, but big in talent! He’s lithe, good-looking, well-spoken, and he even moonwalks! Appearing for a job interview, the ferret is offered a job in the mail room by the job interviewer, who clearly lacks vision. The ferret sees himself as having mascot potential, and frankly would be a great one!

Now NJM Insurance promotes itself as having no mascots and no jingles, and I respect them for that. Some of the mascot commercials are admittedly stupid or over-the-top. But I would snatch this little guy up, and sign him to a long-term contract, fast! I can even see a TV series working nicely for this one…

Now in my twisted perspective, I’d like to see the tables reversed, and the ferret interviewing the woman. She could then then be told that she didn’t meet company needs at this time, or perhaps more darkly be assigned to writing company “mission statements” and other jobs from hell…

Now to see another ferret used effectively, check out the character of Fungo Squiggly in the comic strip Get Fuzzy. Fungo is rough and borderline thuggish, he smokes, is said to chew metal as a hobby, produces Ferret Television, and is the nemesis of Bucky the Cat. Will there be a ferret in your future?

And by the way, a Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Liberty Mutual’s “Spider-Man” Commercial…

November 22, 2021

Like many of us, Doug of Liberty Mutual notoriety harbors a superhero fantasy. So when he and the Emu view footage of Spider Man web-swinging and saving a city, Doug just can’t resist putting a nasty-looking spider on his arm, and encouraging it to bite him in the expectation of receiving spider powers…

Doug appears to have a surprisingly good office, actually…one would expect him to be in a converted broom closet. Anyways, once bitten Doug raises his arms dramatically in expectations of receiving the spider-gift…

Doug is no Peter Parker, however, and what Doug receives is a nasty reaction to the spider bite. “Did it work?!,” asks Doug as he is packed off to the hospital, grotesquely swollen face and all. First the poor sap is denied a helicopter in a previous commercial, and now this. I guess most of us aren’t destined to have superpowers, but we’ll keep the fantasy alive… 🦊

Arm & Hammer “Slide Out of Funk” Cat Disco Commercial…

October 16, 2021

Many of us wonder what our cats do when they disappear from home for hours at a time. Hunt and kill things to bring home to you? – -Nah, they go to the disco where they got it going on!

This feline disco is in the best 70’s tradition, complete with a lit-up dance floor and a mirrored disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Anthropomorphic cats are in colorful period threads, and there’s even a lithe, scene-stealing tomcat who moves like a young feline John Travolta. Yes, this cat is where it’s at!

It’s no wonder that the female kitties are all moon-eyed over this Top Cat. “Where did he learn to slide’ like that?,” wonders one. Why, Arm & Hammer “slide” cat litter, of course! And doesn’t the cat below on the left look as if she’s wearing a Star Trek uniform? Is this a Caitian, perhaps the feline version of Uhura?

I was never into the “disco” scene much; it ain’t what we called Rock ‘n’ Roll! The kitty disco scene is fun, but if leisure suits ever come back, I’m out of here! 😸 Until that time, “Go Cat, Go!

Geico’s “Animal in the Attic”

October 7, 2021

I’ve always felt that Animal, the Muppet drummer for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, might have been helped by the proper psychotropic medication. On medication, however, his explosive and wildly exuberant drumming might have suffered. It’s a trade-off, really…

The Geico commercial begins with an unremarkable middle-aged couple sitting on their couch, with the guy professing that they love their house, and have lived there for years. “Yeah, but there’s an Animal in the attic,” adds the lady…

and so there is, flailing away at his drum kit while vocalizing such snatches of speech as “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah! Drums! Drums! Aaaah! An-im-al!

When not loudly pounding on his drums, Animal invades the kitchen, literally swings from the rafters, and slides down the bannister. Remarkably, all his unwilling hosts can do is try to ignore him. At least Geico makes bundling their car and homeowners insurance easy…

In a closing scene, we are shown Animal shambling across the couple’s yard, the length of broken chain around his neck a nice touch. Animals just have to be free, ‘ya know…. 🦊

(…tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

Flo Meets the Addams Family…

September 17, 2021

In a crossover commercial event, Progressive Insurance’s Flo, Jamie, and others show up in cartoon form at the Addam’s Family mansion. All of the Addams characters are there, including Lurch, Thing, Kitty Kat, and even Cousin It. It’s just hard to tell if you pitted Flo against Wednesday, who would come out on top. My money’s on Wednesday, although Flo is scary, too, and far more annoying. Wednesday harbors, however, a vast and formidable darkness that is absent from Flo.

But there is no confrontational relationship to be had here as both Progressive and the Addams Family are playing on the same team. The Progressive agents are unswayed by the eccentricities of the Addams Family, and begin doing their protective and safeguarding duties at the mansion, such as Jamie sliding a coaster under a glass of Grandmama’s green brew. All the while, a parody of the classic Addams Family theme plays, this time relating to the Progressive players… “They’re helpful but annoying, they always leave us snoring, their accidents are boring, the Progressive Family!”

“So when do you all go home?,” questions Morticia Addams. “Never!,” chirps Flo, “We’re here for you 24/7.” “How terrifying!,” replies Morticia. The commercial concludes with a promo that Addams Family 2 is coming to theaters and On Demand October 1st. While some translations of live action to cartoons are dreadful, the first version I actually found rather worthwhile. I’ll take all of the Addams Family that I can get, especially on Wednesday 🦊

“A Pet Too Far” Progressive Commercial…

June 19, 2021

Where animals are concerned, there’s cute, and there’s painfully cute. So when a commercial being filmed for Progressive Insurance starts with a basket of kittens and proceeds to a bulldog in a top hat 🎩 and then dogs and cats in band uniforms, it’s Progressive’s own Flo who decrees that they’ve gone over the top with a cuteness overload.

Progressive loves animals as much as you do, we’re told, and so protects them for up to $1,000 in the event of an auto accident.

But apparently according to Flo, putting animals into tiny band uniforms to sell car insurance is too much. “What’s wrong with cute animals?,” a team member protests. “Define ‘too much,’ ” says another.

Who’s going to tell Mitten?,” protests Jamie in full band uniform. “She’s a diva!” Mitten is an adorable kitten in a band uniform, a tiny trombone around her neck. She meows pitifully…

Well, I wouldn’t want to have to tell Mitten that her big commercial moment is cancelled…would you?!

Liberty Mutual’s “Gym” Commercial…

June 13, 2021

We once again find the LiMu Emu and Doug on a row of treadmills at a gym, where the human half of the duo asks an unfortunate fellow exerciser on a cell phone if he’s using the Liberty Mutual “customizer” tool, so he “only pays for what he needs.” Doug hardly seems dressed for a workout, wearing long pants, his trademark yellow shirt, and a tie. Bad form, Doug…

Putting Doug to shame, however, is the Emu at the end of the row of treadmills, who is running full tilt! “LiMu, you’re a real animal!,” remarks Doug, adding “Who’s got the ‘bird legs’ now?” Cute…

In an expanded version of the ad, the Emu is also shown pecking at a heavy bag in the gym. His beak punctures the bag’s covering, causing sand to pour out.- -Well, there goes their membership! This is one buff bird…

“Grilling Out” with the LiMu Emu…

June 11, 2021

I’m not sure that one would want to date or marry an insurance company spokesman or rep as depicted on TV, where they never seem to be able to talk about anything but insurance, which can get old really fast! So it is at an outdoor cookout for Liberty Mutual’s “Doug” (David Hoffman), the Emu, and their presumed wives. The partners are dressed alike in matching loud yellow floral Hawaiian print shirts, and even their wives are in matching tones. It’s a surreal occasion, their outfits matching the yellow finish of the Liberty Mutual-mobile visible in the background. They’re nothing but thematic here…

When Doug blathers only about insurance, his wife politely asks him to change the topic, it being the weekend and all.- -Give it a rest, dude! In the awkward silence that follows, Doug asks the Emus wife if she would prefer to eat either a hot dog or chicken right off the grill, the latter offering seeming to be at least quasi-cannibalistic for the bird. The Emu vocalizes a brief response which Doug interprets to indicate a choice for a hot dog. It is not clear whether this is possibly because chickens may resemble baby emus in their sight…

For inquiring minds, the Emu memorably depicted in these commercials is a mix of real bird and CGI effects. At any rate, he certainly can rock a pair of aviator shades! Perhaps a future commercial could touch on a sensitive issue, such as The Great Australian Emu War of 1932, where 20,000 emus prevailed against World War I veterans armed with machine guns. They are a resourceful and resilient species… 🦊

Progressive’s Lovable Loser…

June 6, 2021

While Flo (Stephanie Courtney) is undeniably the top banana in Progressive Insurance commercials, her sidekick Jamie (Jim Cashman) is often a scene-stealing figure. Originally portrayed as kind of a lovable loser beginning in 2014, the Jamie figure has developed layers of character, almost becoming kind of a mystery man.

At first denied sprinkles by Flo because “sprinkles are for winners,” we have seen different sides of Jamie. He can be a goofy and well-intentioned loser, but as we have learned in other commercials can be boorish (Ride Along), sarcastic (Driver’s Ed), or awesome, with martial arts skills (Jamie’s Trip Review). In 40th Birthday Bash, we see Jamie in his not-so-modest home, where we meet his gorgeous wife and hear him play guitar and sing, quite well! This is not just some guy in a white apron, but rather someone with quite the hidden life, and as many layers as an onion. Jamie may not live his job completely as Flo does, but there’s more to him than meets the eye, too, and there may be a little bit of Jamie in all of us, for better or worse…

Vintage Furry Advertising…

May 31, 2021

In the past as now, there were furry icons who represented a brand, and memorably served as spokesmen. Back before Esso gas became Exxon, there was the tiger used to admonish motorists to “put a tiger in their tank,” the tiger representing power and performance. A promotion was even done where stuffed tiger tails that could be affixed to gas caps were available to customers as visible proof that they indeed were driving with such a tiger. This was back in the days when fuel attendants would routinely clean your windshield and check your oil without being asked! Don’t hold your breath waiting for such amenities today. The tiger himself was an impressive dude rendered with attitude and fine attention to detail; rather awesome, actually.

The sadly nameless Esso/Exxon tiger was predated by the Kellogg’s product icon of Tony the Tiger, and there were distinct similarities in depictions of the duo. Despite this, the two tigers co-existed amicably until 1992 when trademark infringe wars erupted as Exxon tried to open Tiger Marts. It’s Tony the Tiger who seems to have best survived the Tiger Wars, and may still readily be seen today…


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