Archive for the ‘animal elements’ category

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…

Nature’s Own Commercial, “Goodness:  Three Little Pigs”

March 6, 2021


It’s a charming commercial, with a bit of old world flavor.  The Three Little Pigs of fairy tale fame are busy in their kitchen, making breakfast…and Lordy, they’re making French toast with Nature’s Own bread!  I love French toast, and this looks more than good enough to eat, so gimme, gimme, gimme!  Pleasant low-key European-style dining music is playing in the background.  I’d be on board for this…

But wait…the Big Bad Wolf is also in the background, with a mighty exhalation of his classic breath!  Is he about to “blow the piggies” house down, and feast on the diners therein?!  Nah, not to worry…the wolf is blowing out celebratory candles on a giant stack of french toast thoughtfully prepared by the three piggies for some special occasion.  They all applaud the wolf’s efforts, and then everyone is sitting down around the rustic table to eat hearty.  All appears harmonious and well, but…

Hey, got any bacon?, asks the wolf.  This is followed by silence and blank stares by the pigs, and you can almost hear the crickets.  “Just kidding!,” the wolf then reassures his company.  He was only having fun with the piggies, you see, even if the joke was in questionable taste.  All is well here with the predator/prey breakfast repast, despite wolves having a bad rep.  Don’t kill the cook, I always say…

Nature’s OwnGoodness is in their nature.  It’s “goodness that brings everyone together.”  And even a wolf can be capable of peaceful coexistence, apparently.  It’s the wolves who pretend not to be one that you have to watch out for…

 

FanDuel Sportbook’s “Payout Falcon”

December 10, 2020

FanDuel Sportsbook is an on-line gaming company that in a recent commercial shows the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to deliver your winnings as quickly as possible to you; they’ve trained a peregrine falcon to deliver your winnings, on the fly as it were.  The falcon swoops down to the splendid outdoor location of a patron who retrieves his winnings from a tube attached to the bird’s leg, and before departing, the falcon swipes the guy’s sandwich, taking it with him for his return flight!

“Honey, I’ve come into some money,” the man tells his presumed off-screen wife.  “And I’m going to need a new sandwich!”  Undoubtedly, some will raise objections about this commercial.  Should the guy pictured be gambling?  And should his wife tell him to make his own damn sandwich?  He does have legs, after all…

I, for one, champion the peregrine falcon, who at least gets a sandwich as the wages of his forced servitude…fly free, magnificent bird!

E*TRADE’s “Bear Market” Commercial

June 9, 2020

 

Bears have not gotten their proper representation or respect in commercials, with the toilet paper obsessed Charmin bears a case in point. One cannot readily imagine them functioning in a species-specific parallel world either, as the Chantix turkey appears to do so effortlessly in a number of memorable commercials. That may now change, as at long last, we are finally given a peek into a world where bears have meshed into the trappings of human civilization, courtesy of E*TRADE.

These bears calmly prowl the aisles of a supermarket on their hind legs, sniffing at cantaloupes and filling their shopping carts with generous amounts of honey, appropriately in those little bear-shaped clear containers. A bear family stops at the fish counter where they’re waited on by one of their own; there’s even a disabled bear who whizzes by in a motorized shopping cart! The cashier is likewise a bruin, calling for a price check on a honey container that stubbornly refuses to scan while the customer moans his annoyance.

“If this is your idea of a bear market,” we hear in the closing voice over, “maybe trading’s not for you.” We’re advised not to get mad, but rather get E*TRADE, and get more than trading…and I’d like to get more glimpses into the universe of these very relatable bears! They’ve evolved so far from the days of Yogi…

Liberty Mutual’s “Emu”

March 18, 2019

For many years now, insurance companies like Geico and Progressive have been producing clever and memorable commercials to tout and lure us to their services. Arriving a bit late to the commercial fray, Liberty Mutual has now produced commercials that incorporate an animal representative in the rather unlikely character of an emu

These ads invoke the “buddy cop” series of the 1970’s, exemplified by such shows as Starsky and Hutch; Robert Blake’s series Beretta even included a cockatoo as Beretta’s companion.

In the Liberty Mutual commercials, the bird becomes even more of an active partner, riding shotgun with his human partner Doug while wearing aviator sunglasses! Called the LiMu Emu, this bird rocks, although in the Reflections ad he does have a bit of a problem interacting with his own image in a window glass, showing those bobbing, weaving, and pecking behaviors that birds sometimes manifest when confronted with reflections that they consider to be another bird.  Partner Doug explains that the LiMu Emu spends so much time time interacting with humans on insurance customization that he doesn’t know quite how to respond to another bird, but that he’ll “figure it out.”

Now I know how to distinguish my own reflection, but do confess to a weakness with distractions posed by shiny things.  At any rate, we can rely on the new dynamic duo of the LiMu Emu and Doug, and as Beretta might have reminded us, “Keep your eye on the sparrow…”

Geico’s “Lobster Hot Tub Party”..

March 11, 2019


I have often walked past the lobster tank in my local supermarket, pitying the poor doomed creatures within and wishing that I could set them free, like some kind of crustacean messiah. In a recent Geico commercial, I can imagine one such liberated lobster enjoying his freedom, sitting in the corner of a hot tub, his claws spread wide as he enjoys the tub jets. There are also two newlywed humans in the far corner of the tub with him.

“I can’t believe it!,” says the guy as he looks at his phone. “That there’s a lobster in the tub with us?,” questions his new wife. It seems that the guy is more incredulous about how much they saved on car insurance with Geico, and how easy it was to do it. The mellow lobster, voiced by H. Michael Croner, asks if the couple is staying at the hotel, and congratulates them when he learns they’re newlyweds. Marriage is not for him, however, as he’s afraid of committment…he’s been boiled alive! The hotel chef appears at this point, looking for the lobster and causing him to duck underwater. We can understand when the lobster reappears, and proclaims that the chef is “the worst!” If you look carefully, the lobster appears to redden somewhat as the commercial progresses…

This cool crustacean can hang out in my bathtub anytime, and should the Lobster Liberation Army ever stage it’s move, I’m maintaining my innocence…

 

 

 

 

“Cats,” the Movie, Coming in 2019…

February 18, 2019



Dancing feline animorphs are coming to the big screen in 2019… you have now been duly warned!  The movie version of the musical will boast some diverse and major stars as cats, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKellen…that’s right, Magneto is gonna play a cat, although appropriately enough a theatrical one.  What would be really cool would be if he’d play a cat with mutant powers.  Perhaps Catwoman from the DC universe could also make an appearance, and we’d really have a blockbuster!

But I digress…the British-American cooperative venture, several years in the planning, is set to come to theaters in later December 2019… 

Allstate’s “Overly Confident Dog Walker”

January 18, 2019

Dean Winter is back as Mayhem for Allstate Insurance as the “overly confident dog walker” who would walk 100 dogs “if his paws were big enough to hold all the leashes.”  Well, he does have quite a herd of dogs leading him, and all that fur makes it hard for him to see where he’s going, causing him to take quite a header on a loose brick, his face impacting with a sickening thud on unyielding brickwork.  The homeowner viewing the accident via camera comments that Mayhem is not Kevin, his usual dog walker…Mayhem responds that he is today. Our man of infinite sorrows adds that unless the homeowner has Allstate Insurance, paying for his medical bills is gonna be “ruff.”  A dog sweetly licks Mayhem’s battered face…

In my twisted mind, I’d like to see some kind of apocalyptic standoff between Flo of Progressive Insurance and the Mayhem dude where he’d cast all kinds of calamities at her (fire, flood, lightning, raccoons, etc.) which Flo in her flawless white outfit would simply shrug off.  It would be kinda like a battle between two X-Men, the irresistible force versus the immovable object. Flo’s sister Janice could be indifferently chewing gum in the background, her attention riveted on her cell phone… (fade to black)

 

“The Masked Singer,” American Edition…

January 3, 2019

Aha, I just knew that we were going to be able to sneak some compelling furry images and characters onto mainstream television soon, and with The Masked Singer on Fox (- -how appropriate!), our time may have finally come in 2019!

 

Now for those of you not in the know, The Masked Singer is a new reality show (for the U.S., anyways) in which celebrity contestants perform and compete entirely clad in costume head-to-toe, concealing their identity. Most often those costumes are of animals, monsters, or other fantastic life forms with the contestant’s group of twelve including among others a unicorn, a deer, a hippo, a French poodle, a pineapple-man, a lion, and my personal fave, a rabbit! For the first night, six contestants competed on a paired basis, with the lesser voted contestant of each match-up relegated to the bottom three, and the weakest of that group unmasked and sent home. Victors in the matches included a Peacock winning over a Hippo, a Unicorn beating a “Monster,” and a Lion defeating a Deer. The Hippo, a real-life football athlete, ranked lowest and was sent home.

 

The show kind of blends American Idol with The Gong Show by way of a furry convention. Some of the costumes are elaborate and impressive, and dependent on their individual gifts and the bulk of their outfit some of the contestants incorporate a little choreography into their stage presentations. All of the contestants are supposedly well-known figures in music, comedy, or athletics, and the identity of each will ultimately be revealed as the weaning-out process continues. Popular in Asia and originating in South Korea, the American version of The Masked Singer is certainly different, even if it’s not for everyone…

“A Mercy” Episode on, “The Terror”

April 23, 2018

When the going gets tough, it’s time to throw a party as a counter to the growing anger, despair, and psychosis growing among the crews of Erebus and Terror, as we are shown in Episode 6 of the series. The party is a wild one, thrown in an enormous tent rigged by the seamen, complete with drinking, hot tub bathing, and men wearing dresses, ahem!  There are seamen wearing animal head masks…yes, 19th century furries!   Rum is even being fed to the brain-dead crewman Private Heather, his skull torn open in an earlier Tuunbaq attack.

Unfortunately, one of their own, Dr. Stanley, has quietly gone mad, and he seals off the tent before dousing it and himself with oil, and igniting both.  Stanley’s arms-spread self-immolation is evocative of a scene from The Thing from Another World, and is perhaps the most horrible thing in the episode, rivaled only by Lady Silence‘s staggering bloody entrance, her tongue self-removed in an attempt to forge a shamanistic bond with the Tuunbaq.  We do see the creature briefly, his face a disquieting mix of ursine and human features.

With their food supply starting to run low and the canned food producing recognized symptoms of lead poisoning, expedition leadership now plans to abandon both their mission and their vessels in a risky trek on foot hundreds of miles south to civilization. The ill-fated party was an effort to boost morale prior to food rationing, climatic suffering, and the further predations of their Tuunbaq adversary, although clearly it had the reverse effect, adding also to the mounting body count.  

With only four episodes left to run, we unlike the poor devils in the Royal Navy know that this will end badly, because as Captain Crozier observed, “The place wants us dead…”