Archive for the ‘animal spokepersons’ category

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… 🦊

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…

Absorbx Cat Litter Commercial…

August 22, 2020

 

 

Cat litter commercials sell a necessary if somewhat distasteful product for feline fanciers, and leave it to Arm & Hammer to do so memorably!  Those who do not co-habit with cats at least deserve in such a commercial to be entertained, and I haven’t seen anthropomorphic animals portrayed so well in a classic western-gendre setting since the movie Rango, but here the characters are all feline…

Picture a classic western saloon circa 1870, complete with swinging entry doors, period piano music playing, and a cast of stock costumed western character types inside.  Enter the young, slender, white-hatted stranger; instantly the piano music ceases, and all eyes are fixed on the newcomer…will there be trouble?  

Thankfully, no…“This town smells FANTASTIC!,” declares the stranger.  At a nearby poker-type table, we see a trio of felines, on the left a female “Miss Kitty” type, to the right possibly a dandified card-sharp, and between them a large, hoary, black-hatted, black-overcoated alpha cat who looks like he might be trouble.  But no, he arranges a demonstration through the cat-bartender of the litter’s absorbency qualities using “desert-dry” mineral ingredients.  Follow the science, I always say…

Following the demonstration, our appealing white-hatted cat notes that word is going to spread fast.  “Spread it then,” admonishes the dark-hatted cat.  “Go on, git!”  And so the slender stranger does…and the rest will probably be the stuff of western legend…

Perhaps future commercial installments will feature “the Cat With No Name” gunning down purveyors of inferior cat litter, kind of a Clint Eastcat typeand I’d love to see Val Kilmer’s standout Tombstone character translated to Cat Holliday, frontier dentist, card sharp, and quirky gunfighter extraordinary!  

 

Geico’s “Moving House Thing” Commercial

July 13, 2020


Turtles have made inroads into televised advertising, as seen before in a number of episodes of Comcast’s “Slowskys” depicting a turtle family with their technologically-hip son.  Now Progressive insurance has also brought us an anthropomorphic father-and-son turtle duo, who we are shown sunning themselves on a rock overlooking a camper park.  In the near background sits a large motorized camper which piques the younger turtle’s curiosity, prompting him to ask his father about the “moving house thing.”

Turtle-Dad responds that it’s a motor home, a modern invention, to which Junior replies that they’ve carried their houses around with them for “like forever!”   Turtle-Dad chuckles, and then responds that the humans have Geico to cover them if anything goes wrong.  “What could go wrong?,” wonders Junior out loud when a feather drifts down from above.  “Ooh, a feather!” exclaims Junior with child-like wonder.  Looking upwards, Turtle-Dad discerns a vulture sitting in the tree above them.  “Duck, Junior!,” he alerts his son.  Now sharing in the alarm, Junior qualifies his Dad’s response, correcting “That’s no duck, Daddy…that’s a vulture!”

The humans are clueless non-participants in the drama unfolding before them, but I doubt they’d be thrilled to see vultures roosting near their camper; perhaps a Stephen King-esque horror movie is about to begin here.  The turtles as they retreat into their shells will hopefully live to see another day.  They have warm and wonderful human-like eyes and expressions, and make a nice addition to the Geico advertising animal stable that memorably includes an office camel thrilled to see “hump day” arrive…

 

(…tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

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…

The Chantix Turkey at the Fair…

April 10, 2020

In the strange world of evolution gone awry inhabited by the Chantix Turkey, we are gradually being introduced to other individuals there, and familiarized with their social activities.  A recent episode takes us to their town fair, a rather folksy event at which our hero is apparently functioning as a worker.  Nice guy or bird that he is, the turkey takes the plunge in a dunk tank before donning an apron, working thereafter at a ring toss game booth (above), a ticket booth, and even a cotton candy stand.  This turkey does it all…

There are some subtle and cute touches in this ad, such as when the titular turkey walks past a fun house mirror, and we get to see his slenderized reflection in the mirror.  It’s a delight to see the turkey’s distinctive walk here, as well as his trademark heel click out of exuberance at kicking the smoking habit.

The turkeys don’t seem to be socially distancing, so they’ve apparently avoided the Coronavirus.  In their friendly and serene world, however, one wonders if the turkeys might someday have to deal with some variant of the avian flu, or perhaps just a hostile invasion by Elmer Fudd wanna-bes…oh the horror, the  horror! 

Oh, and by the way…a Happy Easter, y’all!

Carfax TV Commercial, “Shrubs”

March 22, 2020

Our Carfax television commercial begins with the Car Fox, a personal hero of mine, standing in front of a pleasant, tidy little house with an attached garage and a car in the driveway. A large shrub is alongside the Car Fox, but all is not as it appears. Before the Fox can say a word, the shrub sprouts feet and a face, an adult male inside!

Is the guy heavily into camouflage, early to test out a Halloween costume, or seeking to hide from the Coronavirus? – -Nope, nope, and nope; he and his family are simply so ashamed of overpaying for a used car that they are afraid to show their faces in public! Alas, if only they had looked up a Carfax first to determine an appropriate price for their used vehicle! His wife and two kids are also clad as shrubs, and amble off with the gentleman as the ad concludes. I do hope that there wasn’t any poison ivy lurking amidst their assumed foliage!

I’m reminded that shrubs may be of great significance. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Knights of Née could only be placated by shrubbery, so perhaps such outfits may be of value after all…and Car Fox, you’re unflappable and lookin’ good as always! Don’t you just want to scritch his head?!

Chantix “Cold Turkey: Skyscraper”

October 10, 2019

In a recent Chantix commercial, the now familiar Chantix turkey visits the observation floor of a skyscraper on a windy day, finding the temperatures a bit chilly for him as he emerges from an elevator.  The turkey then retreats, returning in a jacket and taking in the sights from his vantage point, even availing himself of the coin-operated viewer common at such locations and at one point looking directly at the viewing audience from the apparatus!

Being an anthropomorphic turkey, our boy actually takes a “selfie” from his location, observed by a pigeon in the background who looks and behaves conventionally for his species. There is no communion of the minds or small talk taking place between these two birds; they are not “birds of a feather,” since we’ve previously even seen the turkey driving a vehicle and living in a rather nice house.  One wonders if the turkey would become irate if the pigeon were to poop on his vehicle, and perhaps be driven by stress to fire up a cigarette again.  That doesn’t take place in this installment, for the turkey, successfully weaned from tobacco, throws into a trash can the pack of cigarettes that he apparently carried in his jacket. Then the turkey clicks his heels (or whatever passes for them on a turkey), and returns to the elevator for his descent from the skyscraper.

With Thanksgiving drawing nearer, I do hope that our turkey can steer clear of opportunistic hunters, although it probably wouldn’t be hard for him to outwit Elmer Fudd…

 

 

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem Cat” Commercial…

September 14, 2019

Dean Winters is back as the Allstate Mayhem guy, a role he plays to perfection…and he’s no stranger to playing animals as well, having played a raccoon in the attic in an earlier outing (below)…

This time he’s portraying a cat, and the absurdity and whimsy of his portrayal is enhanced by the fact that he’s neither in costume nor CGI enhanced, but simply appearing as a normally dressed adult human male adopting feline mannerisms, poses, and behaviors. 

“I’m your cat,” announces Winters, “and ever since you brought me home that day, I’ve been plotting to destroy you,” he declares calmly, flashing back to his batting away the petting hand of his male owner on that first day. We are show Winters doing a variety of iconic cat-things, like playing with kitty-toys while lying on his owner’s couch, and spitting a mouse onto their sleeping face.  “I’ve been sizing you up, calculating your every move,” Winters shares as he peers from a cat-condo and rides a Roomba.  “You think this is love?  This is a billion years of tiger DNA, waiting to pounce!” Eventually a faucet left running by the Winters-cat overflows the sink, causing the upstairs bathroom to collapse down to the floor below.  His feline agenda is proceeding nicely…

If you have the wrong type of insurance, you could be stuck coughing up the cash for this,” advises Winters as he coughs up bird feathers by a now vacant cage. “So get Allstate, and you could be better protected from Mayhem, like meow,” he closes, dipping his fingers into a cat-food bowl bearing the name “Mayhem,” and laughing in a rather sinister fashion, his outfit complete with a collar and tag…the devil is in the details, you see!

 

 

 


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