Archive for the ‘anthropomorphic’ category

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…”

“Power Thru Overtime” Jack Links Commercial…

March 15, 2019

Subtitle: “When meat eaters ruled the seas…”
(Scene: In a commercial we are shown a Viking longboat on a wine-dark sea, the sky likewise brooding and elemental. But what is this? Only one Viking warrior remains conscious trying dutifully to ply the oars, her crew mates passed out from fatigue or perhaps mead. She is weary, for the hour is late…but fortunately, the warrior has a powerful ally in Jack Links Beef Jerky! She bites off a healthy mouthful (not at all daintily), and is empowered! Bigfoot appears in the stern of the longboat, and begins to lay down a powerful and quickening beat on his massive drum to set the rhythm for the lone rower. She is empowered, and roars lustily, the very model of a Viking shield maiden! A raven perched on the railing joins in the cry, and the sleeping crew begins to show signs of life. — On to victory for Odin, mighty warriors!

We then flash to the office habitat of our modern female warrior, successfully fighting the battle of after-hours office fatigue with her Jack Links Jerky. Empowerment is delivered, and Bigfoot enters the office to break the wand of the custodian’s vacuum, because sometimes only destruction will express the mood!- – Rawrrr! – –Meat will apparently deliver this one through overtime just as it delivered the Vikings past treacherous seas. It is good to know that their unconquerable spirit lives on!

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…

 

 

 

 

“The Masked Singer” Concludes…

February 28, 2019

After nine episodes, The Masked Singer concluded its first season on February 27th, that episode clocking in at an inflated two hours. The first hour was a recap of the contestants previously unmasked and eliminated, leading down to the three finalists of Monster, Bee, and Peacock. My enthusiasm for the series dwindled when Rabbit (Joey Fatone) was eliminated in the semi-finals, which I think was caused by his later selection of materials, none of which generated the excitement of his first performance of “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” No one really wanted to hear Rabbit sing “My Girl” or perform a country number, although he reportedly remained in character even when on breaks during rehearsals, and I felt that he and Peacock best incorporated dance and stage presence into their performances.  Perhaps these guys could continue to perform as their costumed characters; I’d go to a psychotic Rabbit concert!

I was rather surprised that Bee (Gladys Knight) came in third, with the Peacock (Donny Osmond) coming in second…this guy is an underrated performer!  Monster (T-Pain) won the top honors with his soulful croonings, and seemed to be a sentimental favorite despite being nearly eliminated in an early round.  

The series was weird stuff, but we are living in strange times for which the antidote may be this kind of freaky escapism…and by the way, The Masked Singer has been renewed for a second season, to begin at an unspecified date…

The “Banana Splits” Murders…

February 21, 2019

 

I, for one, am not surprised that the Banana Splits gang are finally going homicidal; they always were rather surreal, shady, and oddly disturbing, and one knew that there had to be something more darkly seething under the surface than what they wanted you to see.  

For those of you who just fell off the turnip truck, the Banana Splits were an oddball creation of Sid and Marty Krofft, and were people costumed in cheap fursuits with unchanging and unmovable faces that presented themselves as being a gorilla, elephant, dog, and lion on kiddie television episodes that aired from 1968 to 1970, continuing afterwards in syndication for a decade. They were supposedly a rock band, and a typical segment might involve them running madly about before running into one another and falling down. Their theme song was extremely annoying, but an ear worm that could play inside your head, driving you to madnessIt was the ’60’s, after all, and we didn’t know any better.

Anyways, the Syfy channel is bringing back the Banana Splits for a movie in which a boy and his parents go to a taping of the old show when things take a turn for the worse, and the body count starts rising. I’ve always suspected that this moment would be coming…

“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… 

Autonomous, Ambulatory Robots…

February 5, 2019


Submitted for your approval is Marty, an autonomous, ambulatory robot deployed at my local supermarket to look for spills and trash. He approached me noisily from behind, beeping and flashing lights, and at first I didn’t know what was going on! Was someone pushing this thing, inside it, or remotely controlling it? — Nope, nope, and nope…but you don’t have to fear Marty.  They pasted on those ridiculous, googly eyes so as not to project a Darth Vader vibe, although that might be interesting…

Vader ‘Bot:  “I find your lack of fresh produce purchases disturbing…”

Customer:  “Alright,  just stop force-choking me,  jeez!  I’m throwing in cabbages, see?”

Vader ‘Bot:  “The General Manager will be pleased, but pray you do not require a further demonstration…”

While it will be some time before Rosie the robot from The Jetsons will be among us, the ‘bots are coming!    Marty is far from being C-3PO, but give it another ten years or so, and they could be seeking a piece of your action…