Archive for the ‘feathered friends’ category

Nigel the Wise Owl…

March 28, 2017


Owls have long held our respect and are associated with wisdom, and they are increasingly being used as advertising icons.  Their presence in the Harry Potter movies further spiked their popularity to the extent that some misguided people sought them as pets…bad idea, at least for most people!  

Recently used memorably to sell eyewear for one company, owls have now entered the rather competitive allergy medication OTC market.  Enter then Nigel the Xyzal Wise Owl, pictured above.  This feathered guy has class; in one spot, he’s shown in a library with books, wearing a natty jacket, a monocle, and speaking with a British accent! Clearly, this guy is no flyweight, and knows his stuff; he appears to have the right credentials.

With many allergy medications having transitioned from prescription to over-the-counter status, recruiting a feathered sage with the voice of authority like Nigel might help carve out a niche for another product…

America’s Best Eyeglasses Owl…

January 24, 2016

Owls have always had a popular following, representing as they do wisdom, knowledge, and learning.  Their popularity may have been further bolstered by their use in the Harry Potter books and movies.  

Recently an articulate and fine specimen has emerged as a spokesman for the America’s Best Eyeglasses line, suitably bespectacled and able to model different frames simply by an uncanny rotation of his head. The owl himself is both wise and extraordinarily expressive, with a lot of eye and other facial movement. He is further able to cast the hapless human into mimicking the usual owl role, reducing them to single-word utterances of “who?” as he elaborates on virtues of the eyewear company.

If Harry Potter had an owl of this caliber at his side, it might have been easier for him to take on Voldemort…

Wrath of the Turkey…

January 12, 2016

 In another Farmers Insurance commercial, we are shown the revenge of the “proud bird with the golden tail,” the long-suffering and oft disrespected turkey.  A “Meaty’s Butcher Shop” truck manned by a single hapless guy is making its way down the road when a turkey appears in its path, causing the driver to veer off the road and into a tree. The middle-aged gent then regards his passenger seat, where he be holds…a turkey!  The driver screams at the turkey, who gobbles loudly at him…

…payback, they say, is hell.  We then cut to an exterior shot of the disabled truck, with a mob of turkeys descending on it.  There is strength in numbers, and the delivery truck rocks from side to side as the turkeys administer their own brand of justice to one of their oppressors.  It’s reminiscent of a scene in the first Jurassic Park  movie where a throng of diminutive dinosaurs overwhelm and dispense with an especially obnoxious character in his vehicle.

We then cut to a scene with the unflappable J.K. Simmons escorting a client through their extensive Hall of Claims, where we gaze with them upon a much-mangled apron, last worn by the ill-fated delivery driver.  Farmers Insurance has seen just about everything, we are reminded, so they can insure against anything, including “Turkey Jerks…” 

Burger King Chicken Fries “Pregnant” Commercial…

May 19, 2015



Some things are so bad that they’re almost good…either that, or I’m a glutton for punishment!  It is into this category that I cast the hokey Burger King commercial for chicken fries in which a young hen and a box of french fries sit in a comfy living room, where the hen informs her parents on the adjoining couch that she and french fries are pregnant, and going to have chicken fries!  As we the viewers probably face-palm, the mother hen goes into a flurry of frenzied wing-flapping while her rooster father admonishes everyone to “Calm down!”  From the doorway a sibling of indeterminate sex comments, “Again?”  Unwanted chicken pregnancies are a national shame that we all pay the price for. – – Thanks, Obama!

The commercial pushes the envelope of silliness and stupidity, and lacks the creepiness factor of the Burger King monarch himself, who I would love to see in a death match competition with Ronald McDonald, Wendy, and the KFC Colonel…


The Geico Chicken…”It’s What You Do…”

April 15, 2015


Dang, this chicken leads a more adventurous life than I do!  A  free-range chicken is shown riding the rails, traveling shotgun with a trucker, enjoying a campfire gathering, and sitting at a diner counter while observing egg platters being served…that’s gotta be awkward! – – Ahh, the lure of the open road, to be footloose and fancy free!  All the while, said chicken manages to send pictures of her exploits to a worn-looking farm couple, her former owners…

…it’s what she does…after all, she’s a free-range chicken, doing what she’s called to do!  The sweeping melody of “Ride Away” by Roy Orbison accompanies the Geico commercial, and I’d love to log a few miles with this bird! 

When Turkeys Attack!

November 27, 2014


The Destination America channel treated us to some strange, tongue-in-cheek fare the evening before Thanksgiving with a special styled somewhat like numerous others airing on that network, and called “When Turkeys Attack!”  The show used home video footage depicting wild turkeys chasing children, grandmothers, and grown men; one chased and kept up with a bicyclist for a short distance, while others attacked mail delivery vehicles in a territorial frenzy.

Now wild turkeys should be distinguished from domesticated turkeys genetically engineered to be walking hunks of meat; these are the descendants of theropods, a carnivorous dinosaur.  A wild tom turkey can stand about waist high on a human, and can drop kick you in the head.  This could be a bad encounter as the males have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs that are 1-1/2″ – 2″ long.  They can flog you with their wings.  Turkeys will try to strike at your head, have acute hearing, and can read subtle behavior rather well.

How then does one defend against a wild turkey attack?  It was suggested that you don’t run and flee from them, but rather try to put a physical object between yourself and the offending turkey.  Don’t try to fend one off with a flipped jacket, which they may interpret as an invitation to attack. Cover your head, and try to kick at them.  In the words of one expert, “Some turkeys are territorial, some defend their women, some are just crazy!”  

Verizon’s “More Birds” Commercial…

August 17, 2014



People who seek to lure birds can sometimes get too much of a good thing…or so seems to be the underlying message of a recent Verizon commercial, More Birds.  “There’s good more, and there’s not so good more,” intones the announcer.  Hubby is outside while the wife is inside, plinking away on a computer tablet and happy that she’s accumulating  Verizon bonus rewards points.  

“Honey, look!  I got one to light on me!,” babbles the guy to his largely-oblivious wife as a small bird lands on his extended arm.  “Uh huh,” notes the wife.  “You’ve got a buddy!,” says the guy as a second bird lands on his other extended arm.  While the woman continues to be completely involved with her Verizon bonus rewards points, birds continue to land on the man’s extended arms.  “I’m like a statue!,” he intones, not wishing to scare them away. Trouble is, the birds continue to come, including an owl; things are getting out of hand.  The last bird to come appears to be a large bird of prey, and it grabs the guy from behind, literally carrying him away with his work.  The woman either doesn’t notice, or perhaps doesn’t care.  Familiarity breeds contempt, after all.

Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock was onto something in his classic thriller, The Birds.  Then in mythology we also have tales of the giant Roc, said to be large enough to carry cattle and even elephants away.  At the very least, birds can poop on you and your newly-washed car, which is horrible enough…