Archive for the ‘television’ category

Arm and Hammer Litter “In Control” Commercial

April 12, 2019

Human-sized anthropomorphic cats can be a wonderful fantasy or a chilling nightmare, depending on the individual’s perspective.  Arm and Hammer Cloud Control cat litter brings us one such feline family in a brief recent commercial, with Mama cat relating how in her house things would get out of control fast, especially in the litter room.  So she uses Arm and Hammer Cloud Control litter to be in control of the “cloud of nasties” that otherwise might be a problem around a cat litter box.  No one wants their bathroom to stink, after all…

The dressed, human-sized cats are both whimsical and surreal, and would probably be an improvement over some neighbors that I’ve had…

 

Progressive’s “Maid for Us” Commercial…

April 8, 2019


Back in the 1960’s, sitcoms ruled television, and many of them were poorly connected with actual life…heck, we even watched Gilligan’s Island!  A show called Hazel which ran from the early to mid-60’s even featured a household maid as the title character. Drawing upon this television tradition, a recent Progressive commercial features their iconic spokesperson Flo unwillingly cast into the role of new maid by the generic middle class family moving into a house that Flo is merely trying to inspect, but at each turn she’s perceived as being “the wacky new maid” who just pops up unexpectedly everywhere while they are performing such activities as carrying a large decorative fish into the bathroom.  

The Progressive commercial even includes a theme soundtrack written just for the ad that has a 60’s sound and sitcom feel, and includes the lyrics, “she’s not the maid we wanted, but she’s the maid we’ve got.”  Actress/comedian Stephanie Courtney as Flo shouting her disclaimer at the family in their front yard seems to do little to sway the neighborhood impression of her, however, in this retro sitcom parody…

KFC’s “The Most Delicious Union…”

March 29, 2019


I had thought that last November’s KFC commercial featuring a Colonel Sanders impersonator dancing with a human-sized bottle of Mrs. Butterworth syrup was a once-and-done thing, but in a companion piece commercial airing currently, the Colonel is back, complete with a misty, bedroom-eyes type expression as he meets Mrs. Butterworth in a marble hallway while a Celine Dion ballad plays.  I know that they say “the South shall rise again,”  but this is ridiculous!

Mrs. Butterworth appears to make the first move as the impossible couple stare into each other’s faces and the Colonel caresses her molded plastic cheek, probably thinking of all the syrupy goodness contained within…then the couple lean towards one another as a preliminary to a kiss which thankfully, we don’t get to see!  

I don’t know what will happen next, and frankly prefer not to go there.  Some things are best left to the imagination, and I cringe to think of a Sanders/Butterworth union.  Perhaps in the aftermath, however, a horror writer could pen an installment called Children of the Syrup.  It would not be suitable for children or sensitive individuals, and viewer discretion is advised…

 

“Johnsonville Jeff” and His Forest Friends…

March 26, 2019

In a hokey but charmingly surreal commercial, Johnsonville Jeff is eating his breakfast sausage out in the deep woods when he is approached by a talking raccoon asking about his meal.  In the shorter version of the ad, Jeff also interacts with a wolf and a turkey, whereas the longer version additionally adds a squirrel and a porcupine.  Most notably the wolf asks the man in the longer version where he learned how to talk to animals. “Books,” replies Jeff in a deadpan fashion, as if there was really nothing remarkable about the encounter; he’s kind of like Dr. Doolittle in hunting garb. They all have a good laugh together at the end, with the wild turkey practically loosing control of himself…

Johnsonville Sausage incorporates employee input in all phases of their operation, including this commercial which was conceived and is starred in by an actual long-term company employee.  Since without the animal presence this commercial would consist of ho-hum talk about sausage, we’ll listen to anything if an animal presents it!

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…