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And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Antler People
Marketer: Discovery Networks
Brand: Discovery Networks
Title: "Antlers"
Agency: In-House
So what does it mean when all human beings suddenly sprout antlers? The hero of this commercial -- the world's lone un-antlered homo sapiens -- anguishes mightily over that very question. Perhaps the answer is that such a phenomenon might draw attention to the many arcane and vaguely mysterious scientific facts that regularly pepper Discovery Network shows.

Gay Samurai
Marketer: Seattle Film Festival
Brand: Seattle Film Festival
Title: "Samurai"
Agency: Wongdoody, Seattle
The 30th annual Seattle International Film Festival that ended yesterday always goes for in-your-face promotions that emphasize how it offers 'Different New Things' to viewers. And this year's gay samurai TV commercial was, literally, about as in-your-face as it gets.

Lance Armstrong
Marketer: Nike
Brand: Nike
Title: "Magnet"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
A visual poem of Western landscapes and lighting, the spot, called 'Magnet,' shows us Lance Armstrong racing a freight train through the desert, a herd of buffaloes across the plains, and the shadows of geese in v-formation winging overhead. In keeping with the triumphant 'Just Do It' theme of the piece, he beats them all, of course.

Wendy's Sociopath
Marketer: Wendy's
Brand: Wendy's
Title: "Soccer"
Agency: McCann Erickson, New York

Is it just me or do others find the new 'Mr. Wendy' character incredibly creepy and discomforting? Not only do these commercials not make me smile, they make me hope the sociopathic, geeky product spokesman doesn't have a gun in his pocket. This spot received the highest consumer recall score for the period of May 24 to June 6 in the bi-weekly Intermedia Advertising Group survey.

Video Phone Movie
Marketer: Samsung Telecommunications America
Brand: VM-A680 Video Phone
Title: "My Movie"
Agency: Cheil Communications America, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Dramatizing the Samsung video phone tagline, 'Show Your World,' this spot heralds the new age when everyone with a video phone can be a movie director. A perky actress shoots her way through a love story, a rain storm, flambéed meals, a fashion show, a boardwalk game arcade, a hip night spot and a hotel balcony overlooking the Empire State Building. And that was all in the first day.

Trick Shot
Marketer: Charles Schwab
Brand: Investment Services
Title: "Trick Shot"
Agency: Edleman, New York
2004 PGA Masters champion Phil Mickelson executes an over-the-head trick shot at the TPC Sawgrass course as a lure to the Charles Schwab Golf Rewards program for investors. The spot is a lead-in to an extended TiVo package of programming timed for the June 16 U.S. Open.

Power Plant Reality
Marketer: Xcel Energy
Brand: Xcel Energy
Title: "You Get All Our Energy"
Agency: McClain, Finlon, Denver
More than a little hokey in its title ('You Get All Our Energy'), there is still something reassuringly solid about this homespun black-and-white spot starring the real employees of a western U.S. energy company. These are the kind of people you hope are running the power plant that keeps your lights and computers on.

Pac Man Car
Marketer: Saturn
Brand: Vue
Title: "Pac Man"
Agency: Goodby, Silvertein & Partners
Going after the demographic that fondly remembers the 1980s joy of discovering Pac-Man, Saturn turns an entire suburban development into a giant Pac-Man course. A new Saturn Vue is the Pac-Man gobbling up white dots along the streets and engaging in all the requisite electronic noises that aficionados so know and love.

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