These are some of the sometimes quirky, sometimes downright strange characters that populate the first TV spots for America Online from new agency TBWA Chiat/Day, New York.
AOL says the 15-second spots, which broke last week, are designed to promote the online service's community spirit.
"We wanted to tell the entire story succinctly," said Ted Leonsis, president of AOL Services Co. "Chiat/Day understood this was our members' service."
One spot, called "Paw," shows an older man sitting at a computer. After finding he's chatting on AOL with a supporter of NAFTA, he smiles, and the camera shifts to focus on a little girl sitting on a couch. An explosion is heard, and the little girl exclaims: "Ma, Paw done shot up the America Online again!" The spot and others in the series end with the tagline "America Online. Welcome," a play on the familiar computer-generated voice that greets subscribers each time they sign on.
Another spot shows a monkey's paw clicking the computer mouse to sign on to AOL. The camera pans back and the monkey is revealed as a balding man with glasses, who comments to the camera: "That would have been even easier without the monkey glove."'