Garfield's AdReview

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Chrismahanukwanzakah

What a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious concept for selling holiday gifts to people of every race, creed and credit-card affiliation. And thank cheeky Virgin Mobile for having the chutzpajones to do it.

In a series of hilarious spots from Fallon, New York, a multicultural ensemble of off-key singers gives us lyrics such as these:

"It's OK if you're a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew/It's OK if you're agnostic and you don't know what to do/ An all-inclusive celebration, no contractual obligation/Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah to you/ and pagans too!"

There's not much more to add, except that Fallon manages to get the copy points in there, right next to the Hindu Santa promoting soy milk eggnog. It's just a delicious campaign. And, as our little gift to you, here's more, beginning with a line sung by a Neanderthal in an animal skin:

"In some ways we're all monkeys, well maybe just a smidgen/ I'm a Scientologist, that's kind of a religion/ Whose faith is the right one, it's anybody's guess/ What matters most is camera phone for twenty dollar less."

Pepto spot not subtle, but effective

When Pepto-Bismol and Publicis Worldwide, New York, first started running the Five Symptoms Dance, the AdReview email box was bombarded with angry electrons.

The gist: STOP THESE PEOPLE! STOP THEM NOW!

Curiously, none of these messages was from a civilian who happened upon diarrhea, et al., while channel surfing. Every single desperate message was from an advertising creative, appalled, offended and humiliated by the inanity of the exercise. If five terrible dancers do a "YMCA" ripoff about nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and the runs, can the death of advertising be far behind?

Whereas the AdReview staff, seeing the same commercial and arrested by its irresistible cheesiness, wondered something else. "All five symptoms? Really? Maybe that's something we should have in the house." Evidently the civilians had similar reactions, because Pepto is going gangbusters.

So now comes Procter & Gamble's little Christmas present to us all: five elves doing the dance, with sleigh bells and what sounds like rhythmic farting on the sound track. We hesitate to call it charming, but it is so obnoxious it somehow becomes amusing. And, like Pepto pink, will do more than you think.

Circuit City Santa

So, yeah, Christmas is coming, and you sell consumer electronics and fourth quarter is your biggest one, so naturally you want to put Santa Claus on a dance platform in front a wall of TV screens and have him break dance to a 24-year-old song. Then flash the logo.

Gee, what a stupid commercial from Doner, Southfield, Mich. What a pointless commercial. What a stupid and pointless commercial. If it were eye-catching in some special way, or funny or surprising or anything, maybe we could understand the exercise. But, no, it's just Santa breakdancing, which is not an advertising idea. It's a client ho-ho-hosing.

Virgin Mobile, Fallon, New York 3.5 stars

Pepto Bismol, Publicis Worldwide, New York 3 stars

Circuit City, Doner, Southfield, Mich. 1 star

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