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JAMAICAN OLYMPIC TEAM PASSES THE BATON FOR PUMA SHOES

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Jamaican Olympic Team
Marketer: Puma
Brand: Puma Shoes
Title: "5 spots"
Agency: Gyro Worldwide, Philadelphia
In that deadpan, smoked-up, Rastafarian kind of way, Puma's new ads celebrate the Jamaican Olympic team in a national campaign that starts March 15. The full series consists of nine spots interconnected by a relay team runner who conveys the baton and a pair of magic shoes to a succession of fellow Jamaicans. This clip includes five of those new 15-second spots.

Computer Smasher
Marketer: Verizon Wireless
Brand: Verizon Instant Messaging
Title: "Roommate"
Agency: LevyTenny, Bedminister, N.J.
Verizon now offers full-featured AOL and MSN instant messaging over its cell phones. And, as this spot points out, having phone-based IM can keep your sleep-deprived roommate from destroying your computer with a baseball bat. The product benefit of this should be obvious to anyone who has had to crunch hos or her way to the bathroom over shards of imploded monitor glass.

Beer Break Up
Marketer: Miller Brewing
Brand: MGD
Title: "Break Up"
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Breaking up is so hard to do when you've loved him so long. Miller's latest series of ads feature Budweiser drinkers who must tell their old love why they're moving on to a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship -- Miller's MGD.

Lost Dog Saga
Marketer: MasterCard
Brand: MasterCard "Priceless"
Title: "Dog Trilogy"
Agency: McCann-Erickson
This tear-jerker of a three-commercial mini-saga will leave no animal lover unmoved. Follow Badger, the little lost dog who triumphs over all obstacles to make his way home across the continent after being separated from his family's RV in California's Redwood National Park.

WEEK'S MOST REMEMBERED SPOT
AFLAC Noir
Marketer: AFLAC
Brand: AFLAC Business Insurance
Title: "Film Noir"
Agency: Kaplan Thaler Group

Spoofing film noir, the AFLAC duck returns in the company of a well-dressed dame with a big need. They meet a hard-bitten private dick obsessed with looking through Venetian blind slats. It's all very Bogart. This spot received the highest consumer recall score for the period of Feb. 16 to 29 in the bi-weekly Intermedia Advertising Group survey.

Tap Dancer
Marketer: Unilin Flooring
Brand: Quick Step Floor Systems
Title: "Recital"
Agency: Trone, High Point, N.C.
In one of the dullest of product areas imaginable -- floor coverings -- Quick Step has consistently come up with ads that are as entertaining as they are exactly on point. In the latest, a little girl's tap shoes touch the heartstrings as well as the practical concerns of potential buyers of hardwood products.

Exotic Treat
Marketer: Masterfoods USA
Brand: Twix
Title: "Party"
Agency: Grey Worldwide
A few days after I first watched this spot last week, the only thing I could remember about it was the guy with the sitar. And that's the problem. Oh, it's very trendy with its eclectic, multiethnic mix of celebrities and hipsters doing a party scene. But does it cause you to remember the product -- a simple candy bar? Hardly. In fact, next time I get the afternoon munchies I'll probably wonder why I can't stop thinking about Ravi Shankar instead of what vending machine treat I should select.

Who's the Weird Guy?
Marketer: 24 Hour Fitness
Brand: 24 Hour Fitness
Title: "Confident"
Agency: Publicis & Hal Riney
So who is that cute but weird guy making such a fool of himself on the treadmill? Do you think he sings that loud because he's confident or because he's goofy?

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